During the combine on Friday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted out that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is “truly torn on where to he wants to play in 2022.” As the world awaits Rodgers’ decision, it’s worth noting that there is a similar parallel to Rodgers elsewhere in the league: Russell Wilson.
On Wednesday, Seahawks general manager and former Green Bay Packers director of football operations John Schneider stated that he’s never fielded a call for a Wilson trade that he’d describe as “interested” in. Mind you, Dan Patrick reported last offseason that the Chicago Bears were willing to trade three first-round picks, a third-round pick and two defensive starters for Wilson, who at that point was no spring chicken at 32 years old.
If Rodgers does decide to play elsewhere, would the Packers appease him? At what cost? On paper, the Denver Broncos may be a better long-term landing spot for Rodgers, considering how few big contracts the team has on the roster, but would that still be true if the Packers receive multiple first-round picks and starters in exchange for the quarterback? That’s not including the compensation for receiver Davante Adams, who is an unrestricted free agent who is expected to be franchise-tagged.
Even then, when asked about the situation last summer, Rodgers stated that the team did not grant him the ability to pick his landing spot should he choose to move on from Green Bay in the 2022 offseason. Since the Packers’ playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the general comments by the entire Green Bay organization has essentially followed one of the three following narratives: 1) the team is giving Rodgers his space to make a decision, 2) they’ll sit down and talk with him if he chooses to play elsewhere and 3) they aren’t taking calls for him, which Gutekunst reiterated on Wednesday.
Rodgers stated on the Pat McAfee Show in February that he would decide well before the team decided to make free agency acquisitions, out of respect to the franchise. Officially, the legal tampering window for free agency begins on March 14th. Unofficially, it is already underway in Indianapolis. Free agency kicks off on March 16th, with the franchise tag deadline coming on March 8th.
One would assume, considering the fact that Rodgers’ return to Green Bay would almost certainly have to come with a Davante Adams extension — not a franchise tag at his $20 million-plus immediate price on the cap — that Rodgers will have to make a decision by Tuesday. Based on Rapoport’s comments, it seems like Rodgers is no longer considering retirement.