The Chicago Bears have a lot of internal issues to sort out before they can start thinking about Super Bowl contention again. They need to find more young talent that is getting way too old across a roster. They must find as much help as possible for Justin Fields to see if the young quarterback is a franchise player or not. The list is extensive. Yet everybody in that building still knows one thing. Life is considerably more complicated if Aaron Rodgers is in the picture.
Everybody again has their eyes on Green Bay, wondering what the future Hall of Famer will do. True to form, he left his future ambiguous after a deflating divisional round exit against the San Francisco 49ers last month. Everything is on the table. Returning to Green Bay. A trade to another team. Even retirement. The Packers aren’t getting caught flat-footed this time. They’ve made it clear from the outset that they hope to bring Rodgers back with a lucrative contract extension.
Some though think this is just careful public relations work.
That when Rodgers does leave, the team can say they did everything possible to convince him to stay. Former Packers executive Andrew Brandt believes this is the case. He has remained adamant that Green Bay will likely trade Rodgers this offseason. Now it seems he isn’t the only one. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN received some interesting information during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Something that many have speculated for months.
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I talked to a former Broncos player who told me this inside the Los Angeles Convention Center: “I think it’s only a matter of time before he ends up in Denver.”
The player said it’s more than a hunch, so let’s see if he’s right. The Packers have been adamant publicly and privately that they want Rodgers back and have interest in extending him. But they are waiting on Rodgers, who plans to circle back with the team later this month — definitely before the franchise tag deadline of March 8.
Denver certainly set the table for such a move when they hired former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach. He is somebody the quarterback loves. The Broncos have a good situation offensively too with some talented wide receivers and a solid offensive line. Not to mention a top 10 defense. More than most teams, they feel like they are truly a quarterback away from competing for a championship.
Aaron Rodgers has won back-to-back MVPs. He would make them instant contenders. It comes down to what sort of package it’ll take to get him. Most think the Packers will demand multiple 1st round picks. Not surprising with his ongoing success. That said, this is the same speculation people heard for months last year. Then Rodgers stayed in Green Bay. So it’ll take more than the insistence of a former Broncos player to really get the ball rolling this time.