Jun. 23—It was a gallant effort by Aaron Rodgers.
Trying to scream and kick his way out of Green Bay.
There is only one problem. There is no place to go. Thus, he’s going nowhere.
The greatest athletic passer of his generation — not named Patrick Mahomes — had had enough. He wanted to go somewhere he would be appreciated.
It was, as noted, a gallant effort. Tom Brady did the same thing a year earlier except he was free as a bird.
In fact, Brady is the reason Rodgers did what he did this past winter, basically implying he didn’t want to be a Packer anymore.
Brady found a new, respected home — remember, he too was disrespected by his old team — and won another Super Bowl title.
Brady’s title, though, hurt a little. It gave him seven.
It widened the “Super Bowl ring” gap between Brady and Rodgers: 7 to 1.
Rodgers seemed to dislike his situation even more than he had before, when the new coach came in and said they would be running the football more and focusing on defense, too.
Oh yeah, the general manager, instead of getting Rodgers an elite weapon on offense, as in a wide receiver or tight end, drafted a quarterback in the first round with their 26th pick.
That was a slap in the face. Sort of like when the Patriots drafted Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round. Brady wasn’t thrilled, apparently, but the new competition made him better and the Patriots won three Super Bowls before he exited.
Rodgers’ problem is simple. There are no decent-to-good trade options for him, at least not in late June.
Almost every team has finished their quarterback shopping, particularly after the draft.
I see only two options that make sense: The New Orleans Saints, which apparently sniffed at signing Brady last year; and the Denver Broncos, which have butchered the position, other than adding Peyton Manning, for nearly two decades since John Elway retired.
The Saints would be the best fit. They are a Super Bowl contender.
The Broncos’ defense is not good and, while there is an opening, it doesn’t make sense for Rodgers, who is in a win-now mode.
Upon further review there is a “best” option for Rodgers: the Green Bay Packers.
Not only is Rodgers the reigning MVP of the NFL, but the Packers made it to the NFC Championship game, losing to Brady and Tampa Bay in a close, tough game.
The Packers are coming off consecutive 13-3 seasons. They are, if you ask me, a top six or seven team in the NFL as presently constituted.
That being said, did Rodgers hurt his place as the leader of the Packers by demanding a trade? Do his teammates look at him differently?
Rodgers didn’t do right by himself or the Packers. He didn’t plan his future properly.
But Brady played under similar, strained circumstances his last two years with the Patriots, winning a Super Bowl in one of those seasons.
If Rodgers wants to emulate Brady it will have to be in Green Bay, like it or not.
You can email Bill Burt at [email protected]