A dispute that spanned the entire offseason, and perhaps longer, finally reached a partial resolution on Monday. The Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers came to an understanding that convinced the reigning MVP to return to the team in 2021. However, the terms of their agreement also paint a clear path that would allow Rodgers and the organization to go their separate ways in 2022. If this is his last season in a Packers uniform season, fans need to enjoy every bit of it.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, there are multiple layers to the arrangement. The 2023 season is now void for Rodgers after it was originally scheduled to be the final year of his current deal. Also, the terms of Rodgers’ contract have been adjusted to create immediate cap relief. Green Bay has put mechanisms in place to address Rodgers’ issues with the team, and at the end of the upcoming season, Rodgers will meet with Packers officials to revisit the situation.
Most importantly, Rodgers is expected to play in Green Bay in 2021, which as of a few days seemed unlikely. This is a win for an organization that went from having all of their hopes dashed to now having a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl. However, this also means Rodgers’ days as a Packer are dwindling at a rapid rate.
What this Band-Aid grants both sides is time, which naturally favors Green Bay. They now have more time to evaluate Jordan Love and prepare for life post-Rodgers. Unfortunately, life without Rodgers leaves a huge void for fans who have watched this incredible player grow before their very eyes.
Once upon a time, Rodgers was in a similar place as Love, receiving undeserved scrutiny for no other reason than existing. When Rodgers got his chance in 2008, well, the rest is history. One Super Bowl ring and three MVPs later, he is the quarterback the fans can’t live without.
If it were to come down to a decision between Rodgers and general manager Brian Gutekunst, most would probably choose Rodgers in a heartbeat. After all, he’s the one who carried this team through tough times and provided fans so much enjoyment over the years. Without Rodgers, optimism is practically nil. There is not as much winning, and hope is scarce.
Time, of course, is the keyword here. Rodgers has spent 16 seasons with the Packers, and his next could be his last. Watching Rodgers walk away is unfathomable to a fan base that has already seen a Hall of Fame quarterback play for a divisional rival.
Hopefully, Rodgers will choose not to follow in the same footsteps as Brett Favre. Who knows, there is a chance, albeit a small one, that Rodgers could still finish his career in Green Bay. A Super Bowl win in early 2022 would go a long way towards enticing Rodgers to stay.
However, as Packers fans have grown to understand, Super Bowls are not easy to come by. Without a Lombardi Trophy, 2021 is shaping up to be Rodgers’ final year as a Packer. All fans can do now is prepare. Before you know it, the heart and soul of this franchise will be gone. But for now, enjoy it.
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