It was April 2005. Brett Favre had been the Packers starting quarterback for 13 seasons — none of them below .500, 10 of them resulting in playoff berths including the last four, and one of them ending with a Super Bowl title.
Favre was about to enter his age 36 season. Aaron Rodgers slid down to Green Bay’s slot in the first round of the draft at No. 24. And the Packers grabbed him, setting the course for an often successful but also complicated next 15 seasons.
“I’m hopeful that Brett continues to play and play for a
long time and this guy develops into one of the best backups in the
league behind Brett Favre and then when Brett does decide that it’s
time, whenever that is, hopefully way down the road, he’ll be ready
to go,” Packers head coach Mike Sherman said at the time.
That’s what happened. Sort of.
Favre flirted with retirement often, but played three more season in Green Bay — the last of which, in 2007, ended with an overtime loss in the NFC title game. The Packers decided to make the switch to Rodgers after that season. An ugly breakup ensued, sending Favre to the Jets and ultimately the Vikings. Rodgers led the Packers to another Super Bowl after the 2010 season and has a 113-60-1 record as a starter.
Now Rodgers is 36. Is it time for the Packers to start thinking about their future QB again? It’s not out of the question, and Rodgers was asked about it during a radio appearance Friday.
How would he feel about that?
“I’m a realist,” Rodgers said, per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “I know where we’re at as an organization and I know where I’m at my career.”
OK, that’s a little bland. Can we try again?
“No matter who you bring in, they’re not going to be able to beat me out anytime soon,” Rodgers also said.
Ah, that’s better — and, let’s face it, realistic.
Some of Rodgers’ advanced numbers have tailed off in the last two season — 2019 is the most relevant since it came in the new system under Matt LaFleur — but he’s still thrown for 51 touchdowns against just six interceptions in those two seasons. Last year Rodgers took the Packers to a 13-3 record and the NFC title game.
The Patriots have drafted numerous quarterbacks during the Tom Brady Era, using them as backups and/or trade bait. Still, it would be interesting to see Green Bay go that route this year given the history.
The year the Packers drafted Rodgers, by the way, they slumped to a 4-12 record and Favre had his worst year as a Green Bay QB.