One game can change the entire trajectory of an NFL franchise.
Could last week’s NFC Championship be the next example? Green Bay was the top-seeded team in the conference and was a field-goal favorite to advance to the Super Bowl.
Tom Brady had something to say about it, though, leading the Buccaneers to the road win at Lambeau Field. Now, the Packers have to decide what their future with Aaron Rodgers is going to be.
He deemed his future as “uncertain” following the 31-26 loss last Sunday. Rodgers threw 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions during the regular season, making his fifth NFC title game appearance.
The 37-year-old quarterback has spent his entire 16-year career in Green Bay. He still has three years left on his current contract, but the franchise could choose to move on and clear up salary-cap space.
“I don’t think that there is any reason why I wouldn’t be back,” Rodgers told The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday. “But look, there’s not many absolutes in this business. So to make an absolute statement about something that is not an absolute, I didn’t do it. And I guess that’s why it went kind of nuts.”
Oddsmakers agree with Rodgers. BetOnline has him priced at -500 to be starting Game 1 of the 2021 season with the Packers. Bettors can get the ‘no’ option of the prop at +300.
“I’ll say this, there’s no way in heck that Aaron is not going to be on the Packers,” Packers president Mark Murphy told WTAQ-WNFL radio in Green Bay on Monday. “I mean, he is going to be the MVP of the league. He might have had his best year ever. He’s our unquestioned leader, and, you know, we’re not idiots.”
The speculation really began prior to the 2020 season even kicking off. Green Bay drafted quarterback Jordan Love in the first round as a possible replacement of Rodgers. Love, a Utah State product, was trending on Twitter following Sunday’s title game.
Many Packers fans felt as if their franchise should have drafted another weapon for Rodgers in the first round, rather than prepare for a future without him.
“Naturally, there’s time when you let your mind go to maybe, ‘I’m going to be a Packer for life,’” Rodgers said. “…When they drafted Jordan, it was more the reality kicking in. Like, hey, that’s actually never the case. There are no absolutes in this business. I think it’s a beautiful thing to sit with and wrap your head around.”
Offshore sportsbook Bovada is in agreement with the oddsmakers at BetOnline. They have Green Bay listed as a -550 favorite to be Rodgers’ team to begin the 2021 season. If he were to head elsewhere, San Francisco (+800), New Orleans (+850) and New England (+950) are considered the most likely destinations.