Much like last offseason, the Packers QB room is going to be the topic of conversation until further notice. Aaron Rodgers will once again ponder if he wants to continue leading the Packers or hang it up after 17 highly decorated seasons.
According to Matt LaFleur, the front office and everyone else at 1265 Lombardi Ave. want Aaron Rodgers to stay, now and forever. LaFleur was quoted as saying “We’d love for him to be a Packer — and be a Packer until the day he decides to retire”
Aaron Rodgers QB1:
Aaron Rodgers is likely enroute to his record-tying fourth MVP award, but I’m guessing if you asked him he’d forgo the numerous personal accolades just for the opportunity to play in another Super Bowl. Rodgers made it clear after Saturday’s early playoff exit against the 49ers that he wants no part of a rebuild.
Brian Gutekunst has done a good job evaluating talent. He’s drafted well and he’s had unbelievable success wading through notoriously dangerous waters of free agency.
Gutekunst has built a winner around his generational QB.
So what’s the problem?
The Packers are victims of their own success. Gutekunst has handed out rich new contracts to the Packers blue chip homegrown talent, and more paydays are on the horizon.
Furthermore, the excellent free agent signings Gutekunst has made are all reaching their most expensive salaries and will likely be gone if restructured contracts can’t be agreed upon.
The short of it is the Packers may not be doing a teardown, but there are going to be lots of new faces.
If Rodgers is back for his 18th season, you can bet he’s going to want his “guys” to be there as well. That means checking the couch cushions to keep guys like Randall Cobb and Mason Crosby. It means smashing the piggy bank to keep Davante Adams.
I’ve got no issue keeping those guys of course, but if you couple Rodgers salary with a mega deal for Adams and reasonable veteran contracts for his buddies..the spending money disappears quickly.
Rodgers has earned every penny in every contract he’s played under. You can make the argument that he’s been chronically underpaid. But with career earnings touching $300 million, at what point does it become less about the money and more about winning another Super Bowl.
It would be refreshing for Rodgers to come back and say “Look Brian, If I’m coming back it’s important to me that we keep this team as competitive as possible. I’m willing to do my part”.
Jordan Love: QB2?
I wrote an article recently asking the question “What Do The Green Bay Packers Know About Jordan Love Now?”. We may be finding out the answer to that question much sooner than anyone anticipated.
I believe that what the Packers do or don’t do with Jordan Love is as much an indicator of Rodgers’ plans as it is how the Packers view Love’s potential.
If Rodgers comes back and tells the front office brass that it’s his last ride, I believe the Packers will stand pat with Love and he’ll take the reins in 2023.
If Rodgers signs an extension and says he wants to play for a couple of more years, I think the Packers will try to move Love.
There is also the chance that the Packers decide the best way to add talent to the 2022 roster is through the draft. If they could net a second round draft pick or an inexpensive impact player for Jordan Love from a quarterback needy team, Gutey & co. may pull the trigger.
I still believe that the most likely scenario is that Rodgers returns for one last season, and Jordan Love will continue to be evaluated by the coaching staff and personnel executives.
Kurt Benkert: QB3
Kurt Benkert seems to be a great guy with flowing locks and some serious gaming skills. He’s put some interesting tape out there with his preseason work but he’s not going to be finding starting NFL work anytime soon..and likely never.
The Packers are constantly churning the bottom of the roster trying to find gems. I won’t be surprised if Benkert is released at some point in favor of a draft pick or someone with a higher ceiling.
I also won’t be shocked at all if he’s back, primarily because he knows the system and is well liked by Rodgers.
There is also an outside chance that if the Packers do trade Jordan Love, Benkert could slot in as the QB2. I think the odds of this are remote, but this is going to be a crazy offseason in Packerland.
The hope is that Benkert never sees the light of day when the games count, and continues to be just one of those guys you love to have around.
You can follow Adam on twitter at @adamjcarlson28.