On April 23rd, 2005, the Green Bay Packers selected Aaron Rodgers with the 24th pick in the NFL Draft. Fifteen years later, to the day, the same team selected Jordan Love with the 26th pick. The season preceding Rodgers’ selection ended with the team’s starting QB, Brett Favre, leading his team to a 10-6 record after throwing for over 4000 yards, thirty touchdowns, and securing a passer rating of 92.4. Aaron Rodgers finished last season by leading his team to a 13-3 record after throwing for over 4000 yards, twenty-six touchdowns, and securing a passer rating of 95.4.
The parallels surrounding this situation are endless. Brett Favre was 35 when Rodgers was drafted; Rodgers is 36. Favre had started at QB for 13 seasons before his successor arrived; Rodgers has done so for 12. Both Favre and Rodgers had been decorated with at least one regular-season MVP and Super Bowl ring prior to their respective presumptive replacements joined the team. Most importantly, perhaps, both quarterbacks had done enough in their career to merit hall of fame status – and they knew it.
As much as Rodgers and Favre attempted to portray a peaceful transition, they both have been honest in stating that this was far from the case. Both are proud individuals. Favre was not interested in nurturing the development of his eventual replacement; Rodgers had no interest in begging for a mentor.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that Rodgers learned from Favre’s example and would not want to repeat the same behavior for his successor. Being only one win away from a Super Bowl berth last season and not using the draft to provide Rodgers helps throw conventional wisdom out the window. Head coach Matt LaFleur suggested that Rodgers will be a great mentor to Love. This is not likely.
Aaron Rodgers’ Path to Minnesota
Brett Favre was a great quarterback and he remained on the team for three years after the arrival of Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the most talented QB in the history of the league. He is also so set in his ways that he is willing to no longer speak to members of his family over disagreements.
The Packers did not invest a first-round pick on a QB and intend to not capitalize on the value of his rookie contract. Rodgers knows this. The Packers can get out of Aaron’s contract in 2022. The QB is not likely to facilitate a trade to just any team. This leaves Green Bay with two options, trade a potential star QB for pennies or cut him. Either way, Aaron Rodgers will decide his future landing spot.
Do you know another team that can get out of their QB’s contract in 2022? You guessed it, the Minnesota Vikings. On August 18th, 2009, Brett Favre signed with the Vikings. He was 39 at the time and ended up leading the team to the NFC championship game; he was one interception shy of reaching the Super Bowl.
Kirk Cousins could be the answer in Minnesota. But, I am not comfortable enough to bank on that. If Love pushes Rodgers out of Green Bay, he will be more than happy to slide into a division rival’s winning situation. Given how his career has consistently mirrored Favre’s, the former first-round pick could end his career wearing purple and gold. And given how well he takes care of the ball compared to Favre, he might earn a ring on the team that Favre could not.