National Football League

Not-So-Jolly Rodgers

January 30

Aaron Rodgers is not one for mincing words.

The latest bold statement from the Green Bay Packers' quarterback came after the franchise's disappointing loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game.

Rodgers finished the 2020 season authoring one of the greatest individual campaigns of his Hall of Fame career en route to a strong case for his third regular-season MVP award. He set career highs in completion percentage (70.7) and touchdown passes (48) and recorded the second-highest passer rating in a season in league history.

In fact, his passer rating of 121.5 has been bested by only his own mark of 122.5 in 2011, the year he won his first MVP.

After a historic season, why in the world would Rodgers want out?

Colin Cowherd doesn't understand, noting that Rodgers fell short of his second Super Bowl appearance only because postseason Tom Brady is unstoppable, and that's something a multitude of legendary quarterbacks have experienced.

Rodgers enjoys a decent setup in Green Bay, playing in a favorable division, behind a stout offensive line and throwing to a top wide receiver.

Rodgers' go-to guy, Davante Adams, was a force in 2020. Adams ranked first in yards per game (98.1), first in touchdowns (18) and tied for second in receptions (115) among receivers despite missing two games and change to injury.

Rodgers was able to connect with Adams often because of the protection of his offensive line. He took the fewest sacks of his career in 2020 (20), a whopping eight fewer than in his 2014 MVP campaign. 

He was guarded by the second-best line in the league, according to PFF. 

Put it all together, and Rodgers has enjoyed an incredible amount of success in Green Bay. The club has reigned supreme over the NFC North in back-to-back seasons, and the Packers own seven division titles since the 2010 season.

Because of all Green Bay has to offer, Nick Wright doesn't buy that Rodgers meant his words.

However, not everything is as rosy as it seems behind the cheddar curtain.

Beyond Adams, the Packers' receiving core lacks star power, and in 2020, the franchise surprised many by not spending its first-round pick — in a class loaded at receiver — on a new weapon for Rodgers. Instead, the team drafted his potential replacement.

What's more, besides trading up a few spots to take quarterback Jordan Love, Green Bay hasn't drafted an offensive player in the first round since the team picked Rodgers in 2005.

NFL analyst Greg Jennings believes that if Green Bay won't pay up and provide Rodgers the tools he wants, the quarterback might soon be packing his bags.

At least the franchise already has his successor on the roster.


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