The NFL landscape could look a lot different next year. According to the latest rumors across the web, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady could all decide to move on from their respective organizations at the end of the year.
NFL Rumors: Sean Payton, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is one of the best in the business. In 2021, he guided his team to a 9-8 record despite having to deal with Drew Brees’ retirement, a terrible cap situation, and injuries to all three of his top quarterbacks. Needless to say, this season was challenging, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the head coach is considering taking a year off.
Rapoport claims that Payton has not yet informed the organization that he will be back in 2022, although the NFL insider acknowledges that he has not yet heard from Payton himself. The head coach is reportedly on vacation and has not responded to Rapoport, and apparently has also gone dark on “several people close to him.”
According to this report, Payton is considering taking a year off after an incredibly taxing season. If this happens, he could come back in 2023, but it probably won’t be to coach the Saints. If New Orleans has to hire a replacement, it will probably mean the end of the Sean Payton Era. Needless to say, Payton is one of the best coaches of his era, so he shouldn’t struggle too much to find work in 2023, if such a situation arises.
Only time will tell if the one-time Super Bowl champion returns to the Big Easy. If this truly is the end of the road, then he will undoubtedly be remembered as the greatest coach in franchise history.
Aaron Rodgers Noncommital About 2022
After a strong regular season, Aaron Rodgers finished the 2021 campaign on the lowest of notes. In a loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the one-time Super Bowl champion only put up 10 points while failing to throw for a single touchdown. Following the game, Rodgers wouldn’t commit to coming back to the Packers in 2022.
This shouldn’t be much of a surprise for anyone, as the quarterback spent the entire offseason trying to force a trade out of Green Bay. Both the team and player agreed to give it one more go in 2021, with Rodgers comparing this season to Michael Jordan’s Last Dance. For what it’s worth, the Packers are $44 million over the salary cap and still need to re-sign Davante Adams. Rodgers doesn’t want to be part of a rebuild, and the Packers might need to move heaven and earth to field a competitive roster next year.
Rodgers on whether this team is still set up to win a Super Bowl with all the pending free agents and salary-cap issues, he said:
"That's a fair question — definitely one I've thought about."
He added: "I don't want to be a part of a rebuild if I'm going to keep playing." https://t.co/QGaoaVRI8S
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) January 23, 2022
It appears as though Rodgers would prefer to continue his playing career with a contender, but he hasn’t ruled out retirement. Seeing as he is under contract, a team would need to trade for the quarterback in order to secure his services in the upcoming season. A team like the Denver Broncos or Pittsburgh Steelers would probably do this in a heartbeat, as Rodgers still has plenty in the tank, despite what Saturday’s game might indicate.
Tom Brady Might Be Done After Playoffs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady simply refuses to age. The 44-year old quarterback is in the midst of one of his best seasons ever, leading Tampa Bay to a 13-4 record while putting up a strong MVP-caliber season. The seven-time Super Bowl champion clearly has a lot left in his tank, but he might be hanging up the cleat at the end of the year.
Citing a source close to Brady, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport states that Brady’s retirement is “an issue to be concerned about and pay attention to.” While nothing is guaranteed, it appears as though Brady will take some time after the season to decide if he wants to come back in 2022.
Now in his mid-40’s, it’s clear that Brady is closer to the end of the road than the beginning. Additionally, reading between the lines shows that this report has merit. Brady’s final episode of Man in the Arena is set to air after the conclusion of the 2021 season, and it could serve as a good time to release a retirement video.
Brady’s Buccaneers are still alive and set to face off against the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round. If Brady doesn’t win the Super Bowl, then perhaps he comes back and tries to finish his career on top. However, if he wins the Super Bowl and/or the MVP, it’s going to be hard to come up with a better finish than that.
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