“Yeah, I mean, I’m not going to hold them (the Green Bay Packers) hostage…we’re still in January…March is free agency.” Aaron Rodgers said this right after the loss to the Detroit Lions seemingly indicating that free agency in March is the deadline. Well here comes March. So is Rodgers’ answer to the Packers coming soon? You better believe it!
The time is finally here. Rodgers’ decision is near. Will he retire? Will he want to be traded? Will he want to return to the Packers? Do the Packers even want him? All of these questions and more will be answered sooner than later.
So do we have any indication of what will happen? No. There has been a ton of speculation but no sure-fire answer. Reports have come out saying that the Packers are “disgusted” with Rodgers. Other reports have come out and said that the Packers would love for Rodgers to return if he wants to. All of this soon won’t matter because we will know!
Frankly, for me, I just want to have some idea of what the 2023 Green Bay Packers will look like. If Rodgers is back then great. If he isn’t, then also great! We get to see what Jordan Love looks like. That’s want I ultimately want to discuss here. What do the Packers do after Rodgers’ decision?
If he returns, then it is time to do everything possible to win it all this year. Max restructure everybody. Bring everybody back! Get some more offensive weapons. Trade draft capital to get those weapons. DeAndre Hopkins is available. Get him! Jalen Ramsey is available. You find a way to get him! Sell the future! When the draft comes around, you draft the most explosive players available. Don’t draft for the future, you draft for the now. Do everything to win now and worry about the chaos of the future later.
Rodgers Retires or Is Traded
This option means you begin the rebuild process. That doesn’t mean you trade everybody and restart. It means you begin to repair the damages to the cap from the past few years. The Packers should restructure only those players that think will be around long term and let the contracts end of those that aren’t a part of the future plans. Eat the cap penalty of those restructured contracts from the past couple of years and be done with it.
If Rodgers is traded, you pit other franchises against each other and create competition to get the best trade possible. If Rodgers retires, then you see if you can have it marked as a post-June retirement to save on the cap this season.
If there are players that you can trade away for cap savings and earn draft capital then you do it. Invest heavily into the draft. Be a draft-and-develop franchise again and see if you can create a competitive franchise for the rest of the 2020s heading into the 2030s.
Give Jordan Love every opportunity to earn a contract and if you think he is the answer at quarterback, then give him the extension early. Quarterback contracts are getting larger by the year. Locking him up early could save you money on the cap in the long run.
This is the stuff that excites me more than Rodgers’ actual decision. You know, the “what happens now” stuff after Rodgers’ answer to the Green Bay Packers. So like Terrell Owens would say, “get your popcorn ready!” because we are about to have a very intriguing March.——————
Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.