Last year, it seems as if Aaron Rodgers put on the parachute, got on the plane, waited for it to reach altitude, stood at the open door. And then decided not to jump.
Thus year, Rodgers seems to be putting the parachute on again.
In his Tuesday comments to Pat McAfee and A.J. Hawk, it became abundantly clear that Rodgers will at least ponder the possibility of playing for another team. And with plenty of teams potentially looking for new quarterbacks, we decided to make a list of possible destinations — if only to cross them off.
Here’s the broadest possible list we could come up with, presented in the order the standings are arranged in my own mind: AFC then NFC; East, North, South, West.
They’re considering their options. And owner Woody Johnson has expressed a willingness to spend for the right player. Would they go all in for a 39-year-old quarterback, like they did 15 years ago for a then-38 Brett Favre?
Would Rodgers be willing to swap the largely friendly confines of Wisconsin for New York? Jets fans would roll out the red carpet for him. The moment he slips, they’ll start booing him louder than he’s ever been booed before.
This one is fascinating. The Dolphins have put together a great offense under coach Mike McDaniel. That has made quarterback Tua Tagovailoa look good. What would it do for someone like Rodgers?
That’s a question Dolphins fans need to consider. Although their intense loyalty to Tua has caused them to at times be delusional about the potential limits on his overall abilities, ardent fans of the Dolphins should be willing to ask the question of whether the team could be even better with a better quarterback.
Rodgers would be a better quarterback. He could be the difference between hovering around .500 and making a Super Bowl run.
If Mac Jones is out, could Rodgers be in? A pairing of Rodgers with Bill Belichick would be fascinating. The real question is whether the Patriots would have enough around Rodgers to make it work for both player and team.
If they trade Lamar Jackson, they’ll need a new quarterback. The easy move would be to elevate Tyler Huntley. The tougher move would be to acquire a quarterback whose presence requires an overhaul to the offense.
All things considered, this one doesn’t make sense. It would be too big of an investment, and too dramatic of a change.
They’ve got a chance to become very good again, quickly. Potent defense, Derrick Henry, great coach. Tennessee makes plenty of sense for Rodgers.
Rodgers said Tuesday that he doesn’t want to be part of a rebuild. So scratch the Texans off this list.
This one makes sense for Rodgers. It doesn’t make sense for the Colts, who desperately need to break the habit of one-year arrangements with aging quarterbacks, one year too late.
The Raiders are looking for a new quarterback. Whether Rodgers and coach Josh McDaniels would work well together would be a very real question. And if the goal for Rodgers is to win for the division, he probably shouldn’t pick the one that has Patrick Mahomes in it.
They’re planning to go forward with Sam Howell. If Rodgers would be interested, they’d have to at least consider the possibility. As divisional degree of difficulty goes, however, Rodgers would probably be wise to consider a place other than the NFC East.
Owner David Tepper is perpetually looking for a franchise quarterback. And the team is good enough to contend with someone like Rodgers on the roster.
Again, Rodgers doesn’t want to be part of a rebuilding effort. The Buccaneers suddenly feel like they’re caught in that mode. Next.
This one would have been fascinating a year or two ago. Now, it feels as if the Saints are at too much of a crossroads to be enticing to Rodgers. Also, they’d have a rough time coming up with the cap space to absorb his contract.
This one’s intriguing. The Falcons have won more games than anyone would have expected over the past two years. They have some very talented skill-position players. They’re potentially on the verge of popping into “contender” status. Rodgers could get them there.
In April 2021, the 49ers tried to trade for Rodgers. They’ve since given up way too much to get Trey Lance, and they’ve stumbled into Brock Purdy. If they’re going to add an aging veteran at the quarterback position, they’re far more likely to sign Tom Brady.
Geno Smith wants to stay, and the Seahawks seem to want him. If, however, Rodgers hopes to play on the West Coast, this is probably the closest he’ll get to California — short of heading to Las Vegas.