On Thursday night Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers won his fourth NFL MVP award. After collecting the trophy, he addressed whether he’ll be known as “Packers quarterback” by the middle of March.
“I’ve got some decisions to make for sure,” Rodgers told Taylor Bisciotti of NFL Network. “Yesterday was like the first day that kind of felt like the offseason. . . . I’m gonna enjoy the next couple weeks. And, you know, I’ve had good conversations with Green Bay and I’ll, you know, do some contemplating and then make a decision here pretty quick.”
He’s previously said he’ll make a decision before free agency, which starts in fewer than five weeks. Now that the coaching carousel has stopped spinning, it’s time for the quarterback carousel to start churning. Last year, the Rams had figured out their quarterback situation by January 30, with an unofficial trade for Matthew Stafford. If Rodgers wants a trade (and we still think he will), the time is now to get it worked out before seats begin to fill elsewhere. The Packers also need to know what’s going on, so that they can make their plans for 2022 accordingly.
Then again, teams that think they may a shot at Rodgers will likely wait for him to make his decision before pivoting to other choices.
The teams to watch continue to be the Broncos, Raiders, Steelers, and Buccaneers. The Titans and 49ers would be fascinating options. Tennessee would have to be willing to deal with Ryan Tannehill‘s contract (if they can get Rodgers, they should regard that as the proverbial “good problem to have”), and Green Bay would have to be willing to deal with Rodgers as the quarterback of an NFC rival, if he wants to be the bridge from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance. (The 49ers would have a hard time finding trade assets, unless they’re willing to part with someone like Nick Bosa or George Kittle.)
At the end of the day, look for Rodgers to get what he wants. Whatever you think of him after a year in which he made himself, deliberately or not, into one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports, he’s earned the right to pick his next team.