It all came to a culmination for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Coming off a regular-season performance that will likely result in his third career MVP award, Rodgers seemed to have everything clicking thus far in the playoffs. Unfortunately, that did not include trust in the quarterback from head coach Matt LaFleur.
Trailing by eight points with just over two minutes remaining, the Packers were facing a fourth and goal from inside Tampa Bay’s 10-yard line. Rather than going for it, LaFleur opted for a chip shot field goal to pull Green Bay within five.
Aaron Rodgers was then seen on the sideline as his team’s defense failed to force a three-and-out that would have given him the ball back. Rodgers on the sideline with Green Bay’s season on the line. The end result being an ugly 31-26 home loss in the NFC Championship Game.
Thus concludes a season that started with some drama in Green Bay after the team selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Rodgers, 37, responded by putting up nearly 4,300 yards with a league high 48 touchdowns against just five interceptions. He led Green Bay to a 13-3 regular-season record and seemed to be destined for a second Super Bowl appearance. Alas, it was not to be — raising further questions about Rodgers’ future in Green Bay.
That’s something Rodgers addressed after the game.
“A lot of guys futures, they’re uncertain, myself included,” Rodgers told reporters.
Time is now for the Green Bay Packers to trade Aaron Rodgers
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst did not trade up for Love in the first round last April for the strong-armed former Utah State quarterback to man the bench for a few years behind Rodgers.
The idea of selecting Love in the first round was already pretty darn questionable. He did not play a single snap for a contending team. Wasting a first-round pick on a player that didn’t contribute as a rookie set these Packers back in a big way. Rodgers knows that full well.
Green Bay now faces an uncertain offseason in which the team is $20.79 million over the cap. Stud running back Aaron Jones is slated to hit free agency and likely won’t be back. Left tackle David Bakhtiari is coming off a torn ACL. Meanwhile, fellow offensive linemen Corey Linsley and Lane Taylor are also slated to hit the open market.
Simply put, Green Bay’s window to win the NFC was right now. This year. Not next season. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers snuffed that out on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Next season will see the San Francisco 49ers return to full health. Brady isn’t going anywhere. The Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints will all be heard from, too.
At this point, it seems obvious that the Aaron Rodgers-Packers relationship should be headed for a divorce in the not-so-distant future. Green Bay’s brass made that clear last April when it selected Love in lieu of finding an immediate-impact player. Now, the team’s Super Bowl window has closed big time.
Still playing at a high level, Rodgers would net a whole heck of a lot in return as the Packers attempt to rebuild on the fly. We’re looking at a first-round pick, multiple lower-round selections and potentially a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
It’s now high time for the Packers to trade Aaron Rodgers. Stop delaying the inevitable.