In early 2008, the Packers told quarterback Brett Favre that they needed to know ASAP whether he’d be returning for another season. Favre chose to retire.
In early 2023, will the Packers send a similar message to Aaron Rodgers?
And it could be more than simply asking Rodgers if he’s willing to play. To get the most out of another season from Rodgers, the Packers need to know that he’s all in. That he’s willing to, for example, show up for the offseason program, in order to help the team’s receivers get more comfortable, more quickly.
It’s a point Peter King made on Friday’s PFT Live. Given the apparent link between Rodgers doing the bare minimum in the 2022 offseason and the time it has taken for the team’s young receivers to get comfortable, the Packers would be far better off if Rodgers had been fully engaged in the voluntary phase of the offseason program.
So it’s not unfair for the Packers to ask Rodgers in January 2023 whether he’s willing to go above and beyond the call, in exchange for his ongoing compensation in excess of $50 million. Really, for that much money, is expecting him to show up for the offseason program really going above and beyond?
Of course, Rodgers will have to want to keep playing. He may decide to call it quits after a disappointing 2022. But remember this — Brett Favre had a very bad year in 2006. It was the last time, before this season, that the Packers started 4-7. Favre came back for another year, and he had a great final season with the Packers.
If this is Rodgers’s final season with the Packers, it’s anything but great. And, frankly, the team may need to know at some point before the end of the season whether he’s all in for 2023. If he isn’t, the smart move could be to pivot to Jordan Love for the balance of the season.