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The Continuing Saga of Aaron Rodgers: Where Will He End Up?

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It has been an ongoing story starting just around the time of the 2021 NFL draft. Green Bay QB and reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers let it be known that he was unhappy with his situation in Green Bay. ESPN reported on Rodgers’ situation just hours before the 2021 draft was to begin.

Since it’s been a guessing game as to what happens. Apparently, Rodgers is not interested in returning to Green Bay because of his frustration with the front office. There are all sorts of speculation as to why, but no one knows for sure why Rodgers has all of a sudden said he is not interested in playing for the Packers anymore.

If he doesn’t play in Green Bay, where will Aaron Rodgers end up? That is the one question NFL fans are begging for an answer to.

Best Bet – Denver

The Broncos have not had a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback since the day Peyton Manning retired in 2015. Denver’s most recent solution is Drew Lock, a second-round pick in 2019. The Lock experiment in Denver will likely get a third attempt in 2021, but if the Broncos were able to obtain a quarterback like Rodgers they just might be able to get back to the Super Bowl.

Denver did not go after a quarterback in this year’s draft instead opting for cornerback Patrick Surtain II. Was that because they ultimately could make a deal for Rodgers? Possibly, but head coach Vic Fangio continues to put together what could be one of the NFL’s better defenses in 2021.

The City by the Bay

Well, the city by the bay – San Francisco – which is not far from where Rodgers grew up is out of the question. The 49ers selected Trey Lance with the third pick in the draft and they still have Jimmy Garoppolo, who will likely start to begin the season. The other team by the bay is now in Las Vegas and the Raiders could be a possibility.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has hinted, at times, that Derek Carr might not be the answer in Vegas. The Raiders have a very strong running game with Josh Jacobs at running back and a defense that keeps them in games. They just can’t seem to get over that 8-8 hump. Rodgers would be just the guy to get them over that hump.

Other Destinations

What about New Orleans? Future Hall of Famer Drew Brees retired in the offseason and the fate of the Saints now rests in former interception king Jameis Winston or fan-favorite Taysom Hill. Rodgers in New Orleans would give the Saints a definite shot at a fifth straight NFC South Division title. Without him, the division belongs to reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay.

Washington looked to be a solid destination, but the team signed journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick to replace the hole left by the retirement of Alex Smith. After suffering a horrific leg injury, Fitzpatrick won the Comeback Player of the Year award for returning to Washington and helping the franchise win the division and earn a playoff berth. Rodgers to Washington isn’t going to happen, but could division rival New York be a landing spot?

The Giants may be tiring of Daniel Jones, and with Mike Glennon and untested Clayton Thorson behind him, the Giants could use some help. Rodgers to the Giants is about as likely as any of these other spots besides Denver.

Where Will He Land?

As training camp nears – all teams will report on July 27 (except Pittsburgh and Dallas who play in the Hall of Fame game) – there is a prevailing thought in the Aaron Rodgers saga. He is going to stay in Green Bay. The Packers are not going to trade him. There was no way they were ever going to. The result would have been a $38 million-plus dead money salary cap hit.

Aaron Rodgers skipped the team’s OTAs and minicamp but did so with no penalty as both are not mandatory by league rules. That is different for training camp, a mandatory NFL activity. Rodgers can be fined $50,000 per day for an “unexcused” absence from training camp. If he doesn’t show for training camp, Rodgers will owe roughly $1.4 million in fines.

If he misses the whole preseason including the games, Rodgers will also forgo about $2.6 million in salary. A handful of Rodgers Packers teammates believe he will show up, at least at some point, for Green Bay’s training camp. That is probably the best-case scenario for both sides, but NFL fans will have to wait until July 27 to find out what happens in the Aaron Rodgers saga.