If this was the Green Bay Packers‘ “Last Dance” with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, then the pair tripped over each others’ feet and tumbled to the ground in an embarrassing and shocking end to their season.
The Packers fell to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, although it felt like the Packers did more to lose the game than the Niners did to win it. A pair of special teams blunders directly led to 10 of San Francisco’s 13 points, and the offensive line play, especially on the right side, was too poor for the offense to do much of anything.
A year ago, Rodgers stated that his future was “a beautiful mystery.” That’s never been more true than it is now. Stuck in an awful salary cap situation ($38.4 million over the cap, per Spotrac) with numerous important players, such as All-Pro receiver Davante Adams and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, not yet under contract for next season, the Packers appear to be headed straight towards a rebuild.
According to NFL.com, Rodgers said postgame, “I don’t want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing.” Unless Russ Ball can pull off some more salary cap magic, a rebuild seems inevitable in Green Bay.
However, it’s possible (albeit unlikely) that the team stays together for an encore. It’s also possible that Rodgers retires. A lot of people will ignore the second part of the aforementioned quote. If, Rodgers is going to keep playing. It’s not a given.
In this article, I’ll analyze what the Packers’ future looks like in three different scenarios: Rodgers demanding a trade, Rodgers retiring, and Rodgers staying. Let’s start with what looks like the most likely of the three.