The idea of Aaron Rodgers and Randy Moss playing together when both were in their primes could make football fans salivate.
Here’s a better what-if to ponder: What would have happened if the Packers traded Rodgers, who grew into an NFL legend, to the Raiders in 2007 for Moss, a Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver?
Aaron Rodgers is an NFL legend
If Aaron Rodgers retires without winning another Super Bowl, he will be the greatest quarterback to only win one ring.
That is his title, for now, even if Drew Brees doesn’t win another ring. Rodgers is an NFL legend who has made far more of what he has had than Brees, the longtime Saints quarterback.
Rodgers is a gunslinger who doesn’t throw interceptions — and that isn’t an oxymoron. Through Nov. 4, 2020, Rodgers had 384 touchdowns to 86 interceptions in 188 games.
That Rodgers only won one Super Bowl in his first 13 seasons starting for the Packers speaks to both the NFL’s parity and how poor a head coach Mike McCarthy was in Green Bay.
At least, Matt LaFleur has Rodgers and the Packers looking like Super Bowl contenders to start the 2020 season. Green Bay will still need to hold off some tough tests in the NFC, including Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, but this very well could be the Packers’ year.
Green Bay nearly traded Aaron Rodgers for Randy Moss in 2007
It wasn’t a matter of if Randy Moss would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It was a matter of when, and the answer was in 2018. Moss, one of the greatest receivers in league history, retired with 982 catches, 15,292 yards, and 156 touchdowns in 218 career games.
Moss had plenty of accomplishments, including earning four selections to the first-team All-Pro team. He also had 47 career playoff catches for 865 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 postseason games.
Unfortunately for Moss, he retired without having won a Super Bowl ring.
That last part is especially relevant because, in 2007, the Oakland Raiders traded Moss to join Tom Brady and the Patriots. New England only gave up a fourth-round pick for Moss, who caught 23 touchdowns in his first season with the Patriots.
Moss had 259 receptions for 3,904 yards and 50 touchdowns across 50 games with the Patriots.
Green Bay, which still had Brett Favre under center, also pursued Moss via trade. According to ESPN, Green Bay nearly traded Aaron Rodgers and a 2008 seventh-round pick to the Raiders for Moss, tight end Courtney Anderson, and a 2009 conditional pick.
How would NFL history have changed if that trade was made?
In our attempt at a fun exercise, let’s try to guess how the Packers trading Aaron Rodgers to the Raiders for Randy Moss might have impacted NFL history.
- Brett Favre no longer has to worry about being forced to retire. Although Favre and Rodgers form an All-Pro duo, they still might not have gotten past the New York Giants in the NFC championship game in January 2008.
- Favre returns for the 2008 season in Green Bay and, although he still has problems at the end of the year, the Packers still sneak into the postseason. Green Bay gets hot and defeats Pittsburgh in Super Bowl 43.
- Aaron Rodgers immediately starts for Lane Kiffin and the Oakland Raiders. Kiffin drafts Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson — a move Kiffin has said he wishes the Raiders had made — and the Raiders return to relevancy.
- Considering Brady Quinn, the 2007 NFL draft’s second-best quarterback prospect, fell to the 22nd overall pick, it doesn’t seem likely a team would take JaMarcus Russell too early. We’ll say the Eagles draft Russell in the second round, and Kevin Kolb falls to the Miami Dolphins at No. 40.
- New England adds veteran receiver Keyshawn Johnson, recently of the Panthers, when the draft ends. Johnson is no Moss, though, and the Patriots look to draft a receiver early in 2008.
The what-if scenarios here are endless and fascinating, especially the idea of Rodgers throwing to Calvin Johnson. It seems safe to say, though, that Green Bay was correct in holding onto Rodgers for the future.