Aaron Rodgers leaves a rocky Packers legacy, leaves like Favre – Green Bay Packers Blog

GREEN BAY, Wis. Aaron Rodgers differed from his predecessor as Green Bay Packers quarterback in many ways, from how he played to how he lived his life in the public eye.

It was by design.

He wasn’t a reckless gunslinger, the defining personality of Brett Favre, whose interceptions were as spectacular as his touchdowns.

Rodgers didn’t usually allow outsiders to meet him until much later in his career, and then usually only through his weekly appearances on “The Pat McAfee Show,” unlike Favre, who lived like an open book, sharing everything, from his addiction to painkillers early in his career, grieving the unexpected death of his father, and his wife’s recovery from cancer.

Rodgers even conducted his press conferences differently. While Favre preferred the podium in the media auditorium and often shot from the lip, Rodgers liked to talk to reporters in his box, where he gave thoughtful responses.

The end, however, seems to be the same for both.

Favre is gone, and it looks like Rodgers is going too, leaving Green Bay via trade to the New York Jets after either initially retiring (Favre) or publicly discussing retirement (Rodgers).

Rodgers left little doubt Wednesday during a nearly hour-long appearance on the McAfee show that his days with the Packers are over and he’s ready to be traded to the Jets.

Rodgers said he went to his recent meditation retreat in the dark “90 percent retired and 10 percent playing.” He thought at the time that he could go back to Green Bay and play if he wanted to. But when he stepped out of the darkness, he felt that something had changed.

While the Packers’ side of the story likely won’t be told until after a deal is made, Rodgers put his cards on the table during that lengthy interview.

“The Packers would like to move on,” Rodgers said. “They have let me know with so many words. They have let other people know in direct words. Because I still have that fire, and I want to play, and I’d like to play in New York, it’s just a matter of doing it right now.”

Despite the bitterness that Favre’s departure created, it should not be forgotten that he actually wanted to return to the Packers after his brief retirement, only to be rejected and eventually traded. The vocal majority backed Favre and blamed then-general manager Ted Thompson and team president Mark Murphy.

Rodgers was more vague about whether he really would have preferred to return to the Packers, but you can argue that the Packers led him to this by trading to pick quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft, and you’d have a case. .

But Murphy made it clear last week that the Packers were ready to move on no matter what Rodgers wanted.

While Favre made no secret of his displeasure at how things turned out for him in Green Bay, Rodgers took a softer stance.

“I have nothing but love in my heart for all the Packers fans and everyone who works in the organization,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “My life is better because of my time in Green Bay. But we just have to look at reality. They want to move on. They don’t want me back, and that’s okay. They are ready to move on with Jordan. That’s great.”

This ending clouded Rodgers’ legacy, at least with the Packers. During Rodgers’ 2021 offseason hiatus, when he threatened to retire before playing for the Packers again, Murphy revealed that the late Thompson, who drafted Rodgers in 2005, once called out the quarterback.”a complicated guy.”

Now that Rodgers will be playing elsewhere, the same word, complicated, can be used to describe his legacy in Green Bay.

If he’s not the best regular-season quarterback of all time, at least he’s in the group photo. His fourth NFL MVP award in 2021 means only Peyton Manning has won more (five).

But the MVP is a regular season award.

The playoffs, at least since the Packers won Super Bowl XLV to end the 2010 season, tell a different story. Rodgers has a 7-9 record as a postseason starter since his only championship. Those 16 consecutive postseason starts without reaching the Super Bowl represent the longest streak by any quarterback in NFL history. And that streak includes an 0-4 record in NFC title games since the win over the Chicago Bears that sent the Packers to their only Super Bowl under Rodgers.

It might have been jarring to hear from the former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst Rex Ryan’s assessment of Rodgers after the Packers lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round as the NFC’s No. 1 seed in 2021.

“The guy’s legacy is the fact that he came up short,” Ryan said, adding that Rodgers is the “best football pitcher I’ve ever seen.”

At least the Packers made the playoffs that season.

Last season, Rodgers couldn’t even get them there: he lost at Lambeau Field to the Detroit Lions in a win-and-go game in the regular season finale. He perhaps capped his worst season as a starter. He threw almost as many interceptions (12) as he had in the previous three seasons combined (13). After back-to-back MVP seasons, Rodgers passed for the fewest yards (3,695) in any season in which he played at least 15 games. He didn’t have a single 300-yard passing game. He had never before had a season with fewer than three 300-plus yard games.

He did not miss a single start, although he played most of the season with a broken right thumb. He also dealt with rib and knee injuries. And his supporting cast was weaker after Green Bay traded wide receiver Davante Adams.

Whatever happens with the Jets, assuming a trade can be completed, Rodgers’ place in the Packers’ record books looks like this: He leads the franchise in touchdown passes (475), completion percentage (65.3) and passer rating (103.6) and ranges. he’s second behind Favre in passing yards (59,055) and completions (5,001).

His 475 touchdown passes rank fifth in NFL history, and he has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio (475-105) in league history. He made 10 Pro Bowls and was selected as a first-team All-Pro quarterback four times (2011, 2014, 2020 and 2021, all of his MVP seasons).

“I would say I’m arguably the best player in franchise history,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “I am safe in the conversation.”



Rodgers: ‘I went into the dark 90% retiring’

Aaron Rodgers tells Pat McAfee that he was seriously considering retiring from the NFL before going into retirement in obscurity.

Only four times in NFL history has a quarterback thrown for at least 35 touchdowns with five or fewer interceptions in a season: three times by Rodgers and once by Tom Brady. Rodgers’ 9.4 touchdown/interception ratio over the past two seasons is the best over a two-season span in NFL history with a minimum of 1,000 attempts, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

It’s not Rodgers’ fault, though, that he played in the same era as Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion who set the bar incredibly high. Drew Brees faced the same situation and won the same number of Super Bowls as Rodgers, but not many seem to think that Brees underperformed.

When Rodgers and Brees were set to meet during the 2020 season, ESPN used 2,278 words to try to explain how these two iconic quarterbacks had each won just one Super Bowl. Three would have sufficed: “It’s very difficult.”

“Is that the barometer?” former Packers general manager Ron Wolf said at the time. “Is that the only barometer of success in the National Football League, whether you win a Super Bowl, two Super Bowls or not? Does that make you a great player, whether you win a Super Bowl or not? If you’re really a good player, that shouldn’t matter.”

Of course, it was Wolf who more than a decade earlier offered this infamous line after the Packers failed to repeat as Super Bowl champions after the 1997 season: “We’re a one-year wonder, just a fart in the wind.” .

Maybe it’s because in 31 seasons with either Rodgers or Brett Favre at quarterback in Green Bay, a city that calls itself “Titletown,” Packers fans have seen two Super Bowl parades.

There’s long been the idea that the Packers didn’t do enough to support either quarterback, but there’s also plenty of evidence to suggest that said quarterbacks did enough to prevent further success: Favre with his penchant for interceptions and Rodgers with performances like the one against the 49ers in 2021.

Even Manning, perhaps the only quarterback with more regular-season accomplishments than Rodgers, won a second Super Bowl, though he had to switch teams to do so.

If Rodgers isn’t fully appreciated for his accomplishments now, perhaps time will change that. He did it with Favre, who was roundly booed twice at Lambeau Field when he returned to a Minnesota Vikings uniform after his one season with the Jets. Now, it’s as if Favre has never played for another team, let alone a bitter rival.

Rodgers’ departure might not be as upsetting to the masses. There were calls for Love to replace Rodgers last season when things turned sour.

Now is the time to find out if those screams were justified.

“Jordan is going to be a great player,” Rodgers said. “He’s a damn great guy. He had a very good year this year, improving on team appearance. He has a bright future ahead of him. They have a good young team. I have so many great friends on that team that I will continue to be great friends with. But the fact is you’ve got an aging face of the franchise over the last 15 years that it’s time to do it right.”

If Love can’t continue the remarkable run as the franchise’s elite quarterback and the Packers fade into the obscurity they experienced in the 1970s and ’80s, then perhaps those who were angry about Rodgers’ departure will be even more so. annoying.

If Love does what Rodgers did and proves himself a legendary replacement, then it might not matter what Rodgers does between now and retirement.

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