On Jan. 22, the Green Bay Packers lost in devastating fashion to the San Francisco 49ers, where quarterback Aaron Rodgers may have played his final game at Lambeau Stadium.
Rodgers is under contract with the Packers through 2023 with a potential out before the 2022 season. According to Spotrac, Rodgers is set to have a cap hit of $46 million in 2022 and a cap hit of $33 million in 2023. For the 2022 season, the Packers are already $38 million over the cap limit.
In the case that Rodgers chooses to continue his career, the Packers can potentially trade him for a haul of draft picks and maybe even players.
To make matters worse, the Packers are set to lose all wide receivers but rookie Amari Rodgers. All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams is projected to be the highest-paid wide receiver in free agency. They are also set to lose breakout tight end Robert Tonyan, cornerback Rasul Douglas, and All-Pro inside linebacker De’vondre Campbell. Both Za’Darius and Preston Smith are set to be free agents in 2023 but will most likely be cut due to the insane cap hit that follows them: $27 million and $21 million, respectfully. The Packers have the option to franchise tag Davante Adams. The organization has discussed this possibility. With the tag, Adams would receive approximately $20 million.
“This thing is definitely going to look different moving forward in Green Bay,” said Rodgers during his post-game divisional press conference. “I don’t want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing. So a lot of decisions in the next couple of months.”
The Packers’ record for the past three seasons under head coach Matt Lafleur is 13-3, 13-3, 13-4. Many people say it is due to the product of Rodgers, but the Packers went 7-9 and 6-9-1 before firing head coach Mike McCarthy. Lafleur has a harder test in trying to bring the future Packers team to the playoffs.
In late July of 2021, Rodgers posted a cryptic picture of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on his Instagram story, indicating the “Last Dance.” Adams also posted the same picture.
Fast forward to 2022 and that plan obviously did not come to fruition. Fans know the 2022-23 season is going to be a very different look for the Packers, whether Rodgers or Jordan Love is starting at quarterback.
Love was drafted in 2020 with the 26th pick in the NFL Draft. He is supposed to take over for Rodgers and has only one game started under his belt. His only start was a loss to the Chiefs 13-7. Love was unable to move the ball at all and the rookie still has a long way to go. The Packers will most likely end up reverting their playbook to a run-first option if Love is the quarterback.
If Love becomes the starting quarterback, the Packers will most likely miss the playoffs. A return of Rodgers would allow for Green Bay to have a dominant season in the NFC North.
The entire Packers’ future solely rests on Aaron Rodgers and his future.