Over the last few years, Aaron Rodgers has drawn more scrutiny over his play on the field. The Green Bay Packers star quarterback is moving through the second half of his 30s with questions flaring up about his NFL longevity. Rodgers remains firm that he plans to play into his 40s, but there are those to questioning his ability on the field. That has seen one former NFL general manager point out one notable change from Rodgers‘ game last year.
Aaron Rodgers’ 2019 season
The Packers bounce back in a significant way in their first year under Matt LaFleur as Aaron Rodgers was the guiding force offensively in 2019.
It wasn’t a tremendously productive season, but it helped Rodgers earn some MVP consideration as he passed for 4,002 yards with 26 touchdowns to four interceptions while holding a 95.4 passer rating. He finished tied for eighth in touchdown passes, 11th in passing yards, and tied for first for fewest interceptions. Rodgers continued to bring reliable stability at the position while guiding the Packers to an NFC North division title and one of the best records in the league.
However, there continues to remain questions concerning his physical ability, especially one trademark from his skillset.
Aaron Rodgers may have lost signature part of his game
Although there was a slight drop off in his production, Rodgers was one of the primary reasons for the Packers’ success last year being a win away from the Super Bowl.
That has seen a deeper dive taken into how his production came about as Rodgers has long established a reputation as being one of the best deep-ball throwers in the league. According to former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi of The Athletic, there was a notable lack of yardage and accuracy in his deep throws beyond 30 yards that ha sled general managers to question down-the-field accuracy.
Rodgers has not averaged over eight yards per attempt since 2014. Rodgers was 11-40 on throws over 30 yards last year and had three touchdowns and one interception. On throws between 20 and 29 yards, Rodgers had 37.2% accuracy but threw seven touchdowns. Is he losing his down the field accuracy or are the skill players around him not making plays? In 2020, we will find out.
Although it’s not a tremendously large sample size of throws, it sways away from what he has typically gotten done throughout his career. However, what else should be factored in is that the Packers ran an entirely new offense under first-year head coach Matt LaFleur.
It likely didn’t emphasize the use of throwing the ball down the field as often. That said, Rodgers wasn’t extremely accurate with those throws. If anything, it is something to keep an eye on moving forward in 2020 and beyond.
Aaron Rodgers’ future with the Packers
Beyond his production, what has drawn the most attention in Green Bay is Aaron Rodgers’ long-term future with the franchise.
These types of statistics could bring more fuel to the fire that Rodgers is moving closer to his way out. The Packers put that timetable on him after moving up in the first round to take Jordan Love in this year’s draft. Rodgers is in the first year of his four-year, $134 extension that runs through the 2023 season.
However, the dead-cap hits drop drastically over the next couple of years, falling to $17.2 million for the 2022 season and $2.8 million for the 2023 campaign. The writing is on the wall for Rodgers that he may not be in Green Bay as long as he hopes.