Packers: Top 15 what-ifs of the Ted Thompson era Part 3

Brett Favre
Brett Favre /
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(Photo Tby Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo Tby Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

2. What if the Packers chose Brett Favre over Aaron Rodgers in 2008?

What happened?

After Brett Favre’s numerous retirement murmurs and one retirement press conference, the Packers decided to trade Favre to the New York Jets, despite Favre rejoining the team later that offseason.

Aaron Rodgers obviously went on to be a great quarterback with the Packers and still is. Favre was so-so with the Jets but very successful in one of the two years with the Minnesota Vikings.

Some people believe that Rodgers is now the greatest player in Packers history over names like Favre, Bart Starr, Don Hutson and Reggie White as a result of the decision that Thompson made to move on from Favre in 2008.

It is fair to say that the decision that Thompson made to move on from Favre in the summer of 2008 is one of the most important decisions that has been made in pro football during the 21st century.

What if the Packers chose Brett Favre over Aaron Rodgers in 2008?

The Packers would have most likely traded Rodgers to another team but let’s just say it would have been to the same team that Favre was traded to, the New York Jets.

The Packers would have gotten compensated by the Jets for trading their former first-round pick. Let’s say it would have been for a 2009 second-rounder.

Favre would have taken the Packers to the 2008 playoffs, which they originally didn’t make since they had a first-year starting quarterback and were dealing with the distraction of moving on from their legendary passer. But I don’t think they would have gone to the Super Bowl that year despite coming close the previous season.

The Packers would have been looking for a quarterback in the 2009 NFL Draft and the premier prospects in that class like Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman would have been off the board. Because of that, the Packers would have still drafted Clay Matthews but wouldn’t have had to trade up for him like they originally did in 2009.

More from Lombardi Ave

The Packers would have drafted their potential quarterback of the future in the second round of that year’s draft and picked Pat White who was an electrifying prospect out of West Virginia.

The Packers would have done very well during the 2009 season with Favre who in reality was one of the best quarterbacks that year and I think they would have won Super Bowl XLIV with Favre that year.

The Packers had great defensive players on that team with A.J. Hawk, Matthews, Charles Woodson and Nick Collins and I think Favre could have won in second Lombardi Trophy as a result of the talent he had around him and the fact that he was still a great quarterback in 2009.

Green Bay would have kept Favre around for another year in 2010 and he would have been slightly washed up by then. I don’t think he would have been as bad in 2010 as he was in reality since he may not have suffered the beating that he took from the “Bounty Gate” situation, but by that time he was well into his 40s and Father Time could have still gotten to him.

The Packers decide to roll with Pat White as the starter heading into 2011, but select Ricky Stanzi in the middle rounds of the draft similar to how they picked Brian Brohm in 2008.

White struggles as the Packers starting quarterback in 2011 and they even turn to Matt Flynn in the last few weeks of a disappointing season. Flynn, after initially looking like the potential answer for the Packers at the quarterback position, struggles as well.

The Packers bring back Flynn on a cheap contract in the 2012 offseason as he isn’t able to cash in on a huge contract like he did with Seattle. The Packers aren’t quite ready to give up on White despite his struggles during the 2011 season, but they decide to look for a quarterback early on in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Due to the struggles in 2011, Green Bay picks in the top-10 and drafts Luke Kuechly to pair with A.J. Hawk. This angers fans since they opted to not trade up for Robert Griffin III and pass on Ryan Tannehill.

In the second round they target a popular name in the Badger State at the quarterback position and select a guy by the name of Russell Wilson.

The Packers have a quarterback competition entering the 2012 season similar to the one that Seattle had that year, but Wilson eventually impresses Mike McCarthy and beats out White and Flynn to win the job.

Wilson is successful in Green Bay and helps the Packers reach the postseason in his first two seasons, and finally takes the Packers back to the Super Bowl in 2014 but loses to the New England Patriots.

The Packers reach the postseason the next three years after Super Bowl XLIX but suffer similar playoff heartbreak.

Wilson is still regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in football with Green Bay but doesn’t have quite the supporting cast that he had in Seattle.

Favre is considered nearly-unanimously to be the best player in Packers history after winning two Super Bowls with the team.

Aaron Rodgers is a success in New York with the Jets and the tandem of Rodgers/Rex Ryan beat Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLV.

Ryan is still coaching in New York today, but they have struggled to get past Peyton Manning and the Broncos and now Tom Brady and the Patriots since their Super Bowl victory.

If you haven’t thrown up yet you can watch one of my favorite YouTube videos.