He didn’t like the way Brett Favre reacted when he joined the Green Bay Packers. Instead of teaching Rodgers, Favre basically told him he was on his own. Rodgers didn’t want to treat the team, the fans, or the organization like Favre did. Favre spent years going back and forth about retirement until he finally did. Sure, the Packers kinda pushed him out the door. But then, suddenly, he wanted to play again.
The Packers traded him for conditional draft picks that amounted to basically nothing. I should know; I was an editor at a TV station and had to edit soundbite after soundbite of Favre’s retirement speech for weeks, only for him to return that next season. I didn’t want Rodgers to become like Brett Favre, either.
But time is undefeated. Now, as we head into the 2023 season, the Green Bay Packers will likely start with a young, mostly unproven quarterback who has been developing under a legend. The current/former quarterback is on their way to the New York Jets. History has indeed repeated itself.
Like it or not, Rodgers is walking in Favre’s footsteps. But only partly so.
Rodgers and Favre Now Share History
It’s weird to say. The Green Bay Packers traded Favre because they were ready for Rodgers to yell hike under center. Basically, the same thing has now happened to Rodgers.
Rodgers always said he didn’t want to drag things out like Favre did. Yet he did. He has been wishy-washy for the last year or two. Packers fans haven’t known what his intentions were or what he wanted. Sure, he goes on The Pat McAfee Show almost every Tuesday. But we still leave with more questions than answers most times.
It probably kills Rodgers just a little bit that he has to become a New York Jet just like Favre. He didn’t want to be like him. And who would? Brett Favre should probably be in prison right now for welfare fraud. When he went to the Jets, he didn’t play great. Not only that, he got caught sending pictures of his genitals to a cheerleader who looked just like his wife while his wife was going through cancer.
Will Rodgers repeat that kind of history? Absolutely not. He keeps his private life very private. On the other hand, Favre is the source of hundreds of stories of going to local bars in Wisconsin and doing … well, some not-great things. It will always be unfair to exactly compare Favre to Rodgers.
But we also can’t deny they will always be linked. They both left the Packers for the same team. They both had interest in playing, but knew the organization were ready to move on and not sure what to do because they were under contract. Again, better communication would have helped both situations, including Rodgers not signing a monster contract last year that will affect the way the Packers can do business the next few years. But that’s now in the past. Both are controversial but fantastic quarterbacks.
Rodgers and Favre Will Never Be The Same
Let’s be fair, though. These are similar situations, but not the same at all.
Rodgers has been a lot more open about his thoughts. You truly never knew what Favre was thinking. He’s probably very lucky social media wasn’t around when he was playing. He would have tweeted something horrible on painkillers and been out of the league a few years after the Super Bowl win.
Rodgers has learned what not to do because of Favre. Rodgers has always thanked and appreciated the fans. He does a lot of charity work and raised millions of dollars for foundations. He might always be on billboards on Highway 41 going up to Green Bay for local car dealerships. Bottom line is, he’s always been smarter than Favre.
No. 12 won’t be alone in New York either. Allen Lazard just signed a four-year deal and should be there for the duration of Rodgers’ tenure. There are rumors that players like Randall Cobb, Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis could all join him. That is a huge difference compared to Favre’s situation.
I couldn’t tell you one player who was on the Jets when Favre was there. That isn’t the case right now for the green New York team. They have a great defense, a difference-maker running back Breece Hall (when he is back from injury), and some talented receivers. It’s the perfect time for them to go all-in with Rodgers for a couple years.
Rodgers Already Has a Leg Up
Honestly, it couldn’t have worked better for all parties. Obviously, that could change if Green Bay gets a terrible return from the Jets. But as of right now, they are looking for multiple first-round picks if possible. They could even get picks and players in return.
But Rodgers gets to still play. He wasn’t sure until after his retreat but now is committed. He is going to a new team in a big city and will get plenty of attention. Rodgers still gets to wear green and throw to some of his best friends. He will be competing on an already-decent team. You can’t say he lost this scenario.
The only downside for him is that he doesn’t get to retire as a Packer. That type of player is now rare. Are the days of players like Donald Driver really over? Very possibly. Rodgers will obviously retire as a Packer, be in both Hall of Fames, and will be a top-five quarterback of all time. His legacy is fine. The true test will be if he can add another Super Bowl ring.
The Packers now need to lie in the bed they made. They are going to have to rely on youth. Jordan Love now has to be that guy. If not, they will need to draft another quarterback in 2024 or sign/trade for one. You have to hope that lightning strikes for a third-straight time.
I’m excited to see Love get a full season as quarterback. This Packers team is good. It’s just that they will have to basically rely on the draft for the next few years because of Rodgers’ current contract. Don’t expect many big signings. You’ll probably see more releases and draft picks coming in. There might be another bad year or two.
All I know is that I’ve already purchased this.
And I want Aaron Rodgers to be happy. Hopefully, everyone ends up happy. A Green Bay Packers vs. New York Jets Super Bowl next year wouldn’t be a bad watch either. But if Love somehow ever ends up a New York Jet, we can confirm we live in a simulation.