Now that Aaron Rodgers’ season is over, the watch to see where he ends up next is officially on.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback said on The Pat McAfee Show that things will not be drawn out this year, with him making a decision on his future by the franchise tag deadline to help pending free agent Davante Adams and other teams make informed decisions on their futures.
Rodgers could retire, stay in Green Bay or request a trade.
It’s the latter option that has many quarterback-needy franchises wondering if they could get one of the all-time greats for a chance to go on a Super Bowl run.
While retirement and a return to the Packers are certainly in the cards, we look at some of the potential destinations for Rodgers should he want out of Green Bay.
This one seems like a no-brainer. The Broncos just hired Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, which has already fueled the Rodgers to Denver speculation. NFL insider says he has sources that Rodgers and Davante Adams would love to team up in Denver.
Imagine a Broncos offense with Rodgers at QB, Adams, Tim Patrick and at least one of Courtland Sutton or Jerry Jeudy (assuming you may have to give up one to get Rodgers)? That would be unstoppable. Add in Javonte Williams at running back and Noah Fant, who may have not yet hit his potential, at tight end and the Broncos could have the best offense in the league.
Oh, and they would play the Chiefs twice a year. How’s that for entertainment?
Rodgers’ preference has reportedly been to go west, but the Steelers are a playoff-ready team that just needs a quarterback to replace Ben Roethlisberger. Rodgers has been very public about his admiration and respect for Mike Tomlin and it would come as no surprise if he wanted to play for him.
The Steelers have pretty well-rounded team that just struggled with consistency. Add in a quarterback who is still on top of his game (Big Ben may be a Hall of Famer, but he was on the decline) and the Steelers could quickly become a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints may have been a lot sexier had Sean Payton still been the head coach, nonetheless, they are a team that just missed the playoffs and were deterred by poor and inconsistent quarterback play after losing Jameis Winston.
Cameron Jordan is already making his pitch for Rodgers to come to New Orleans, even suggesting Rodgers have input on the new coach (something he’d surely love). He would also get to be in an offense with Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas (assuming the latter his healthy). If the Saints can find the assets and the cap space, they could be an intriguing option for Rodgers.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders have a decision to make on Derek Carr and could be moving on from the quarterback. Trading Carr in a package to Green Bay for Rodgers could be one potential scenario.
We know from reports last year that Rodgers would like to head west and Vegas is much more climate friendly than playing in Denver. They’re a team that scraped its way into the playoffs under a good quarterback in Carr, but they could become a Super Bowl contender with a great quarterback like Rodgers.
This would certainly be a darkhorse scenario. The Eagles brass has come out and thrown their support behind Jalen Hurts but Philadelphia should consider the opportunity they may have here.
The Eagles own three first-round picks, giving them an advantage in putting together a package to acquire Rodgers. They play in the NFC East, one of the weakest divisions in football, giving Rodgers and easier path to the postseason. They also have a pretty good offensive line, all working in Rodgers’ favor.
Whether or not he wants to play in Philadelphia is another thing. Does he want to play for Sirianni? Do they have enough weapons? Still, it seems that the Eagles should at least consider the possibility of what it would take to get Rodgers.
San Francisco 49ers
Ah, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? The 49ers are probably a longshot — they may not have the assets to pull off a deal for Rodgers — but they should not be eliminated as a possibility just yet. Reports indicated last year Rodgers wanted to go to San Francisco. They clearly have a Super Bowl-caliber roster and while they’ve reached the NFC Championship Game twice in three years with Jimmy Garoppolo, it could be argued he is the weak spot in the offense.
Then there is the fact they traded up to select Trey Lance, only for him to underwhelm as a rookie and fail to win the starting job over Garoppolo. While there would be more criticism of the Lance pick should the Niners look for a QB externally, getting Rodgers would be an enormous upgrade at the position.