5 possible NFL teams if he leaves the Packers
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers may or may not be heading for a divorce this offseason.
Rodgers, 38, was evasive when asked directly about the possibility after a devastating 13-10 home loss to the 49ers on Saturday, saying, “I don’t want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing.”
With the Packers around $45 million over the cap for next season, it will be a significant challenge fielding a roster as talented as the NFC’s top seed this season.
“That’s a good question – definitely one I thought of,” Rodgers said. “But there are a lot of decisions to be made and key players…So many guys’ contracts are on the brink or salary caps, so many decisions to be made.”
If Rodgers and the Packers part ways, it’s much more likely that Green Bay will trade him to the AFC so they don’t have to face him in the playoffs, except maybe in the Super Bowl. These are five franchises that make sense for the 2021 NFL MVP.
1. Denver Broncos
The Broncos have a clean slate at quarterback next season. Teddy Bridgewater was on a one-year contract and Drew Lock only capped $2.2 million next season. The Broncos have two strong young receivers in Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, to accompany a solid defense that includes young cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
They could also install a coach familiar with Rodgers – Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has been work related by Vik Chokshi, editor of Fox Sports.
John Elway could also sell Rodgers knowing what it’s like to win late-career Super Bowls as a legendary quarterback, in addition to guiding Peyton Manning to do the same in Denver.
2. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are in a tricky situation with Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins have won eight of their last nine games this season but did not make the playoffs. Prior to the winning streak, the Dolphins were the team most heavily tied to trading for Deshaun Watson.
Jaylen Waddle is a star receiver in the making, and there might also be some leeway to bring in a coach who knows Rodgers.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
All the chatter over the past few months was that this was Ben Roethlisberger’s last season in silver and gold. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers are expected to have more than $42 million in cap space for next season. Would they be willing to part with enough draft capital to land Rodgers, or will they try to find Roethlisberger’s replacement via draft or trash?
4. Cleveland Browns
This is where it starts to get tricky with teams expected to offload contracts with existing starting quarterbacks. The Browns picked a fifth-year option for Baker Mayfield, which means he owes about $19 million, and there won’t be a buoyant trade market for him.
Nevertheless, the Browns have an excellent defense led by Myles Garrett and Nick Chubb is an elite running back. It’s a franchise where if you plug in Rodgers, he would immediately become a Super Bowl contender.
5. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have another year with Carson Wentz before they can offload him without loss of course. That being said, they could move on now for a cap of $15 million. Colts coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard did not commit to whether they would bring Wentz back next season. This is another team that could conceivably be in contention for a Super Bowl title with Rodgers at quarterback — and playing in a dome would likely come in handy for him late in his career.
Similar to the Browns and Colts, other teams that might be worth watching if they want to make a bold upgrade include the Raiders and Titans.