Most of us have been in a situation where we know a relationship is about to end. There is a point and time when you awkwardly tip-toe around it. Maybe even a last-ditch effort to salvage things – perhaps a vacation or dinner at your favorite restaurant. In the end, somebody has to say those two words – it’s over.
This is precisely what the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers are doing right now. Except it feels like they’ve moved on to other interests and are trying to figure out what the separation agreement looks like.
From the Green Bay Packers' standpoint, I get the rationale. Firstly, let’s acknowledge they have been highly fortunate in the quarterback department going from fifteen years of Brett Favre to fourteen years of Rodgers (and a dash of Matt Flynn and Brett Hundley). It’s infrequent that you have two reigns from bonafide Hall of Famers. But then there’s Jordan Love, who the Packers drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and arguably kicked off this tenseness.
Come May 1st, it’s decision time for the Packers regarding Love’s fifth-year option. You have to see what you have in him with an entire season at the helm, right? This is eerily similar to what happened at the beginning of the 2008 season. Now, Rodgers is in the Favre role, and again, the New York Jets have come calling to provide another landing spot. For Rodgers, it just depends if he still wants to play (that seems to change by the day).
The Packers were on the cusp of a wild card spot until they were overpowered at home by the Detroit Lions in the last game of the season – at Lambeau Field, of all places. That loss seemed poetic as a potential changing of the guard in the NFC North. Sure, there were a lot of complications to that Packers year. Rodgers played with a broken thumb for part of it and had a relatively young receiving corps after Devante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders.
However, that stranglehold the Packers had on the division (and in the NFC) felt like it was weakening before then. From 2019-2021, the Packers made the NFC Championship Game three times and failed to get to the promised land. The contract the Packers gave Rodgers before the 2022 season felt like the “last stitch” effort to make things work.
What’s the saying – money can’t buy you love. It feels like the team and the player are silently moving their belongings out of each other houses while the other isn’t home. Nothing is forever, and that’s true in sports. Hell, Tom Brady eventually had to move on from the New England Patriots, and they won six Super Bowls together. If Rodgers does go to the Jets, it would be an immense boost to that young team – even if his skill set has taken a hit in time.
Even as successful as this partnership was, it’s crazy to think you have one Super Bowl victory to show for it. For now, the split is all but a formality. Rodgers can use his darkness retreats to decompress from the stress of taking the New York subway, and the Packers can start the process all over again. Until then, let’s listen to Outkast’s 2006 song to send us off.