GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers knows what it’s like to replace a legend. His road to becoming a Super Bowl champion and NFL Most Valuable Player was not made easy by his predecessor, Brett Favre.
So, with the Indianapolis Colts selecting first overall in the upcoming NFL draft and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck as their likely pick to replace Peyton Manning, Rodgers has some advice for everyone involved.
“It is a similar situation,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on 540 WAUK in Milwaukee, referring to what he went through with Favre. “Obviously it has different components, but it is a similar situation. All three parties included, (Colts owner) Jim Irsay, the Mannings, which includes Archie and Petyon, and Andrew Luck, would do a lot of good for the situation by not talking about it as much as there has been.
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“Andrew, first and foremost, having not been picked yet, although most people assume he’s going to go number one, I think it would do him a lot of good to have a less-is-more strategy right now as it would come to the potential situation in Indy.”
Manning, who had neck surgery and was unable to play at all in the 2011 season, has reportedly been cleared by doctors to return to football. However, after signing a huge contract extension with the Colts last season, Manning is owed $28 million in 2012 if he’s still on the roster. That, along with a 2-14 record by the Colts last season, has the team looking to go in a different direction.
Irsay, the outspoken team owner, has made headlines frequently in recent weeks with his comments about Manning’s future. Manning, in return, has also spoken out, refuting much of what Irsay has said.
Although not identical in nature, there were similarly uncomfortable moments before the Packers traded Favre in 2008. Although Rodgers remained mostly quiet at the time, general manager Ted Thompson clearly wanted to be done with Favre and move on to Rodgers. Favre didn’t want his career to be over and ended up playing three more seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.
Now, it could be Manning doing what most Colts fans could never imagine: playing in a different team’s uniform. Luck, in the role of Rodgers, has to balance very delicately if he is to ultimately be Manning’s successor.
“I would be more than willing to talk with (Luck), as I have other young quarterbacks in the past,” Rodgers said.