The SF 49ers haven’t had a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback since Steve Young back in the 1990s. Now, there’s chatter about making a move for Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers who grew up a San Francisco fan.
General manager John Lynch should make a call.
Let’s get this straight: The chances of this happening are extremely slim. Actually, next to impossible. However, for the right price and situation, it makes this scenario a possibility. And even the man himself suggested a change could be in the air.
Rodgers and the Packers are fresh off losing the NFC Championship for the second year in a row. Last season, the SF 49ers dominated Green Bay in the championship game while fellow Niners fan and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady stole the trophy from the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday afternoon.
If you have social media, especially Twitter, you’ll know every single quarterback has been linked to the SF 49ers. And of course Rodgers joined the list.
Right after the game, Pro Football Talk tweeted possible places for Rodgers:
All these teams are looking to upgrade their quarterback situation with some more ready to win now more than others.
SF 49ers arguably have more talent
On the list of teams above, the 49ers roster is certainly more intriguing than the others.
Their roster has the likes of speedy receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. They have one of the best tight ends in the NFL with George Kittle. And, their backfield is relatively strong.
One of the biggest red flags during Rodgers career is the Packers haven’t got him much talent. Yes receiver DaVante Adams and running back Aaron Jones are elite players, but outside of them there’s really nothing. Green Bay even had the audacity to draft a quarterback (Jordan Love) in the 2020 NFL Draft. You could argue the writing was on the wall then.
With a younger core who just came off a Super Bowl appearance and only failed in 2020 because of injuries and the fourth toughest schedule, the SF 49ers are definitely more appealing.
Rodgers is an upgrade over SF 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Though he only has one ring, Rodgers has proven each and every season he deserves to be in the “GOAT” conversation.
Over the last three seasons, Rodgers has lead the Packers to back-to-back 13-3 seasons and NFC Championship appearances and has started in every single game. During this run, he’s thrown for 99 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and 12,743 yards. Green Bay’s record over three years was 32-15-1.
It’s a completely different situation for Jimmy Garoppolo. He has a winning record at 17-8 but has 39 touchdowns, 21 picks, and 5,792 yards. Much of this is due to one great 2019 season sandwiched between two injury filled years.
When it comes to the final two minutes of the half, the difference between Rodgers and Graoppolo is staggering. Rodgers threw for eight touchdowns and zero interceptions, while Garoppolo tossed two scores and threw three interceptions in 2020.
But it gets even more eye opening when it comes to playing behind. When Rodgers is down by eight points or less, he’s thrown for eight touchdowns. Garoppolo only threw for one.
In a tough NFC West division, having those come from behind victories is crucial.
Rodgers leadership would level up SF 49ers organization
When you’ve been in the NFL for 15 years, you’ve seen it all. Super Bowls, heartbreaking defeats, trades, retirements, everything. All of it shapes you into how you become a better leader and player.
The Bleacher Report’s John Frymiare talked about Rodgers leadership back in 2011. Much of it still rings true about the man himself. But one of the most important aspects Frymiare brought up was Rodgers leadership in the huddle:
When Aaron Rodgers steps into the huddle, it is his huddle. Despite the presence of many established veterans on the team—such as Charles Woodson, Chad Clifton and Donald Driver—he is the consensus leader of the team. He leads the pre-game prayer, he takes on the blame when the team makes mistakes and he prefers to praise others rather than himself.
This is by no means a knock on Jimmy G. He has a great locker room presence, his teammates love him, and you get a feeling they’d rather ride with Jimmy G into next season than lose him.
However, Rodgers can come in and make the same bonds as Garoppolo. He can easily fit in with head coach Kyle Shanahan and newly appointed offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel. They could take this team to the promised land.
Rodgers has been a lifelong SF 49ers fan
This story has been going on for 15 years. And you’re extremely tired of reading about it. But it could be a key factor into a Rodgers trade to the Bay Area. Playing at home, or close to it, is a major point for players to make a move.
Rodgers was born in a small town called Chico, California. It’s a lovely area with some great places to eat, sleep and play mini golf. It’s only 139 miles from San Francisco which could help lure Rodgers to the west coast.
We know Rodgers would’ve had his dream come true if the SF 49ers drafted him back in the day. But could he still want to make his dream come true after all these years?
If the 49ers reached out to Brady in March and inquired about his desire to play for his childhood team, you can’t help but wonder if Lynch is thinking the same thing about Rodgers.
Draw back to Rodgers being on the SF 49ers
His age isn’t getting younger and it could serve as a problem, especially if the offence line doesn’t improve. Rodgers will be turning 38 in December and if his future is truly uncertain, retirement could be looming.
Another factor is money. Even if the SF 49ers trade or cut Garoppolo, Rodgers is still making more money than the organization can really afford. Jennifer Lee Chan of NBCS 49ers broke down a bit of the situation:
Would a former NFL Super Bowl champion and potentially the 2020 MVP restructure his contract to play his final years out in the ol’ stomping grounds?
Finally, what would it cost the SF 49ers to make a trade? It would be more than a deal with either Detroit for Matthew Stafford and Houston for Deshaun Watson for sure. The 49ers can’t necessarily afford to give up a bunch of first and second round picks. And, EDGE Nick Bosa and Kittle are off the table.
This is only the beginning of an extremely long offseason for the SF 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo. But if the price is right for a future hall of fame quarterback to play in San Francisco again, it’s time to make a deal.