Aaron Rodgers has been one of the most iconic quarterbacks in NFL history. He has arguably been the face of the Packers for over a decade and has broken many records in his time. But is Rodgers being overpaid by the Packers?
Rodgers signed a huge four-year $134 million contract extension with over $100 million guaranteed in 2018, ESPN reports. However, Rodgers has not been the same since his collarbone injury.
Back in Oct. 2017, Rodgers and the Packers played the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota. Seven minutes into the first quarter, after an attempted pass to tight end Robert Tonyan, Rodgers was tackled by Vikings’ linebacker Anthony Barr. Rodgers landed right on his shoulder and immediately exited the game. Rodgers ended up breaking his right collarbone that required surgery, ending his season.
Rodgers came back in 2018 not fully himself. He ended the season with only 25 touchdown passes, 62.3 percent completion rate, and a 54.4 percent quarterback rating. The Packers ended up missing the playoffs that season, finishing with a 6-9-1 record.
Before his collarbone injury, Rodgers would average about 33 touchdown passes and 280 yards per game. Rodgers also led his team to a Super Bowl victory in 2011 when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. Rodgers was named Super Bowl MVP and ended the regular season with 45 touchdown passes, five interceptions and an 84.5 quarterback rating.
After Rodgers’ Super Bowl triumph, many believed that he was going to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. However, ever since winning the Super bowl, Rodgers failed to play in another Super Bowl.
The Packers made the playoffs from 2011-2016, however, each year ended in a loss in the playoffs. Then 2017 hit and this is where we began to see Rodgers slowly decline in performance.
So did the Packers make a mistake extending Rodgers for that much money? There are three factors that made this a very bad decision:
1. Old Age
When Rodgers signed his contract, he was 34 years old. He also was just coming off a serious collarbone injury. His contract is set to end in 2022 when he turns 38 years old. The Packers did not take into consideration Rodgers’ age, especially coming back from major surgery.
It is no secret that the Packers extended Rodgers right after a major collarbone injury. It is also no secret that Rodgers has not been the same quarterback since his injury. Though last season Rodgers was able to keep healthy, it is hard to say if he can stay healthy for the next few seasons, considering his old age.
3. The Younger Quarterbacks
Last season we saw huge dominance of younger quarterbacks in Lamar Jackson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and Josh Allen. Now that Tom Brady is no longer with the Patriots, there will be a whole new group of competitors that have young quarterbacks. Rodgers is clearly ageing, and his performance shows he is. The Packers will have to rely on more than just Rodgers to see success against these teams this season.
Not to say that Rodgers is a bad quarterback, because clearly he is one of the best quarterbacks the Packers have ever had, he is just not putting the numbers he used to put up, which brings up doubts of whether the Packers may have overpaid Rodgers.
The Packers used their first-round draft pick to get quarterback Jordan Love from Utah State. This could be a sign that the Packers are losing faith in their veteran quarterback entering the 2020 season. It will not be a surprise if Love starts a couple of games this season for the Packers. Unless Rodgers can put up the numbers he used to put up before, be prepared to see a new quarterback in Green Bay this upcoming season.