Since taking over the starting quarterback after Hall of Famer Brett Favre’s departure, Aaron Rodgers has been the mainstay at the position for more than the last decade. Rodgers has been one of the primary reasons for the team’s success on the field, which has included guiding them to a Super Bowl win during his tenure. However, the star quarterback is in the back half of his 30s, which could see a change in philosophy towards how the Green Bay Packers handle their future. That may suggest that the team could begin to plan for life after him.
Aaron Rodgers’ tenure with Packers
Rodgers began his NFL career as the primary backup to Favre through his first three seasons. However, he finally got his shot in his fourth after the team elected to move forward with him under center.
The Packers have experienced much success with 10 playoff berths with six NFC North division titles and eight double-digit win campaigns over the last 13 seasons. During that span, Rodgers has established himself as one of the elite quarterbacks in the game.
Despite injuries factoring into the equation over the last couple of years, Rodgers put forth a solid first year under head coach Matt LaFleur. He finished 10th in the league with 4,002 passing yards along with 26 touchdown passes to four interceptions. It marked the eighth time in his career that he has tallied at least 4,000 passing yards and 10th time with at least 25 touchdown passes.
The game offensive plan was a bit different than in years past, but Rodgers demonstrated that he’s still playing at a high level at this stage of his career. The question about how much longer that may be may impact his future with the Packers.
Why Aaron Rodgers could be in final contract with Packers
Rodgers continued to showcase that he can be a highly productive quarterback in 2019, but there began to be rumblings about his effectiveness at this point in his career. His production with his touchdown pass total dipping below 30 in the previous two seasons and his accuracy down to 62.0% completion rate was also the lowest since 2015.
There is no question that Rodgers is still an extremely talented quarterback, but now he’s inching towards his 40s. He’s set to play in the first year of his four-year, $134 million deal that drawn questions about whether it’s his final deal with Green Bay, which Matt Schneidman of The Athletic went into greater detail of why that could very well be the case.
I do think this is Rodgers’ last contract with the Packers. Four more seasons would put him at age 40 after the 2023 season and while he wants to play slightly past that, I just don’t see him taking a team-friendly two-year deal or something like that, especially after how well the Favre-to-Rodgers transition worked and the presumption that the Packers would rather a second- or third-year quarterback instead of a washed-up 41- or 42-year-old Rodgers clinging on for dear life.
Now, we may see a rejuvenated Rodgers next season if the Packers surround him with better weapons, but I don’t think even that would change their plans at quarterback. It’s certainly too early to draft Rodgers’ successor in April, in my opinion, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they used a first-round pick on a quarterback next year.
It isn’t that the Packers have lost faith in Rodgers by any means, but Father Time catches up to all players at some point. He has expressed a strong desire to play into his 40s, but there is no way in predicting what type of player he will be then.
That makes it only reasonable to believe that the Packers may start looking past Rodgers by drafting a young quarterback to groom as his eventual successor.
What will the Packers do with Aaron Rodgers?
These comments from Schneidman are not stating that the writing is on the wall for Rodgers. It’s highlighting that he’s entering the stage of his career where there could be some real decline in his play.
The team has full belief that he can lead them to the Super Bowl, but there will come a time where they will move on from the future Hall of Famer. Rodgers could very well experience late-career success like Tom Brady and Drew Brees, but only time will tell how that will unfold.
For the time being, the possibility of Green Bay beginning to move on from their star quarterback could start sooner than later.