After an almost straightforward first round of this year’s NFL draft, one move that raised eye-brows was the Packers trade up to select quarterback Jordan Love.
With so many gaps on the roster and one of the most talented to play the game in Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, fans and pundits were left bemused by the move.
Many took the move as a slight against Rodgers who is in the latter stages of his career and in dire need of some weapons to help him .
Others drew comparisons to 2005 when the Packers drafted Rodgers as Brett Favre’s understudy before Favre headed for Minnesota.
But former NFL running back Reggie Bush thinks the move is a sure sign Rodgers is going to be traded, and he’s pretty sure it will be to the New England Patriots.
The Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick is biding his time in this year’s draft and traded down from their first round pick.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Patriots are famously without star quarterback Tom Brady for the first time in two decades after he left for Tampa Bay.
We take a look at the implications of the Packers’ interesting move at last night’s draft…
The unnecessary trade showed the Packers hand
First of all, it says something when the Green Bay Packers are making an unnecessary trade up to nab a quarterback when they have Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
They moved from pick 30 to pick 26, skipping ahead of the Dolphins, who had just drafted QB Tua Tagovailoa, as well as the Seahawks, the Ravens and the Titans all of whom have their QB situation wrapped up.
Jordan Love would likely still have been there had they waited their turn – it might have made sense if it had been for a valuable weapon for Rodgers.
It might have even made sense if it had been for a linebacker where there are also glaring holes in the roster and a position those four teams ahead of them did target.
It is quite telling then that the Packers rushed to show their hand.
They are so desperate to get Rodgers’ understudy in place that questions are bound to be asked about the 36-year-old’s future.
The Packers are sending a confusing message to Rodgers
For years, the Packers’ front office have failed to acquire talented receivers for their elite quarterback.
Prior to 2017, Ted Thompson infamously ignored roster deficiencies time and time again, the only notable receiver being Davante Adams in the 2014 draft.
Then, Brian Gutekunst took over and things improved slightly but still Aaron Rodgers remained alone in terms of Hall of Fame talent.
The fact that this year’s first-round failure is not an isolated incident implies there may be more systemic problems in the Packers’ front office.
In a post-first round press call, Gutekunst assured the media that the decision was a “long term” one and that he was sure Rodgers would be around “for a while”.
That’s inline with the massive contract they handed Rodgers in 2018 – a four-year extension which made him the highest paid quarterback in the league.
Make of that what you will but it’s still difficult to make sense of the decision, with the only explanation being that they took Love simply because he was there and was the highest player left on their board.
Aaron Rodgers would be justified in demanding a trade
Given these facts, it would seem the Green Bay Packers are, at best, ignorantly wasting one of the best quarterbacks the league has seen or, at worst, trying to force him out the door.
Sure, Rodgers’ play may have declined in the past few years but look at last season.
Even though he may be past his prime, he still carried the team to the NFC Championship helped, mostly, by a strong defence and little else.
With his team treating him with apparent disdain, Rodgers would be within his right to request a trade so he could go to a team where he might be appreciated.
While the Packers in a win-now situation, Rodgers too is losing time to cement his place as an NFL great.
If the Packers are refusing to give him the help he needs, he has every right to go somewhere that will.
Rodgers could play long enough to head to another team
Even if Rodgers is not planning on requesting a trade, he may still head to a different franchise eventually.
Reggie Bush didn’t specify when he would land in Foxborough afterall.
If there’s one thing Tom Brady and Drew Brees are proving, it’s that quarterbacks are able to play into their 40s and still compete at the top level of the sport.
So even if this is his final contract in Green Bay and the Packers choose to go with Love in 2022, Rodgers could feasibly head to another franchise.
The Patriots makes no sense as a landing spot for Rodgers
A team that won’t give him weapons, a quarterback reaching the twilight of his career.
Does this sound familiar? Isn’t that exactly why Tom Brady left the New England Patriots?
If the Patriots were struggling to provide the greatest quarterback in history a functioning offence, why or how would they do that for Rodgers?
Not to mention the fact that Rodgers would come with a hefty price tag the Patriots simply would not want to be lumbered with.
The Patriots are also in the midst of their own quarterback dilemma and will likely have to take decisive action before Rodgers could even think about heading to Foxborough.
Don’t get me wrong – swapping Tom Brady for arguably the next best thing has Bill Belichick written all over it but too many factors would have to fall into place.
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