GREEN BAY, Wis. — If 2022 was the final image of Aaron Rodgers as the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, it was a disappointing one.
Rodgers, who won back-to-back MVPs in 2020 and 2021, took a step back this year as his team went just 8-9 and missed the playoffs after losing the final game of the regular season to NFC North rival Detroit.
Rodgers could still return to Green Bay and try to lead this team back to the promised land. He could also retire and cement his legacy as a one-team superstar quarterback, or he could do what so many veteran QB’s around him have done - end his career elsewhere.
If Rodgers does decide he wants to force a trade and play somewhere else entering his age-40 season, a return home to Northern California may be in the cards.
“The best fit for Aaron Rodgers is the best fit for any other free agent quarterback, and it’s San Francisco,” Locked on NFL host Alex Clancy said. “Brock Purdy’s done it, Jimmy Garoppolo’s done it, imagine Aaron Rodgers going to that offense.”
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San Francisco would have to show willingness to move draft capital, and/or a quarterback, to Green Bay in order to acquire Rodgers services - something they may not be willing to do for multiple reasons.
The team is already invested in Trey Lance (the No. 3 overall pick in 2022) and the performance of Purdy down the stretch and into the playoffs may make adding Rodgers an unnecessary risk - especially at the price point it would incur for the 49ers.
“For team building purposes what the 49ers have done is they haven’t paid their quarterback nearly as much as other teams,” Clancy continued. “So they’ve been able to use that money elsewhere. And that’s why they have been able to build out such a great roster.”
Rodgers joins Lamar Jackson and Tom Brady as well-regarded quarterbacks potentially available this offseason - and his decision to either retire or keep playing will have significant ramifications around the NFL.