With Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ future up in the air, rumors have started swirling about him possibly heading to Pittsburgh in the offseason.
This comes after Rodgers made some comments about Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during an interview on the Pat McAfee Show.
“I’m a big Mike Tomlin fan. I have been for a long time. I like the way he speaks about his team. I like the way he goes about his business. I like his confidence. I’ve heard nothing but good things from guys who’ve played there. I like Mike Tomlin.”
The Packers beat the Steelers (27-17) on Sunday at Lambeau Field. During the game, cameras picked up Rodgers and Tomlin smirking at one another as Rodgers tried to steal 5 yards by going hurry-up and catching the Steelers defense by surprise.
The mutual respect is evident.
Is Aaron Rodgers to the AFC and Pittsburgh a real possibility?
The uncertainty surrounding Rodgers’ future in Green Bay and the rapid decline of Steelers veteran leader Ben Roethlisberger (who is in the final year of his contract) has everyone talking about the possibility of Rodgers signing with the Black & Gold after this season
After the glowing remarks ”ARod” spewed about Tomlin, you’d be a fool to say it’s not.
Think about it; Rodgers is still very good, coming off an MVP season where he threw 48 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He led the Packers to within 5 yards of the Super Bowl.
This season he’s tossed eight touchdowns and just two interceptions. His demise was greatly exaggerated following a Week 1 (38-3) shellacking at the hands of the Saints.
The Packers have won three straight and are currently leading the AFC North. The possibility of landing Rodgers sounds great to a passionate fan base like the “Terrible Towels.”
Big Ben’s days in Pittsburgh numbered, and the organization has no faith in backups Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins to be serious candidates to take over the position.
Plus, it just fits. Rodgers has always done more with less, as he’s thrown only four touchdowns to first-round draft picks, and those were to tight end Marcedes Lewis, and he wasn’t drafted by Green Bay.
The Pack hasn’t drafted a receiver in the first round since Javon Walker in 2002. Rodgers would have weapons to work with in Pittsburgh, especially if Adams comes along for the ride.
Fending Off The Dogs
The AFC North division features three former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks in LaMar Jackson, Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow. Pittsburgh also needs to have someone it can trust under center.
The Steelers have been among the top-tier teams in the AFC for a long time. Having the same Hall of Fame quarterback and head coach for more than a decade was definitely the driving force behind that success.
Now football’s flagship franchise finds itself in an unusual position, looking at the former bottom feeders rising above them on the wings of young quarterback talent.
Rolling With ARod
This is all hypothetical, but Davante Adams, Rodgers’ favorite target in Green Bay, is set to be a free agent after the season, and he’s made it clear he wants to continue to catch passes from “ARod12.”
The Steelers already have a nice group of receivers in Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and tight end Eric Ebron, but none of them are in the same stratosphere as Adams.
“Rodgers’ future could 100 percent effect my future,” Adams said in an interview.
“Potentially, potentially. That’s my guy. The only guy I’ve had other than that 2017 season when he got hurt. That’s the only guy I’ve played with. We’ve built a special connection over the years that has put us both in really good positions in our career.
“Not that he needed me to come along for it, because he was already in that spot. We’ve established a lot together. It would change a lot, man. It doesn’t mean I’d be gone, but I’d definitely have to do some extra thinking if my guy wasn’t here.”
Those sentiments still ring true. The uncertainty of Rodgers’ future with the Packers was probably a major part of the reason why contract negotiations between the team and Adams broke down in August.
Sell Early Or Get Left With Nothing
The best bet for the Packers at season’s end may be to look to sign-and-trade both for a haul and salary cap implications.
Rodgers is out the door. Therefore, Adams becomes part of a package deal for any team looking to change the complexion of their offense. Green Bay can’t afford to have the franchise’s two best players walk away for nothing.