The Aaron Rodgers offseason saga is still ongoing. As it was last year around this time, Rodgers is still undecided about his future with the Packers following his team’s surprising divisional round home playoff loss to the Niners.
There have been rumors of Rodgers retiring and others of him staying in Green Bay another season. The third option is leaving Cheesetown to play for another franchise.
After a long, drawn-out ordeal, Rodgers set an unofficial deadline for his decision on his future for today, March 8, to coincide with the franchise tag deadline.
One team that has been mentioned as a possible landing spot for the future first-ballot Hall of Famer is the Pittsburgh Steelers. This isn’t the first time the Steelers surfaced as a possible destination for Rodgers.
Pittsburgh saw its future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger call it quits in January after 18 seasons and two Super Bowl victories. Now the Steelers need a player at the game’s most important position.
Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says a trade there makes no sense for either team.
— Ron Cook (@RonCookPG) March 7, 2022
“One, the Steelers would be crazy to go after Rodgers,” Cook wrote. “And two, Rodgers would be a fool to come to the Steelers. A trade makes no sense for either side.”
“The Steelers have far too many glaring needs beyond quarterback to heavily invest in Rodgers,” Cook continued. “A near-the-end Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t at his best last season, but he was far down the list of Steelers’ shortcomings. Start with the offensive line and the lack of a running game. The receivers fell off late in the season. The run defense was the worst in the NFL. Devin Bush and Joe Schobert were major disappointments.”
What does 420 Pass TD mean to Aaron Rodgers?
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) October 3, 2021
Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt, along with All-Pro Cameron Heyward and former All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick made up for a lot of the team’s defensive deficiencies. The Steelers can’t count on them to repeat those heroics in 2022-23.
Cook Believes The Team Has Much Bigger Needs Than To Invest In A QB That Expensive
“The Steelers priority list, other than quarterback, should include an offensive lineman, a receiver if JuJu Smith-Schuster leaves as expected, a defensive lineman, especially if Stephen Tuitt doesn’t come back, an inside linebacker and secondary help if Joe Haden, Ahkello Witherspoon and Terrell Edmunds all move on as free agents.”
This should come as no surprise, as the Steelers were bad in the trenches on both sides of the football. Rookie running back Najee Harris rushed for over 1,000 yards despite an offensive line that ranked 24th in run-block win rate and 29th in yards allowed before contact (0.9).
They also ranked 17th in pass-block win rate, but with Big Ben getting rid of the ball so quickly (2.2 seconds) it didn’t translate into many sacks by the opponent. But the O-line did allow 142 pressures, ranking sixth-worst in the league. Their run defense finished dead last in the league in 2021, allowing 143.8 yards per game.
Steelers Can’t Afford To Pay Rodgers: It’ll Require Too Much Draft Capital
Reports say Rodgers may want somewhere in the neighborhood of $50M per season, which would cripple Green Bay’s salary structure even further. Plus, the Steelers are in a rebuild-on-the-fly mode and aren’t in a position to relinquish any valuable draft picks. If Rodgers isn’t willing to take a pay cut to move on, then trading him to a team that needs multiple reinforcements isn’t a real possibility.
If Aaron Rodgers wants $50 million per year, he's not being selfish. He's being smart. He's earned it; he should get it. https://t.co/h0ZNYz5w4Y
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 27, 2022
The Packers are trying to make sure Rodgers doesn’t go anywhere as they await his “decision.”
ESPN reported Monday that the Packers have offered the back-to-back NFL MVP a highly-profitable long-term contract that “would alter the quarterback market.” It’s reportedly a deal that exceeds Patrick Mahomes’ record 10-year $450M deal and would provide Rodgers, who has just one Super Bowl win, with security into his 40s.
According to Pro Football Talk, “trade partners and trade compensation have already been lined up for Rodgers if he decides he wants to play for another team next season” so the ball is totally in his court.
Rodgers And Mike Tomlin Have Admiration For Each Other
In an interview on the “Pat McAfee Show” last year, Rodgers expressed his deep respect for Tomlin, which of course had the social media rumor mill going.
"I'm a big Mike Tomlin fan & I have been for a long time.. I like the way that he speaks about his team & goes about his business" ~@AaronRodgers12 on the smirk off with Mike Tomlin on Sunday#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/qT1cQvsmdj
— 🅿️at McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 5, 2021
Things really picked up when Rodgers and Tomlin shared an in-game “moment” during a 27-17 Packers win over the Steelers this past season.
Mike Tomlin and Aaron Rodgers sharing a cool moment of respect after Tomlin called a timeout before one of Rodgers’ signature Too Many Men On The Field penalties pic.twitter.com/peW3ocpHvg
— Josh Hill (@jdavhill) October 3, 2021
The respect between coach and player is there, but the financial ramifications that a deal like this would cause are too burdensome.
More news from our partners: