What a distinction a 12 months made for Aaron Rodgers

Published:Mar 9, 202415:58
What a distinction a 12 months made for Aaron Rodgers

By Martin Rogers
FOX Sports activities Columnist

A 12 months in the past, it was all Aaron Rodgers, on a regular basis. Even when it wasn’t in regards to the Inexperienced Bay Packers quarterback, it nonetheless was.

When Rodgers spoke, it was information. When he didn’t, it was information. When he spoke however didn’t say very a lot, like in an interview 364 days in the past with retiring "SportsCenter" anchor Kenny Mayne, it made much more information.

Rodgers was the story of the 2021 offseason. His work life, love life, way of life and life steadiness all got here to the forefront, because the Rodgers guessing recreation grew to become the most well-liked pastime in American sports activities.

Would it not be a swap to the Denver Broncos? Would the San Francisco 49ers by some means discover a technique to entice him? Would he retire and host "Jeopardy?" Would he retire and spend his time doing therapeutic cleanses? Would he sit out a 12 months, simply because? What was occurring with him and Shailene Woodley? And would it not have an effect on his profession selections?

In the long run, we now know, it was all a load of nothing. Rodgers, after all, headed again to Wisconsin, performed one other season with the Packers and received one other MVP award.

On the finish of it, a mega-extension that can make him the highest-paid participant within the NFL (at a mere $50 million yearly) possible ensured he'll play out the rest of his profession in Inexperienced Bay.

And now, right here we discover ourselves in an odd spot. There are three-and-a-half months to go earlier than the beginning of the brand new season, and Rodgers isn’t entrance and middle. He's neither a lot in our ideas nor the topic of our sportive debates.

He’s truly speaking a little bit extra, partly in promotion of the upcoming golf match he and Tom Brady will wage in opposition to Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. However, for the primary time in a very long time, there is no such thing as a intrigue, little question, no behind-the-scenes video games, no cryptic wordplay, no query that sure, certainly, he can be underneath middle for the Packers in Week 1.

What an odd time it has been. In some methods, the way in which Rodgers pulled the strings reset the boundaries for the extent of energy and affect {that a} single participant can command over a franchise, however provided that they can play at that form of elite degree.

Rodgers has ruffled some feathers, and, if we're being fully sincere, accomplished little for his general degree of recognition with the way in which he reacted to the Packers drafting Jordan Love in 2020, and the way in which the connection with the group has been carried out ever since.

However he finally bought the management and the contract that he wished, even when one more postseason disappointment was the final word consequence.

In comparison with final 12 months, what surrounds Rodgers now's principally the sound of silence. The gossip treadmill has moved on. He may sit someplace between Sam Darnold and Carson Wentz within the present information cycle. There are newly relocated QBs like Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan to chime about. Within the unsettled-and-willing-to-play-hardball camp, there's now Kyler Murray. And nobody is aware of what will occur with Baker Mayfield.

And, nevertheless a lot consideration Rodgers bought along with his Packers cleaning soap opera final spring, it has been dwarfed by the headlines generated by Brady’s retirement and un-retirement.

Whereas Rodgers-world appeared to be about all the things however soccer for some time, now it's the reverse. When you hear his identify talked about presently it's most likely within the guise of somebody questioning who he's going to throw to as soon as the brand new season begins.

Davante Adams, such a popular goal and agency ally over current years, is gone. Allan Lazard is an choice trusted by Rodgers however is few individuals’s concept of a real star able to large numbers. Randall Cobb hasn’t performed a full slate of video games since 2015. Sammy Watkins nonetheless has a lot to show, and, after eight years within the NFL, is likely to be operating out of time to show it.

The Packers have appeared on as Tyreek Hill went to Miami, Odell Beckham appeared sure to land again with the Rams, and Marquez Valdez-Scantling joined Adams by means of the exit door. Inexperienced Bay went protection with their first-round draft decide, although they did take Christian Watson out of North Dakota State early in Spherical 2.

However it all seems to be a bit skinny, particularly while you take a look at who Brady, Allen and Mahomes should goal their passes at.

Rodgers leaned closely on his reference to the physically-unassailable Adams final season, ending the marketing campaign with 37 touchdowns in opposition to simply 4 interceptions.

An identical exhibiting this season with a depleted receiving corps may see him match Brett Favre as the one participant to win three straight league MVPs, whereas becoming a member of Peyton Manning as the one man to have collected 5 in whole.

Nonetheless, what's going to weigh extra closely is the 11 years which have handed for the reason that Packers final reached and received the Tremendous Bowl, the one title of Rodgers’ profession. It's why they introduced him again and why it was value all that cash — and all of the fuss.

Fairly remarkably, it has grow to be standard to see Rodgers and the Packers falter within the postseason, developing quick when it issues most. However loyal Cheeseheads will hope that one thing is totally different this time, and possibly it's.

For this spring is nothing just like the final couple of years. As a result of we’re not speaking a lot about Aaron Rodgers — and after we do, it’s largely about soccer.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports activities and the writer of the FOX Sports activities Insider Publication. You may subscribe to the publication right here.

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