PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – MAY 7
By Leo Haggerty

A-A-RON

OK, it’s my turn to chime in on “The Aaron Rodgers Soap Opera” that has been playing out over the last week.  You may want to read on because I believe that you’re going to hear a perspective that has not been brought forth as of yet.

Let’s go back to where all the consternation between Green Bay and their star quarterback began, shall we?  Let’s take a look at how the 2020 draft transpired.

The Packers had the 26th pick in the first round and, like it was deja vu again as baseball great Yogi Berra would say, a top rated quarterback was still on the board when Green Bay went on the clock.  So, just like the Pack did when they selected University of California QB Aaron Rogers with the 24th pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, they took Utah State signal caller Jordan Love in the first round.

Now, a majority of the media pundits wanted to make the story that #12 was perturbed with the selection of Love.  They brought forth the fact that he should not be feeling any bitterness toward Love because it was the exact same scenario that Brett Favre had to experience.  That statement I take great umbrage with for two reasons.

First, the 2004 Packers won the NFC North with a 10-6 record but were summarily drubbed at Lambeau Field in the Wild Card round by division rival Minnesota to the tune of 31-17.  That sent up a red flag to the organization that #4 might be starting to slip.

In contrast, the 2019 Pack were 13-3 and beat the Seahawks in the Divisional round 28-23 only to lose to the 49ers 37-20 in the NFC Championship contest.  The problem in northeastern Wisconsin was not the offense but a defense that couldn’t stop the run.

Second, Green Bay gave Favre a “new toy” in the form of their 2nd round selection of Texas A&M WR Lawrence Murphy.  That, at least in the mind of the Packers hierarch, placated #4 and allowed the franchise to move on.

Rodgers got no such gift as the Packers did not even select a wide receiver in the entire 2020 draft.  His anger was not with Love but with Green Bay for not getting him another weapon on the perimeter to compliment All Pro WR Davante Adams.

So, did the future Hall of Famer pout and let it effect his play?  Not a chance as he compiled an MVP season while leading the Packers to another 13-3 campaign only to lose to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on what I still consider a controversial coaching decision when Green Bay decided to kick a field goal late in the contest when the Pack were inside the Bucs 10-yard line.  That, in itself, is another story for another day.

Then, in the 2021 draft, the Packers finally select Clemson WR Amari Rodgers in the third round.  Still, it may be too little and too late to keep the Chico, California native in the fold.

Here’s my humble opinion on how this will play out.  Green Bay will find a way to make Rodgers happy so he stays with the Pack for at least a couple more seasons.  It definitely helps Green Bay that #12 truly likes playing in Wisconsin for the fans of the Packers and wearing the Green & Gold.

Memo to Packers management.  Make this happen because, if Rodgers walks, you’re looking at becoming irrelevant when it comes to the playoff for at least two years and probably more.

There’s a fine line between stubborn and stupid.  Both sides need to figure that out in a hurry.

Here is the list of the wide receivers that were available to the Pack in 2020 when they selected quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th pick.  Still on the board was Tee Higgins from Clemson and Michael Pittman Jr from Southern California plus Laviska Shenault from Colorado along with K.J.Hamler from Penn State and Chase Claypool from Notre Dame plus Van Jefferson from Florida.