Green Bay Packers

ESPN is Grasping at Straws in Latest Aaron Rodgers Prediction

Photo Credit: Tim Fuller (USA TODAY Sports)

The Aaron Rodgers drama was big-money business for the sports entertainment industry. Wherever his name went, clicks and listens followed. Even this website was guilty of publishing rumors, theories, and gossip about the Packers’ struggle with their biggest star.

But now he’s back. He’s driving around town in a golf cart, laughing in press conferences, and smiling on the practice field. He’s focusing on the here and now. The Packers are trying to win a title. The future will be what the future will be.

That’s not stopping some people from continuing to drain every ounce of attention they can out of said drama. ESPN would probably report if Aaron sneezed in a way that “seemed weird.” In their latest predictions for the upcoming season, they wrote the following about Rodgers:

QB Aaron Rodgers will have a better season than GM Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers returned from the existential meditation of his offseason fully prepared to have another elite campaign on the field. There is nothing about the team the Packers have surrounded him with, nor his own physical condition, to suggest he will take a major step back from his 2020 MVP performance.

On the other hand, the early returns on Rodgers’ foray into team-building are decidedly mixed.

Rodgers said this summer that he wanted to be involved in the conversation about assembling the roster and hoped that his voice would be valued by the front office. His influence was felt when the Packers signed Randall Cobb, a 31-year-old receiver with whom Rodgers once had an indisputable connection. Cobb, however, will cost the Packers about $2.7 million, has missed 14 games in the past three seasons because of injury, and plays the same position as third-round draft pick Amari Rodgers.

The veteran QB also lobbied on social media to bring back linebacker Clay Matthews III, who is 35 and did not play last season. He later said the plea wasn’t serious. The bottom line is that Rodgers’ interests are understandably rooted in the short term, but getting the band back together is rarely a successful strategy in the quickly changing landscape of the NFL.

If the push is limited to Cobb, then his return is a reasonable exchange for the quarterback’s happiness in 2021. But if it is a sign of what Rodgers wants to do with his newfound voice, the Packers would be wise to smile politely at his suggestions and do nothing more.

As for ESPN’s assessment that Rodgers would be more successful as a quarterback than a backseat GM: No sh*t. What a prediction. Where do you guys come up with this genius stuff?

I get it, he’s one of the league’s most popular players and this is a hotly anticipated season given the circumstances, but this is nonsense. Rodgers wanting Randall Cobb back and joking about Clay Matthews is not really GM Aaron Rodgers. What Rodgers really wants is just to be considered in the process. Talk to him about the players on his offense and what he thinks about them. He doesn’t have to make the decisions, he just wants to feel respected. To set up a straw-man argument that the Cobb move is him playing GM and then juxtapose it against his performance as a player is beyond silly.

I think I speak for most Packers fans when I say not only do we think Aaron Rodgers will have a fantastic year as a quarterback, but if the front office seeks his occasional input (likely on a very private basis) he will be very successful at that as well. But that probably wouldn’t get highly reported, especially by the people who are chasing the Rodgers clicks.

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