Top 10 Reasons To Trade 12

I‘ve been blogging about the Packers since 2004, and the only time I’ve ever been accused of being a homer is when it comes to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. I supported him during the debacle with Brett Favre in 2008, and I defended him after some subpar performances in the postseason. So I take no pleasure in writing this next line – it’s time for the greatest franchise in the history of the NFL to say goodbye to one of its greatest players.

Here are the top 10 reasons why GM Brian Gutekunst should make the best trade possible before the start of camp:

1) Rodgers no longer wants to play for the Packers

While Rodgers doesn’t have the cojones to say these words himself, he’s gotten the message out loud and clear through his friends around the NFL and in the national media. And give him credit; he’s been able to make himself look like the wronged party – which isn’t an easy thing to do when you’re one of the highest-paid players in the league.

2) These aren’t the Green Bay Rodgers

It’s embarrassing to watch Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur grovel. Meanwhile, Rodgers has to be loving it. Seinfeld‘s George Costanza once talked about the importance of having “hand” in a relationship. Well, Rodgers has plenty of hand now, and if he comes back, you can be sure he’ll use it to bitch-slap the franchise for the next few years.

3) Rodgers turns 38 in December

Watching Tom Brady win Super Bowls in his 40s makes it easy to forget that he’s the anomaly when it comes to aging quarterbacks. Most – think John Elway, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees – are either retired or running on fumes by the time they approach the Big 4-0. And the end usually happens quickly. So while Rodgers was named MVP last season, that doesn’t mean he’ll keep playing at the same level next season – let alone three years from now.

4) Rodgers’ value will never be higher

No reigning MVP has ever been traded, so you can be sure more than a few teams will be extremely interested should Rodgers be made available. It’s not hard to imagine Gutekunst getting four high picks and a quality young player in return. That would be quite the haul for a QB who turns 38 this season and who doesn’t want to play for the Packers.

5) Jordan Love was drafted for a reason

Gutekunst isn’t dumb, so he had to know exactly what his actions on that April night in 2020 would mean. He obviously thinks highly of Love, so he should let the youngster take his lumps in 2021 – much like Rodgers did in 2008 – and then trust that his instincts developed under the great Ron Wolf and honed over 20 years of scouting were right.

6) Love is a very talented player

There’s no way of knowing what kind of quarterback the former Utah State star will be, but it’s not like the Packers would have to replace Rodgers with Seneca Wallace, Graham Harrell, or Scott Tolzien. Love has the skill set to be a very good QB in the NFL. As good as Rodgers? Probably not, but he doesn’t have to be. If Gutekunst uses all those extra draft picks wisely, the Packers could surround Love with one of the most talented rosters in the league.

7) This offense doesn’t need a great QB

LaFleur learned offense under Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay, and he watched both of his buddies have great success with less than stellar play at quarterback. There’s no reason why Love can’t be at least as good as Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers) and Jared Goff (ex-Rams); In fact, he should be better. The Packers would surround him with a solid offensive line, a first-team All-Pro wide receiver, multiple talented young tight ends, and a Pro Bowl running back.

8) Rodgers counts for 20% of the cap

Trading Rodgers would go a long way in fixing what has become an ugly situation with the salary cap. Not only would it clear $15 million after June 1, but it would give the Packers some much-needed breathing room next offseason. Plus, if a trade happened to bring back a quality young wide receiver like the Broncos’ Jerry Jeudy, Gutekunst wouldn’t have to spend between $18M and $22M a year to keep Davante Adams, who turns 30 in 2022.

9) The Packers already blew their best chance

Aside from the injury to star tackle David Bakhtiari, everything went right for the Packers last season, and they still couldn’t get to the Super Bowl. They had a bye. They had home field throughout the playoffs. They didn’t have to deal with the 49ers. They intercepted Brady three times in the second half of the NFCC. And they still couldn’t get it done.

10) The Packers haven’t played in a Super Bowl since 2010

In all likelihood, Rodgers will be better than Love next season, the season after that, and the season after that. Heck, he might be better five years from now. But Love doesn’t need to be as good as Rodgers. He just needs to be good enough. The Packers have gone an entire decade without playing in a Super Bowl, and Rodgers was superb in most of those seasons. Maybe a lesser quarterback supported by a stronger 53-man roster is the way to go. And building a stronger 53-man roster should be a lot easier with all the additional high draft picks acquired in a trade.

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  1. Gutekunst has repeatedly said he will not trade Rodgers. While Love is definitely the future. Rodgers is the right now. Gutekunst has pushed too much money into this year’s cap and next to give not only Rodgers but Davante Adams one more shot at a SB. A trade is out of the question. He plays or he sits.

    A good GM builds his roster for today but must also have an eye towards the future. That means egos can get bruised along the way. And nobody’s ego is bigger than Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers was offered, betrayed, slighted, you name it, by Gutekunst over the Jordan Love pick and the release of Jake Kumerow. And what did an unhappy Rodgers do? He won the MVP. It isn’t Brian Gutekunst responsibility to make Aaron Rodgers happy. That’s Shailene Woodley’s job. Your boss doesn’t care if you like him or not.

    • I’m not predicting a trade. Like I’ve written many times, I think the Packers will eventually cave and Rodgers will return. But I do think trading a soon-to-be 38-year-old QB makes a lot of sense if you can get back 4 or 5 high draft picks and a good young player in return. The right GM could build a dynasty with that kind of haul. Of course, Gutekunst probably isn’t that GM, but that’s another story.

      • Yeah, I waver back and forth on the trade issue myself. It would certainly make sense. Now, right after the season I was all for it. But since he’s trying to force the issue in the public forum I’m less inclined to make a trade based on principle.

        It all boils down to if you think Rodgers can win a SB. Personally I don’t think he can based on past performance. Brian Gutekunst obviously thinks otherwise. He refuses to entertain trade offers and has pushed contacts into futures years. Something Ted would never do.

        He’s what I know. If I’m Rodgers and I lose the NFCC game the way we did. I go to Gutekunst and say “Brian we were close, what can I do to move some money around so we can get a WR or CB”. Not unlike what Brady did with the Bucs. Instead we get this BS story after the game about “ I don’t know if I’ll be back, I don’t know what my future holds.”. That kind of crap. Look dude, you signed a contract, of course you’ll be back.

        He doesn’t care about the Packers, ok, fair enough. But he doesn’t care about winning a SB either. Because he’ll never win a SB in Denver. He won’t even win the division. He’ll always be Kanas City and Patrick Mahomes whipping boy in Denver. That means he goes on the road to Buffalo, Baltimore, Cleveland and ultimately back to KC in the playoffs. He’s best chance is to stay where he’s at. He’s either too stubborn or he just doesn’t care about another ring. Which makes him another selfish athlete.

  2. Wow. I love your work Mike but this surprises me. A Rod carries a sub par roster year after year and you want him gone. How about let’s surround him with a great defense for what would be only the second time in his career or give him a legit #2 WR

    • Believe me, I didn’t want 12 gone until he said he wanted to be gone. And while I agree about surrounding him with a great defense, that just isn’t happening. The line and inside linebackers are still mediocre, and as far as Joe Barry is concerned, I’m just hoping he’s a slight upgrade over Pettine.

      • Here’s what I saw. A mediocre DL and ILB group that held the Bucs to a FG in the 4th quarter of the NFCC game. While Aaron Rodgers was 4/11 for 54 yards. The DL and ILB weren’t the problem but already the excuses are coming. He’d get no such luxury in Denver. What would have help more would have been to upgrade the corner position opposite Alexander which Gutekunst tried to do in FA when he went after Kyle Fuller. Fuller would have been an immediate upgrade over Kevin King. But he got out bid by Denver because Rodgers was too busy trying to get out of town rather than restructure his deal to free up cash to upgrade the team.

        • Two things can be true at the same time. One, the Packers don’t get near the playoffs without Rodgers. Two, he came up small when it mattered most.

          Rodgers is a smart guy. After stinking it up in the 4th quarter against Tampa Bay, he made sure the focus would be on his future and not the way he played. I think he’s using the media again to get exactly what he wants, which is more money, power, and security.

  3. This is a compelling argument from a logical standpoint but in reality would be a death sentence for Gutekunsts reputation. Especially if Rodgers went on to win a Super Bowl elsewhere.

  4. Something tells me that either next season, 2021, or 2022, Rodgers will have another serious injury and will miss a half season or more. At that time we will see what Love can or can’t do. That is, provided Gutekunst doesn’t cave and give away (trade) Love.

    It will be very interesting if Love performs well in the injury replacement role.

  5. Trade Rodgers? The historical equivalents – the 1989 Cowboys/Vikings Herschel Walker trade, the 1974 Rams/Packers John Hadl trade. The Cowboys used the picks they gouged Minnesota for to win multiple Super Bowls, and the Rams loaded up their roster with great players and were very good for several years. I say find a sucker and fleece ’em good.

  6. Easily some of the most homer garbage I’ve read of late and that is saying something. I love the fact you think it’s a turn key setup for Love despite the fact Rodgers has been covering up the ineptitude of particularly Murphy, who was completely asleep at the wheel when TT and McVince were going in the tank. I mean Russ Ball is a stand in GM? Makes me feel good about the future. The current GM is a stooge for the now tough guy Murphy.

    I want you to think about the metric ton of failure in handling a HOF QB because you can’t make a phone call on draft night. A phone call. Guess what kids, the front office dopes are in the job of management. Brandt, Holmgren have already called out these idiots for being unable to do the 101 of their jobs.

    I love seeing manufactured reasoning for Rodgers failure after his response, right or wrong, to the idiot GM being unable to make a frickin’ phone call.

  7. NOBODY has been tougher on Gutekunst and Murphy than me. NOBODY. But I also see the big picture, and keeping an unhappy star player almost never works out. But thanks for your insight. It’s always nice when someone’s first comment starts with “easily some of the most homer garbage I’ve read of late.”

    • It seemed to work out just fine last year and he wasn’t happy then. He also wasn’t happy the last couple of years with McCarthy as HC. He wasn’t happy when Jordy was cut. And he wasn’t happy when his QB coach was let go. After all this misery, I just don’t see the rush now to make Rodgers happy and trade him. I mean, he got a new coach, he got a contract with 100 million guaranteed. Aaron Rodgers needs football more than football needs Aaron Rodgers. This all seems silly to me.

      Still, I’d be curious to see what Dew Lock could do in Matt LaFleur’s offense. If we got him and Jerry Juedy and a pick or two. Think about it. Lock could start right away and we wouldn’t have put all our eggs in the Jordan Love basket. Think of Brett Favre and Mark Brunell. Or Aaron Rodgers and Brian Braun . There’s nothing wrong with hedging your bet at the most important position in football. Juedy would give us an option at WR with Davante Adams almost assuredly leaving in FA next season.

      As for Rodgers he’d be on a team buried so far down the AFC pecking order he’d never sniff a championship game again. Think Favre to the Jets. I’m a man of principle. But there’s a lot to like here…


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Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.
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