In fact, he looked like a completely different human being. Rodgers finished the afternoon 15-for-28 with 133 passing yards, two interceptions, and zero passing touchdowns. It’s the worst Rodgers has looked under center in his career. He didn’t even come close to resembling the player who won MVP last year.
Coming off a drama-filled offseason, the best way to describe Rodgers during Week 1 is “disinterested.” While this is unfortunate news for the Packers, it’s a promising revelation for two specific teams in the AFC.
Aaron Rodgers may get traded after all
Throughout this year’s past offseason, rumors were hot and heavy that the Packers would trade Rodgers. Despite his majestic 48 touchdown season, Rodgers didn’t hide his frustration with the team’s front office.
He’s upset with them for drafting his replacement in 2020, and even more upset with the teams’ inability to field a consistent winner. Getting bounced in the playoffs by Tom Brady was simply the cherry on top regarding a Rodgers implosion.
Obviously, Rodgers and the Packers were able to agree to coexist in 2021. However, one game into the season and things genuinely look unsalvagable. Both sides should entertain the possibility of a midseason trade.
This opens the door for a pair of hungry AFC teams on the brink of contention.
The Dolphins and Broncos could emerge as frontrunners
The Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos are in eerily similar situations.
Both teams haven’t been to the playoffs in a few years and are rostering young QBs they don’t fully believe in. They have win-now caliber defenses, and experts mentioned both teams in trade rumors regarding high-profile QBs all offseason long.
The Dolphins have been keeping their eye on Deshaun Watson in Houston. The Broncos reportedly checked in on Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz, and yes — Rodgers. They’re clearly interested in making an upgrade at the position.
Both teams began their 2021 season with a Week 1 win. However, you shouldn’t rule out a gigantic push at the trade deadline from either organization. Rodgers puts the Dolphins neck-and-neck with the Buffalo Bills fin the AFC East, and gives the Broncos a fighting chance against Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in the AFC West.
Aaron Rodgers needs a fresh start
While he undoubtedly looked like one of the worst starting QBs in the league against the Saints, it’s still Aaron Rodgers that we’re talking about. He’s a three-time MVP with a Super Bowl win to his name — it’s not challenging to make an argument for him being better than Tua Tagovailoa or Drew Lock/Teddy Bridgewater.
Rodgers will presumably welcome a fresh start pursuing one final Super Bowl ring, while the Packers get to move forward with second-year QB Jordan Love.
It looks like a win-win situation on paper. All that’s required is for the Dolphins or Broncos to get antsy about their current QB situation. From there, a simple phone call with a few draft picks being offered is all it would take to land the disgruntled Rodgers.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.