The Green Bay Packers ended the Brett Favre era in 2008 when they traded him to the New York Jets after the Packers legend flip-flopped on his retirement decision and decided to keep on playing. Little did the cheesehead faithful know what lay ahead of them in life without their beloved Favre but as they later found out, they would get to watch another Hall of Fame quarter-back lead their team and win a ton of awards and a Super Bowl as he did it.
Enter Aaron Rodgers who was named starter for the 2008 season in Green Bay. The Chico, California native had huge shoes to fill as he stepped in as the successor to fan favourite Brett Favre but the Packers management clearly recognised that the University of California, Berkeley alumni was something special as they traded away Favre and handed the starting QB position to their 3 year back up in Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers is the definition of a maverick as he proved many pundits and analysts completely wrong who thought he was too small and would not be as effective in the NFL after playing in a quarterback friendly college program in Berkeley. When he was given the reins as the starter for the first time in the 2008 season in Green Bay he responded by passing for 4,038 yards and threw 28 touchdowns while only tossing 13 interceptions.
This would be a sign of things to come for the player who almost quit football entirely in 2002 as he strongly considered playing baseball before nearly deciding on attending law school after completing his undergraduate degree. Ultimately Rodgers was recruited by Butte Community College in Oroville, a junior college close to his hometown of Chico where he spent 1 year leading them to a 10-1 record before his obvious natural talent plus his superb high school scholastic record made him eligible to transfer to the University of California, Berkeley which he did after 1 year rather than the customary 2 years as the California Golden Bears’s head coach Jeff Tedford recognised something special in Rodgers and gave him the opportunity his talent merited.
Rodgers has been a faithful servant to Green Bay having been a one team man up to this point and if he wants to play the 2023 season for the Lambeau Field outfit he currently holds all the cards as according to the deal he received in March 2022, his remuneration for the 2023 campaign climbs to a cool $60 million which just happens to be fully guaranteed. Even though indications suggest he will be fair and reasonable with the Packers it does seem like the 39 year old may be ready to head West to finish his career. The 4 time NFL MVP and Super Bowl XLV MVP and champion, where he led the Pack to a 31–25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers while throwing for 304 yards completing 24 of 39 passes with 3 touchdowns and as you would expect no interceptions, is strongly linked with a move to replace the already jettisoned Derek Carr in Las Vegas and reunite with his former favourite Green Bay target Davante Adams who was traded to the Raiders last off season.
Rodgers is no stranger to the “will he? won’t he?” speculation of the off season after keeping everyone guessing in the summer of 2022 about his plans. He has recently revealed via his preferred way of communicating on the “Pat McAfee Show” that in addition to going on Ayahuasca retreats in Peru where you take the herbal remedy to enlighten, discover and revisit your life on “retrospective trips through your sub-conscious mind”, he will be going on a 4 day darkness retreat to help him decide on what the future holds for him describing the retreat in this way (as transcribed by Raiders Newswire)
“It’s going to be important to get through this week and then to take my isolation retreat and just to be able to contemplate all things my future and then make a decision that I feel like is best for me moving forward in the highest interest of my happiness and then move forward.”
“It’s a darkness retreat. I’ve had a number of friends who’ve done it and had some profound experiences. It’s something that’s been on my radar for a few years now and I felt like would be awesome to do regardless of where I was leaning after this season.”
The attraction of reuniting with Davante Adams as well as playing under 6 time Super Bowl winning coach Josh McDaniels and playing in the warm climate of Vegas armed with a plethora of dynamic offensive weapons must be a big pull. Maybe his darkness retreat coupled with the insight he has gained from his Ayahuasca retreats will help him decide to become a Raider where he can play golf everyday which is clearly one of his passions as his win at the 2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am alongside his professional partner, Ben Silverman on 26 under par showed.
Aaron Rodgers is a legendary quarter-back who is an open-minded critical thinker who made headlines when he went public on his thoughts about remaining unvaccinated and steering clear of the Covid 19 vaccinations voicing his concerns over what he perceives to be a virus that can be treated by the use of the nobel peace prize winning drug Ivermectin. No matter where you stand on that particular issue the 39 year old Rodgers is a very talented, intelligent and articulate free thinker who has an open mind and may well just ride off into the sunset with his extraordinary legacy of quarter-back stats. Should he retire now he would finish his career as a 4 time NFL MVP and Super Bowl winning MVP but his records regarding passing and his TD:INT ratio numbers are unrivalled.
He holds the following NFL records as per Wikipedia which demonstrate what a ridiculous talent he has been during his career and still is:
- Single season passer rating: 122.5 (2011)
- Lowest interception percentage in a season: 0.3% (2018)
- Consecutive passes without an interception: 402
- Lowest career interceptions percentage: 1.4%
- Career touchdown to interception ratio: 4.52
This last stat reveals that across his NFL career he has thrown 475 TD’s compared to just 105 INT’s. Having gained much more of an understanding of the player and the person that is Aaron Rodgers through writing this article it has become clear to me that we are unlikely to see another player possessing attributes even close to those of Aaron Rodgers and even more unlikely that we will see a QB who is unapologetically true to his own beliefs and values.
As Jimmy Dice reminded me, Aaron Rodgers has written his own script and established himself as one of the top all-time QB’s. No matter how you evaluate the position and the stats of players in his class he is a genuine premier level athlete who replaced a legend in Green Bay (Brett Favre) and went on to build his very own incredibly impressive legacy usurping his predecessor when all people could think about at the time was how badly the Packers were going to miss Brett Favre.
Aaron Rodgers has proven he is in the very top tier of NFL players and will remain so regardless of where or if he chooses to play again. What a man what a quarter-back!