Life after Aaron Rodgers is coming fast for the Green Bay Packers.
Rodgers will turn 39 later this year. And he suggested earlier this spring that the end of his career is nearing.
For now, no one knows — not even Green Bay — if Rodgers will play in 2023. And if this offseason was any indication, Rodgers will have us all waiting on pins and needles to hear his plans next spring.
The Packers, however, have to start preparing for the post-Rodgers era. They don’t want to get caught without a plan next year (or the year after) if Rodgers calls it a career.
That’s why I think there’s a trade scenario that Green Bay should consider.
The San Francisco 49ers have moved on from Jimmy Garoppolo in favor of Trey Lance.
San Francisco needs to trade Garoppolo, but no one is out there making strong offers.
If the 49ers aren’t able to find a trade partner, they’ll release Garoppolo before the start of the season (according to a report from Pro Football Talk).
The Packers should offer a late-round pick for Jimmy G. Then they could try to re-work his 2022 salary — maybe via an extension (Garoppolo is a free agent after this season).
If Green Bay makes this move, it gives them their answer for life after Rodgers. Garoppolo obviously isn’t going to be the next Rodgers or Brett Favre, but he’s a quality quarterback who can be a borderline Pro-Bowler. And he’d help the Packers continue to find success in the NFC while they search for their next Hall of Fame caliber quarterback.
The thought process here is that Garoppolo would sit behind Rodgers for a year in 2022. After 2022, the Packers would be in a bit of a pickle as they wait on Rodgers’ decision. If he decides to return for another year, then that would certainly complicate things with Garoppolo. But it’s better to have an option than not have an option.
(As you can probably guess, I’m not a believer in Jordan Love. I watched him up close in college a few games and I just didn’t feel like he had the “it factor”. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s my gut feeling.)
If Rodgers retires, the Packers can continue on their same path, albeit with a less talented signal caller. Having Jimmy G in place would also make the Packers a more attractive option for potential free agents.
This isn’t a perfect scenario for Green Bay. Plenty can go wrong. But they need to protect themselves against Rodgers’ eventual retirement. And I just don’t think trusting Love to be Rodgers’ successor is the answer. The Packers need to be bold and acquiring Garoppolo would certainly qualify as bold.
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