All of a sudden the Packers look vulnerable. Nobody thought this before the new season because the mediahyped them up as Super Bowl contenders. It just takes a single Week One defeat to change an entire narrative. Of course, this could be an anomaly and potentially the best thing to happen to their season. If it wakes Green Bay up and causes them to refocus, they could still have a solid year.
There’s so much football still to play but there’s no doubt that opponents won’t be afraid of the Packers until they prove themselves. Lions’ Coach Dan Campbell said that this is the most dangerous version of Green Bay because they’re like a wounded animal (via Yahoo! Sports). But this will give opposition teams the incentive to exploit potential weaknesses. If they can do this, then Rodgers and Green Bay’s season faces doom.
It’s funny how history has a tendency to repeat itself. While the situation isn’t exactly the same, Brett Favre also left Green Bay in an acrimonious fashion. Of course, this came after he retired and changed his mind. But the franchise also had an exciting young quarterback on their books and ultimately decided to go with him. If Rodgers becomes too much trouble, they’ll just start Love. Favre has already warned Rodgers not to leave this way (via Madison.com).
In the end, Rodgers will leave the organization one way or another. It’s simply a question of when. He may be better served by emulating Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and getting a fresh start. Rodgers has made it clear that he wants it, so the Packers should seriously consider it. Obviously, it’s not ideal losing the incumbent MVP, but they do have a replacement in the wings.
The Broncos have a massive amount of cap space (via Denver Post). This puts it at the opposite end of the table to Green Bay because they don’t have much cap at all. The Packers are going all-in in 2021 which is a massive gamble. Rodgers can’t accuse the franchise of backing him this season because they’ve been successful in the draft and preseason. But his tenure is heading toward doom.
Denver may be the best fit for Rodgers because of their quarterback situation. They also may be the only attractive franchise financially capable of making a deal. One way or another, all signs are pointing to Rodgers leaving. The question is where and when. But the Broncos look to have the edge over potential rivals, including the New Orleans Saints. It’s fascinating to contemplate Rodgers’s next stop.
If there is one man that Rodgers loathes it’s Green Bay General Manager Gutekunst. The pair have no meaningful relationship because of the GM’s many contentious decisions. Even though Gutekunst claims that his connection with Rodgers is ‘excellent,’ the reality is that this simply is not the case (via CBS Sports). Gutekunst was the main reason why the organization drafted another quarterback in 2020.
He orchestrated Rodgers’ doom with that controversial move. It also created a sense of disillusionment. Rodgers felt this because he wanted weapons instead of a replacement. Meanwhile, Gutekunst hired a new head coach without consulting the franchise’s star player. Meanwhile, he traded and released numerous players who had connections with the quarterback.
The world of professional sports is dog-eat-dog. Team sports are complicated because athletes compete for the same starting spots. Meanwhile, players have different statuses within the franchise as well as staggeringly different incomes. There’s no doubt that Rodgers’s behavior has destabilized the locker room. Drew Brees said that he believes the situation threw everybody off (via Fox Sports).
When a team’s star quarterback goes AWOL, it’s clear that there’s going to be a problem. No doubt some of his teammates will take his side. But others will want to get on with business and make their own names. It’s definitely not a strong position to be in and disappointing in a strong roster. His relationship with the franchise appears doomed because he’s like a weed in a flowerbed.
Rodgers doesn’t have a bad relationship with the Packers’ head coach but that doesn’t mean everything is rosy. Don’t forget, he wasn’t happy that he never had a say in LaFleur’s appointment in 2019. The message behind the scenes was that the organization viewed him as just a player. However, this doesn’t fly in an era of increasing player power. Meanwhile, LaFleur is in a difficult position.
If the Rodgers situation gets out of hand, LaFleur must prove who is in charge. If that means handing the reins to Jordan Love, then so be it. That definitely won’t be his first option because LaFleur won 26 of 32 games with Rodgers as his starter (via Clutchpoints). But football is a ruthless business and the team must come first. Only time will tell if LaFleur has to make the boldest call of the season.
Another reason Rodgers could be heading toward doom because he has lost the love of the fans. A significant proportion believes that the franchise bent over backward to accommodate his wishes. Green Bay is a small town and a tightly-knit community. The positive aspect of this is that fans are passionate about their football team. But they believe that a person’s word is their bond.
The Rodgers saga has left the fanbase divided. Some believe that he betrayed the franchise while others think that there is plenty of blame to go around (via Yahoo! Sports). The Packers know that they have to keep the support on their side. It may be wise to remove Rodgers from the equation and install Jordan Love. If he starts well then they’ll have a new young star to worship.
Many casual NFL fans will be unfamiliar with this wide receiver. But he’s one of the major reasons why Rodgers lost patience with the front office. The organization released Kumerow in 2020 a day after Rodgers praised him in public. This infuriated the star quarterback and was effectively the straw that broke the camel’s back. Green Bay has a history of offloading players that Rodgers likes.
Rodgers said that Kumerow was a lock to make the Packers’ 53-man roster (via NESN). However, management disagreed and cut the receiver. It was a strange move because it came against the wishes of the franchise’s most powerful player. The relationship between Rodgers and Brian Gutekunst became baltic. It’s safe to say that the signal-caller lost trust in the franchise after this.
Let’s be real, Rodgers faced his doom from the moment the Packers used a first-round pick on Love. The young quarterback is the Hall of Famer’s heir-apparent. If Rodgers doesn’t want to be there, then it makes sense to throw Love into the mix. Yes, he’ll have early development problems, but why not get them out of the way? The Utah State product has the ability to make a difference and is one of the highest-paid back-ups in the league (via NBC Sports).
He completed five out of seven passes in his debut against the Saints. If Rodgers suffers another meltdown, then Matt LaFleur has a decision to make. It may seem ridiculous after an MVP season but the Packers can’t afford to be sentimental. They’ve already a history of bringing a young quarterback into the fold. Remember when they dumped Brett Favre for a certain young star?
Finally, Rodgers wants to leave Green Bay. As far as he’s concerned, he’s given the franchise the best years of his career and doesn’t owe them anything. Fans may disagree yet there’s some truth to this. After all, Mike McCarthy failed to create a dynasty with one of the most gifted quarterbacks in NFL history. Rodgers’s relationship with the Packers is facing doom because he is no longer mentally there (via Sports Illustrated).
The Denver Broncos are sniffing around and look like a good fit. No doubt Rodgers would have liked a move to the Niners but they’ve already filled their QB needs. However, Denver is a bigger market and John Elway could help to make it happen. It’s also reminiscent of Peyton Manning’s career path. Whatever happens, Rodgers will be out the door by 2022 at the latest.