Aaron Rodgers made a promise to his good buddy Pat McAfee that when he decided on his football future this offseason, he’d let the punter-turned-sports-media-mogul break the news. On Tuesday, March 8, 2022, Rodgers kept that promise, and McAfee was the first to tweet out that the quarterback will be staying with the Green Bay Packers.
Less than an hour after McAfee broke the Rodgers news, he took to the airwaves on his daily talk show and explained precisely how he got the scoop of the 2022 offseason.
Pat McAfee became the go-to source for Aaron Rodgers news in 2021
Aaron Rodgers appeared on the Pat McAfee Show every Tuesday during the 2021 NFL season. The appropriately-named “Aaron Rodgers Tuesday” segments quickly became the must-watch hour of football media.
Before the season, Rodgers came on to explain why he was coming back for 2021. He also listed the reasons he was unhappy with the Packers organization in the first place.
As the year continued, Rodgers showed up every Tuesday to celebrate wins, lament losses, and pontificate on whatever was on his mind that day. As the season wore on and Rodgers became embroiled in controversy for lying about his vaccination status, it was on the Pat McAfee Show where he explained his thinking and railed against the “woke mob” trying to cancel him.
Rodgers’ appearances on McAfee’s show were part football clinic, part propaganda rally, and part therapy session. In his last appearance, he even used the platform to apologize to his ex-fiancée for causing pain with his vaccine rants.
Rodgers did one more thing on an “Aaron Rodgers Tuesday” appearance. He promised the host that he’d get to break the news to the football world when the QB made his decision about if and where he will continue his football career next season.
Rodgers made good on that promise, not coincidentally, on a Tuesday when McAfee tweeted out, “HE IS BACK WITH THE PACK.”
After breaking the Rodgers news, McAfee explained how it all went down
After breaking the most sough-after news in the NFL world on Tuesday, Pat McAfee kicked off the Pat McAfee Show by giving a blow-by-blow of how Aaron Rodgers let him know that he will play for the Green Bay Packers again in 2022.
The host started by doing his best Ian Rapoport or Adam Schefter impression. He talked about how source(s) called him to give him the news.
This morning, source(s) called me, for the first time. And said, ‘How ya doin’?’ and I said, ‘Are we keepin’ it movin’? Or what’s goin’ on?’ I said to the source(s), ‘Do you want to come on the show?’ He said, ‘I don’t think so. I’m still in the middle of working, getting the whole thing together,’ the source(s) said. ‘But I would like you to let the world know that after a lot of contemplation. And after a lot of thought and meditation and a lot of sleep on it and talking to a lot of people, I have decided — although retirement was real.’Pat McAfee on Aaron Rodgers returing to the Green Bay Packers
As the NFL insider impersonation started to go off the rails, McAfee broke character and gave his listeners the real scoop about what happened during his phone call with Rodgers:
By the way, sources did not say, “I,” they said that — yeah, so Aaron told me, alright. I’m not good at this. I’m not good at the inside news. I don’t have the anonymous sources. Aaron said that after a lot of contemplation of potential retirement, after a lot of contemplation of what the future looks like, this morning he felt he was ready to make the actual announcement, and he said, ‘Hey, why don’t you let the people know that I am officially retiring to the Green Bay Packers.’Pat McAfee on Aaron Rodgers returing to the Green Bay Packers
And with that, our long national Aaron Rodgers nightmare is over (for now).
What the QB returning means for the Packers
Now that the wait is over and we know where Aaron Rodgers will play football in 2022, focus turns to what it all means from a football perspective.
The Green Bay Packers head into the offseason with the third-worst salary cap situation in the NFL at nearly $30 million over the cap. Rodgers was scheduled to account for $46.6 million of that cap next season.
Pat McAfee also reported, though, that Rodgers and the Packers are working on a new “Cap Friendly deal.” This deal may make Rodgers the highest-paid QB in the league, but it could also alleviate much of the Packers’ salary cap issue.
Doing so will allow the Packers to keep superstar wideout Davante Adams, possibly on a new, long-term deal. It may also keep key free agents like CB Rasul Douglas, TE Robert Tonyan, G Lucas Patrick, and WRs Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown with the team.
Restructuring the contracts of important vets — instead of releasing them — is now more likely as well. This would apply to players like WR Randall Cobb, T David Bakhtiari, and LBs Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith.
While Rodgers’ return and cap-friendly deal allow general manager Brian Gutekunst to keep the band together for at least one more season, it’s yet to be seen how much room for improvement the roster will have.
After just two playoff wins in five years, keeping the team together might not be as good as it sounds. Now that Rodgers is returning, it’s up to the Packers front office to make enough improvements to change that trend.