I aspire to be an NFL General Manager (GM) and if I was one, I would not trade for Aaron Rodgers.
In the past, I really liked Rodgers. I was one of his biggest fans. I admired his ability to surgically dissect defenses with pinpoint precision. My mom cannot stand him and neither can my brother, but that is easily explainable because they are Vikings’ fans. As an evaluator and as someone who aspires to run a team, Rodgers is someone I really would have seriously entertained trading for had the trade rumors been heating up back then like they are now.
When Rodgers came off the field after the playoff loss against the Buccaneers, what he said was alarming to me. If it was not bad enough the Packers lost a heart breaker in the NFC Championship at frigid Lambeau Field against a team from warm and sunny Florida, Rodgers had to take it a step further. I was shocked when he said, “[There are] a lot of guys’ futures that are uncertain,” Rodgers told reporters, myself included.”
His post-game comments and the real day the “Aaron Rodgers trade rumors began,” can be found on the league’s website.
Maybe Rodgers should have instead decided to PM management instead of putting them on blast? I mean, I can understand being frustrated with a huge loss in the heat of the moment, but that is not what the moment felt like when Rodgers spoke. The moment felt strategic – about as strategic as one of his audibles to a quick slant. I get Rodgers is a competitive guy, but to choose to undermine the entire organization and create that much instability in a couple frozen breathes?
That is extremely concerning. Actually, it is more than that.
I never heard any previous legendary field generals of the Green Bay Packers talk like that. I never heard Bart Starr or Brett Favre talk like that. However, I heard Rodgers talk like that. I heard Rodgers take an extremely vulnerable moment on the timeline of his team and do something a team leader can never do – make it about himself. That is when I crossed Rodgers off my list. If I was named as the GM of a team, Rodgers would only have 30 teams to try to work a trade with – and if I was the GM in Green Bay, I would have released him that night.
When I saw on social media that Washington is now “supposedly” trying to put together some sort of trade proposal for Rodgers, I about fell out of my chair. Why in the world would the team-minded Martin Mayhew, Marty Hurney and Ron Rivera possibly be entertaining a deal for someone who proved they can undermine an entire organization with the flick of a tongue? While trading for Rodgers (who is perceived as being a franchise QB, or at least he used to be) looks like the luscious red apple hanging from the tree in the Garden of Eden, I am advising teams to look at who Rodgers is now (not who is was on game film two years ago) before they mortgage the future.
Washington does not need Rodgers. Washington already has a field general who turned in the franchise’s most memorable moment since John Riggins’ run in Super Bowl XVII in Taylor Heinicke (who proved he would sell out to cross the goal-line). How do I know that? Because as a Washington fan over the past 40 years, I saw both moments and everything in between. The “Football Team,” does not need to trade a handful of #1 picks, current players and whatever else for a field general who proved last January he is no longer a leader.
If he did it once – it is in him to do it again. No thank you.
The concept of a sports team ” is a collection of individuals who voluntarily and willingly surrender themselves to a greater cause.”
I do not care if Rodgers can throw for 7,000 yards and 150 touchdowns a year. This is not Madden and it is not fantasy football. This is real life and in the NFL his mindset will not win the big game again, which was proven at Lambeau Field last January.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.