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NFL Draft

Is Aaron Rodgers Checked Out?

  • The Draft Network
  • September 14, 2021
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The title of the article explains itself, and for at least this week, it’s more of a factuality than fantasy.

Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints was a Sunday to forget for Green Bay Packers faithful and Aaron Rodgers truthers. Arguably the most talented gun-slinger to ever grace an NFL backfield, Rodgers was outdueled by Jameis Winston and the New Orleans Saints to the tune of a 35-point loss to kick off a campaign considered to be his last in Green Bay.

Throughout the offseason, we were teased and intrigued by the potential movement of Rodgers elsewhere. From draft night rumors of a trade to the San Francisco 49ers to late spring inklings of a move to the Denver Broncos, Rodgers’ frustrations with general manager Brian Gutekunst and Packers officials were widely publicized in what became a media circus this offseason. 

With a week of play in the books, Rodgers may already have his bags packed.

You read that right. Rodgers was better off throwing the rock into the grass every play than the performance he had against New Orleans. It was abysmal, and following the turmoil enjoyed from this past offseason, it’s time we scope reality. 

This doesn’t happen to someone of Rodgers’ caliber. The excuse of no preseason and a lack of live reps is mute, as Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers sat in street clothes throughout the slate of exhibition games but fared just fine against Washington’s impressive front four. Rodgers had Davante Adams, he had Aaron Jones, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, they were all there, yet Rodgers completed just 15 of his 28 passes for 133 yards, a performance capped off with two interceptions to boot. 

He’s seen every defense and every alignment possible. This performance cannot solely be attributed to the absence of David Bakhtiari or lack of preseason snaps for the three-time All-Pro... it just doesn’t line up.

For context, Rodgers threw his two interceptions within a span of three passes. Last fall, an MVP year, Rodgers totaled five picks in 526 attempts. Additionally, the three points scored were the lowest total Green Bay has posted when Rodgers has started under center and did not leave the game due to injury.

This isn’t Aaron Rodgers football. A ball lofted to the backside shoulder 50 yards down the field? From a quarterback that has proved time and time again he can drop a ball in a bucket 60 yards away? It was more of the old backyard “jackpot” game where kids huddled around and tried to catch a hail mary pass. His ball placement was inept, his progressions were elongated and stagnant, and that ultimately developed into arguably the worst performance of his career.

The fact is, however, I don’t believe Rodgers has a bone in his body that felt remorse following yesterday’s performance. Following a post-game press conference in which Rodgers grinned and offered sly looks to the media when discussing his performance, it’s hard to identify if Rodgers even cares about success in Green Bay, let alone returning his Packers to an NFC title game. If there’s anyone in football to display the amount of petty or negligible attention toward the quarterbacking of an NFL franchise, it would be Rodgers.

Maybe I’m overreacting, or maybe I’m speaking up for the back of the crowd, but Rodgers’ minimal care, for lack of a better phrase, and pure frustration with Packers brass looks to have boiled over early in 2021. A get-right game lies ahead in the form of the Detroit Lions, which could put the narrative of Rodgers’ lack of production to bed, but as of now, it surely looks as if the future Hall of Famer is tuned out of anything relating to Green Bay.

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