Since the Green Bay Packers decided to move up to take former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of this year’s draft, it has shifted the attention toward Aaron Rodgers‘ tenure. It seemingly put the writing on the wall that he could be on his way out of Green Bay much sooner than he would like. Rodgers has had an intriguing response to the entire matter that has opened the door wide open to him continuing his career elsewhere with another franchise. All that could pave the way to him making his way back to the team that he wanted to join, to begin with: San Francisco 49ers.
Aaron Rodgers’ affinity for the 49ers
Might as well get this connection out of the way first in this discussion as it’s been rehashed almost annually every time the NFL Draft takes place.
Before the draft, it was well-known that Rodgers wanted to be taken with the first overall pick by the 49ers. He grew up in the bay area and attended college at the University of California, Berkley.
However, the 49ers elected to take Alex Smith at the top overall spot while Rodgers slid down to the Packers at the 24th pick. That created a strong level of disappointment from him that he missed out on a promising opportunity with the stars potentially lining up to play for his favorite childhood team.
It may not have gone as planned, but Rodgers could have his chance to be the starting quarterback for San Francisco at some point down the line in his career quite soon.
49ers could cut ties with Jimmy Garoppolo
Since his arrival to the 49ers, Garoppolo has brought forth some much-needed stability to the franchise.
Although he took plenty of criticism for the 49ers shortcomings in the Super Bowl 54 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, he played his part in helping them become a championship-caliber team. Granted, Garoppolo didn’t have much production in the playoffs on the way to the Super Bowl; he has been a critical piece of the puzzle to their success.
The 49ers have continued to stick by his side this offseason, but some things suggest it may not be as firm as he may believe. Garoppolo is under contract for the next three seasons under his five-year, $137.5 million deal, but there is a dramatic shift in the dead money on his deal over that span.
Following the 2020 season, the 28-year-old would be a $2.8 million dead cap hit in 2021 and $1.4 million in 2022. That would make the decision to part ways with Garoppolo quite an easy one financially with a minimal financial burden. Meanwhile, the Packers could also have a lighter commitment to Rodgers over those same two final years as he’s a $17.2 million cap hit in 2021 and $2.8 million in 2022.
The 49ers could move along their situation with Garoppolo in a similar manner to line up quite evenly with Rodgers’ contract. It’s quite difficult to overlook this detail in this potential scenario.
Aaron Rodgers’ best chance to win another Super Bowl
Throughout the entire process, Rodgers has made it crystal-clear that he plans to play well into his 40s.
The Packers have lined things up for his departure to occur before he even hits that mark. A fresh new start with another organization may be for him as it was for Tom Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At that point in his career, Rodgers would be looking to land with the team that gives him the best chance to win. The 49ers have assembled a highly-talented roster that could be a quarterback away from being the clear-cut favorites in the NFC.
Much can change from now until Rodgers becomes available, but San Francisco has put together a dominant defense that has a strong group of talent offensively. If things stay the course with their roster, it’s hard to believe that he will look elsewhere first to play the next chapter of his career.