Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre carved different paths as Packers legends but will leave the same way
GREEN BAY, Wisconsin. Aaron Rodgers was different from his predecessor as quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in many ways, from how he played to how he lived his life in the public eye.
It was intended.
He was not a reckless shooter, the personality that defined Brett Favre, whose interceptions were as spectacular as his touchdowns.
Rogers didn’t often let outsiders get to know him 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 whatever was in his life. early career painkillers, mourning the unexpected death of a father, a wife’s recovery from cancer.
Rogers even conducted his press conferences differently. While Favre preferred the podium in the media audience and often lip-shot, Rogers liked to talk to journalists at his locker, where he gave thoughtful answers.
However, the end seems to be the same for both.
Favre is gone, and it looks like Rodgers will be leaving too — leaving Green Bay via a deal with the New York Jets, either after an initial retirement (Favre) or after a public discussion of retirement (Rogers).
On Wednesday, during his nearly hour-long McAfee show, Rodgers had little doubt that his days with the Packers were over and he was ready to be traded to the Jets.
Rogers said he went into his recent meditative dark retreat “90 percent retired and 10 percent in the game.” At that moment, he thought 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 probably won’t be revealed until after the deal is done, Rodgers put his cards on the table during this lengthy interview.
“The Packers would like to move on,” Rodgers said. “They made it clear to me in so many words. They made it clear to other people in direct words. Because I still have that fire and I want to play and I would love to play in New York, it’s just a matter of doing it for now.”
Even though Favre’s departure caused so much bitterness, it should not be forgotten that he really wanted to return to the Packers after his brief retirement – only to be rejected and, in the end, he was traded. The majority vote supported Favre and blamed then-general manager Ted Thompson and team president Mark Murphy.
Rodgers has been more vague about whether he really would have preferred to return to the Packers, but he can argue that the Packers pushed him to do so by trading quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft and he would have had case. .
But Murphy made it clear last week that the Packers are ready to move on no matter what Rodgers wants.
While Favre made no secret of his dissatisfaction with the way things had ended for him in Green Bay, Rogers took a softer stance.
“There is nothing in my heart but love for every Packer fan and everyone who works for the organization,” Rogers said on Wednesday. “My life is better because I spent time in Green Bay. But we just have to face reality. They want to move on. They don’t want me to come back and that’s okay. They are ready to move on with Jordan. It’s amazing.”
That end tarnished Rodgers’ legacy, at least with the Packers. During Rodgers’ offseason in 2021, when he threatened to retire before playing for the Packers again, Murphy revealed that the late Thompson, who drafted Rodgers in 2005, once called the quarterback “complicated guy“.
Now that Rodgers is playing elsewhere, the same word – complex – can be used to describe his Green Bay legacy.
If he’s not the best regular season quarterback of all time, at least he’s in a group photo. The fourth NFL MVP award he received in 2021 means that only Peyton Manning has won more (five).
But MVP is a regular season award.
The playoffs, at least since the Packers won Super Bowl XLV and ended the 2010 season, tell a different story. Rodgers has a 7-9 record as a starter in the postseason since his only championship. Those 16 straight postseason starts without a Super Bowl represent the longest streak by any quarterback in NFL history. And that streak includes a 0-4 record in NFC title games after defeating the Chicago Bears that sent the Packers to their only Super Bowl under Rodgers.
It may have been painful to hear from the former NFL coach and current Sportzshala analyst. Rex Ryan evaluates Rogers after the Packers lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round to take the top seed in the NFC in 2021.
“This guy’s legacy is the fact that he lost,” Ryan said, adding that Rodgers is “the best football shot I’ve ever seen.”
At least that season, the Packers made the playoffs.
Rodgers couldn’t even make it last season, losing at Lambo Field to the Detroit Lions in the regular season finals. This ended what was arguably his worst season as a starter. He had almost as many steals (12) as he did in the previous three seasons combined (13). After consecutive MVP seasons, Rodgers has the fewest rushing yards (3,695) in any season in which he played at least 15 games. He didn’t have a single pass for 300 yards. He’s never had a season before that was less than three games for 300-plus yards.
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 roster was weaker after Green Bay traded wide receiver Davante Adams.
Whatever happens to the Jets, assuming the trade can be completed, Rodgers’ place in the Packers’ record book is as follows: he’s the franchise leader in touchdown passes (475), completion percentage (65.3), and passer rating ( 103.6) and ranks. trailing only Favre in passing yards (59,055) and finishing (5,001).
His 475 touchdowns 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 are all of his MVP seasons).
“I would say I’m the undisputed best player in the history of the franchise,” Rodgers said on Wednesday. “I am definitely participating in the conversation.
Only four times in NFL history has a quarterback thrown at least 35 touchdowns with five or fewer interceptions in a season: three times by Rogers and once by Tom Brady. Rodgers has a 9.4 touchdown-to-interception ratio over the last two seasons, according to Sportzshala Stats & Information, the best two-season total in NFL history with at least 1,000 attempts.
Yet it’s not Rodgers’ fault 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 as many Super Bowls as Rodgers, but there don’t seem to be many people who think that Brees didn’t make it.
When Rodgers and Brees were scheduled to face off in the 2020 season, Sportzshala used 2,278 words to try to explain how these two iconic quarterbacks each only won one Super Bowl. Three would have been enough: “It’s really hard.”
Is that a barometer? said then former Packers general manager Ron Wolf. “Is this 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 the Super Bowl or not? good player, it shouldn’t matter.”
Of course, it was Wolf who came up with that infamous line more than a decade ago after the Packers failed to repeat their success as Super Bowl champions after the 1997 season: “We’re a one-year miracle, just a fart in the wind.”
Perhaps that’s because in 31 seasons with either Rodgers or Brett Favre as quarterback in Green Bay — the city that calls itself “Titletown” — Packers fans have seen two Super Bowl parades.
It’s long been the opinion that the Packers didn’t do enough to support either quarterback, but there’s also plenty of evidence that the quarterbacks in question did enough to prevent themselves from doing better – Favre with his interception penchant and Rodgers with such performances. as 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 change teams to do so.
If Rogers is not being fully appreciated for his achievements now, then perhaps time will change that. So it was with Favre, who was booed twice at Lambo Field when he returned in a Minnesota Viking uniform after his only season with the Jets. Now, it’s as if Favre has never played for another team, let alone a bitter rival.
Rogers’ departure may not upset the masses as much. There were calls for Love to replace Rodgers last season when things went badly.
It’s time to find out if these cries were justified.
“Jordan is going to be a great player,” Rodgers said. “He’s a damn cool kid. He had a really good year this year, he got better in the team in terms of looks. He has a bright future ahead of him. They have a good young team. I have so many great friends on this team that I’m still great friends with. But the fact of the matter is that over the past 15 years, the franchise has become obsolete, and it’s time to fix it.”
If Love fails to continue the franchise’s remarkable run of elite quarterbacks, and the Packers return to the obscurity they endured in the 1970s and 1980s, then perhaps those angered by Rodgers’ departure will be even more upset.
If Love does what Rogers did and proves himself a worthy replacement for the legend, then it may not matter what Rogers does from now until his retirement.