Green Bay Packers President, Mark Murphy was interviewed during the NFL Honors show and said there was “no hard deadline” for the Packers and the quarterback to decide on his future. Aaron Rodgers then announced he was going on a “darkness retreat” for four days. So neither part seems desperate for an outcome but it seems unlikely he stays in Wisconsin. One thing is for sure, plenty of suitors will try to attract Rodgers
Where Could Aaron Rodgers Land?
Las Vegas Attracts All-Sorts
The Las Vegas Raiders cut ties with Derek Carr on the 14th of February (who says romance is dead?). Josh McDaniels is allegedly an offensive guru but more importantly, Davante Adams has already caught 68 touchdown passes from Rodgers.
Technically the Raiders need to figure out if they are going to re-sign Josh Jacobs first, but they do have nine picks in the upcoming draft to trade. The Packers would probably want three first-round picks, but they’d definitely be interested in the number seven pick in the 2023 draft the Raiders have as a starting point.
The Raiders have less than $11 million in cap room as it currently stands but by re-signing some veterans and maybe by releasing some other expensive contracts, they could probably make it work.
New York Attracts Those Looking For Fame and Fortune
Why wouldn’t Rodgers follow another well-known megalomaniac and sometime quarterback Brett Favre to the Big Apple? It doesn’t seem to be going well for second-overall pick Zach Wilson in the Jets locker room and with Mike White (and incidentally Joe Flacco) out of contract gang green needs at least one new signal caller.
There are two young and very good offensive tackles on the New York Jets roster who will protect him well if they stay healthy. Garrett Wilson had a 1,000-yard season as a rookie and Breece Hall looks like an elite running back if he can stay healthy. If all that wasn’t enough to attract Rodgers the Jets offensive coordinator is Packers’ head coach Matt LaFleur’s younger brother Mike.
The Jets are already $4.3 million over the salary cap so they’re going to need to do plenty to do. Why not create enough space to make a big-name signing too?
Tampa Bay Attracts Snowbirds
Tompa Bay is no more, so why not attract another Super Bowl winning veteran quarterback? Well, the Buccaneers are already in a $58.2 million cap space hole (more like a grave) so they might struggle to afford Rodgers.
They’ve currently only got Kyle Trask and Blaine Gabbert on their roster though, so they probably need to recruit an experienced starting quarterback.
The Buccaneers also need an offensive coordinator but the only gaping hole on their roster is the quarterback position, so watch this space.
Shane Steichen has jumped off the Eagles staff to become Colts head coach (it worked so well the last time an OC left Philly for Indianapolis) and he’s going to need to attract a quarterback. That is if Jim Irsay lets him pick one. They still have Matt Ryan and Nick Foles on the roster but it’s hard to see Steichen wanting to deal with that mess in his first year as a head coach.
Indianapolis does at least have some cap space to play with, only around $5 million at the moment but it’s a base to work from.
And it’s only 274 miles away from the NBA team Rodgers partially owns.
Atlanta Attracts Controversy
The Falcons appear to be stuck in some sort of mediocre quarterback purgatory with the perfectly acceptable Marcus Mariota and the “well, maybe he’ll get better” Desmond Ridder. In the NFC South with Frank Reich landing in Carolina and David Tepper willing to spend as much as is needed to win now they can’t wait to find out if Ridder is good.
Atlanta does have $51 million in cap room, but they have a lot of gaps to fill, and 25 players headed to free agency so they could afford Rodgers, but could they sell themselves to him? Arthur Smith’s background as an offensive-minded coach plus Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Olamide Zaccheaus to catch passes would appeal to Rodgers.
San Francisco Attracts Gold Diggers
Playing for a team who were a healthy quarterback away from winning the NFC would be ideal for Rodgers, Rodgers grew up 195 miles away from Levi Stadium and attended college 47 miles away, so it’d be a sort of homecoming.
With Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Jauan Jennings (who’s eerily similar to Davante Adams) and Deebo Samuel already bedded into that 49er’s offense quarterbacks would be queueing up to slot in.
The 49ers currently have $4.7 million in cap room, but they would be willing to make some big moves if they thought that Rodgers is the final piece in their Super Bowl puzzle.
Houston Attracts Space Cadets
The Texans have currently got $25.6 million available to spend and they’d move heaven and earth to get an experienced quarterback as they haven’t had one of those since Brian Hoyer in 2015! Under Lovie Smith the Texans had a very promising defense with some excellent rookies. The offense really needs rebuilding but where better place to start than with a star quarterback? If DeMeco Ryans wants any chance of keeping his job for more than one year, he should be pushing the owners to move heaven and earth for a big name to lead his offense.
New Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik followed Ryans from San Francisco where he was the passing coordinator, so he’s bound to want to pass the ball more than most. Rodgers seems to enjoy playing in Houston too he only lost once to the Texans, in Green Bay. He’s thrown 10 touchdowns with no interceptions in NRG stadium.
Main Photo: Wm. Glasheen – USA TODAY Sports