BOSTON (CBS) -- Aaron Rodgers and the Packers lost on Sunday, ending their season and killing their Super Bowl dreams. As expected, Rodgers was a bit down in the dumps following the game.
"There's a lot of guys' futures that are uncertain -- myself included," Rodgers said.
With that, speculation ran rampant that Rodgers may want out of Green Bay. Whether it's the team's investment of a first-round pick in quarterback Jordan Love in what could have been an "all-in" season, residual disappointment from working under Mike McCarthy for so long, boiling rage from settling for a field goal from inside the 10-yard line while trailing by eight, some jealousy seeing the Buccaneers build a fantasy world around Tom Brady at age 43, or anything else, it's possible that Rodgers could desire a change in employer as he enters the final stage of his career.
While that would certainly be shocking, we've also seen Brady and Peyton Manning play for different teams late in their careers during this past decade, something that shouldn't ever be possible but nevertheless is an NFL reality.
And with that speculation, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio fired off a list of teams that could be theoretical landing spots for the future Hall of Famer. It's certain to catch some attention in New England.
It's obviously a lengthy list, and it includes some unknowns. But if there's one reason the Patriots could stand out among the pack of QB-needy teams, it's their salary cap space.
Rodgers has enormous cap hits for the next two seasons -- over $37 million in 2021, and almost $40 million in 2022, according to Over The Cap -- which certainly complicates matters. But if Rodgers refuses to play for the only pro franchise he's ever known, he'll likely have enough leverage to force a trade.
"Rodgers witnessed what happened when Favre decided as football season approached that he wanted to keep playing. Rodgers undoubtedly took mental if not actual notes on how he would choose to navigate his own final days in Green Bay, once he gets the sense that the team is plotting a future without him," Florio wrote. "Last April, the Packers made it clear that they are plotting a future without him. Rodgers can either sit back and let their plan play out unchallenged, or he can force the issue."
All of this is, of course, speculation. And the most likely scenario is that Rodgers returns to Green Bay for the season during which he will turn 38 years old. But if Rodgers really meant what he said on Sunday night, then things could get bananas in the NFL. And with no quarterback and a ton of cap space, it's only logical to believe that Bill Belichick would want to get involved.
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