The NFL preseason is rapidly approaching, and it’s still unclear where Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will play in 2021. Rodgers, 37, apparently wants out of Green Bay after 16 seasons and has not shown up for offseason workouts. But will the Packers actually trade the reigning NFL MVP?
On the one hand, a trade seems unlikely for several reasons. For starters, dealing Rodgers would make Green Bay dramatically worse in the short run. After winning 13 regular-season games and reaching the NFC Championship Game in each of the past two seasons, the Packers are legitimate Super Bowl contenders with Rodgers under center.
Without Rodgers, Green Bay would be lucky to finish .500. The New England Patriots sputtered to 7-9 last year in their first season without Tom Brady. The Packers would likely suffer a similar fate if they parted ways with their franchise quarterback and handed the keys to Jordan Love, who has yet to take a single snap in the NFL.
There also isn’t much of a trade market for Rodgers right now. While landing him would make almost every team better, few teams are able to build a compelling package that would make trading Rodgers worthwhile for Green Bay. And we’re just not sure that is worth it when taking into account futures odds when making these NFL betting picks.
The Packers are exploring their options and have reportedly had trade discussions with the Denver Broncos, but nothing has come of them so far.
On the other hand, a change of scenery for Rodgers might be best for everyone. He’s clearly unhappy in Green Bay, and the trade rumors surrounding him have brought a lot of unwanted attention on both him and the team. If Rodgers stays, he’ll likely be a significant distraction for the Packers, especially if he holds out. And while his discontent hasn’t affected his performance on the field, the negativity surrounding him could have a toxic effect in the locker room.
Furthermore, both parties might benefit from a fresh start. Rodgers has spent his whole career in Green Bay, so it’s completely understandable if he wants to play somewhere else. The Packers have consistently squandered his gifts over the years, failing to surround him with adequate talent and coaching. For all his regular-season success, Rodgers has only one Super Bowl ring to show for it, and you can bet he wants at least one more.
As for the Packers, ridding themselves of Rodgers, his drama, and his huge contract would be a giant weight off their shoulders. They could focus on building around Love rather than keep trying to make it worth with Rodgers, who reportedly turned down a massive contract extension from them, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. When a marriage isn’t working, sometimes the only solution is a divorce.
If the Packers do trade Rodgers, it will have sweeping ramifications on the NFL and sportsbooks alike. It would torpedo Green Bay’s chances of winning the NFC North, where the Chicago Bears would likely become the betting favorite. Meanwhile, whichever team Rodgers goes to would become a Super Bowl contender overnight. Accordingly, many sports bettors are holding off on making NFL Futures bets until the situation is resolved, while some sports books are waiting to see where he goes before publishing odds on the Packers.
Rodgers has made himself the story of the NFL offseason. No one knows how that story will end, so we’ll all just have to keep waiting to find out.
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