The saga between the Green Bay Packers and star quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been going for a while now, simmering and eventually boiling over during the offseason. Rodgers has since rejoined the team for preseason practice even as the future is in doubt for the two sides. Many have figured that Rodgers will leave the franchise following the season or just retire and pursue other opportunities (though not the Jeopardy! hosting gig or as a TV analyst).
Rodgers has been back at camp for a while now and he’s gotten back into the swing of things with his teammates. He also seems to know full-well that regardless of what happens with him, the current make-up of the Packers roster is not going to last very long. In fact, when asked about it on Thursday, Rodgers implied to reporters that the team needs to have a now-or-never mentally for the 2021-2022 NFL season.
“Look, I think we all know what’s at stake,” Rodgers said after Thursday’s practice. “I talked about that a little bit the other day about perspective and how important that perspective is to focus on this season and enjoy the most out of this season because there are a lot of unknowns. Davante, Marquez, Allen (Lazard, who will be a restricted free agent), Bobby, Marcedes (Lewis), some guys up front, guys on defense. They jumped through some hoops to get under the cap this year. Obviously, the cap is expected to go back up next year but you never know.”
As Rodgers notes, WR Davante Adams, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, TE Robert Tonyan, and many others will be free agents when the season is over. It’s unlikely that Green Bay will re-sign all of them, let alone most of them. And that’s before you factor in that the Packers are roughly $50 million over next year’s salary-cap ceiling at the moment. To say nothing of the fact that Rodgers himself might not be here either.
Indeed, this could be the final chance this version of the Green Bay Packers has to win a Super Bowl. The team has certainly had some great runs recently, making it to the NFC Championship Game four times in the last seven years. However, they also lost all four of those games and their Super Bowl victory in 2010 feels like a lifetime ago.