The majority of us saw it coming. It appears that Green Bay Packers fans will be saying farewell to legendary Quarterback Aaron Rodgers this offseason. The writing was on the wall that it was the time to move on. I myself said during the season that there might not be enough room in 2023 for both Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love. It is without a doubt bittersweet, but it’s the right time to move on.
A disappointing 2022 season led to this. Aaron Rodgers said himself, that the plan was to go into his darkness retreat a two-time Super Bowl Champion and prepare for retirement. We all know how it turned out with the Packers instead going 8-9 and missing the playoffs.
It was revealed late in the season that Rodgers’ health perhaps contributed to the misfortune. That a broken thumb had hampered him the majority of the season. That may be, but nonetheless a rough season definitely contributed to a will to move on. It’s not easy, but it’s time.
I remember sitting in the basement of my parent’s house with my brother watching the 2005 NFL Draft. We eagerly awaited the announcement of the next Packers player. The focus in the green room was on this Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers who should’ve gone first overall, but instead had fallen down into the 20s. There was a debate as to why he had fallen. I recall one of the debated reasons was that he held the ball too high. Rodgers held the ball in the pocket at about chin-level and they said that could have something to do with it.
That’s ridiculous. My brother and I agreed that was something easily fixed. “Just spend the offseason insuring you hold it chest-level and you’ll be fine” we said. We watched the picks before the Packers go, Mark Clayton, Fabian Washington, and the Packers were on the clock. Some said Defensive Lineman, some said a Wide Receiver weapon for Brett Favre. The options were wide open.
“The Packers pick was in. Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, California.”
It was such a whirlwind of emotions. Brett Favre had been the Quarterback of the Packers for 70% of my life. Why would they draft a Quarterback in the first round? It just made no sense. The reality that Favre wasn’t forever had started to sink into my brain.
As much as the confusion hit, the excitement oddly enough, hit as well. This was a guy they thought could be the best in the whole draft, but he fell cause of reasons my brother and I seemingly already debunked. If Rodgers took over for Brett Favre, this could be an interesting trip.
There was a time growing up, where I thought, how could the Packers be successful without anyone from the Super Bowl 31 team? Nonetheless, how could we be successful without Brett Favre? Everyone above me in age would constantly talk about the dark ages of the 70s and 80s that came before Brett Favre and the 90’s Packers.
Then suddenly, there was Aaron Rodgers. And he led us to 11 playoff appearances in 15 years. This included one Super Bowl victory and four times we came one game short of the Super Bowl.
It was one heck of a run that Rodgers turned in to one of the greatest of all time. There is no doubt that Aaron Rodgers will one day be listed on the Lambeau Field facade as a Pro Football Hall of Famer as well as having his number retired.
It’s like a deja vu moment all over again. The legendary quarterback is out, and the young promising prospect is in. I have all the confidence that Jordan Love could develop into a force, but could take a year or two.
During that time Aaron Rodgers could be in New York chasing one last ring. I have to say that I wish him all the luck in the world, but I kind of hope Aaron Rodgers does not win a Super Bowl in New York. I want him to forever consider Green Bay the best time of his career. Winning it all in NY could taint that and I don’t want it.
As much as it pains me to say, Aaron Rodgers deserves to go where he pleases and continue his career. The Packer’s “G” is forever. Not just for the duration of one player’s career. Eventually, they have to move on.
Aaron Rodgers, you’ve been one of the best football players to put on the Green and Gold. That will never change. I will simply wish you good health in New York as I want you to keep your Packer years sacred and not have years with another team tainting that.
Thank you for everything 12.
Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to PackersTalk as well as CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter at @gmeinholz. for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.