18

June

Is Aaron Rodgers Getting Too Old For the Green Bay Packers?

Football is a young man’s sport and even more so with the Green Bay Packers.  Since the introduction of Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy as the Packers general manager and head coach respectively, the Packers has consistently fielded one of the youngest rosters in the league.  In particular, Ted Thompson’s acumen for finding talented college players coupled with his penchant for ignoring free agency usually means there are a lot of players with little or no previous experience in the NFL.  The Packers have also been ruthless with aging veterans, where seemingly no player is safe; Charles Woodson, Cullen Jenkins, Chad Clifton, Marco Rivera, Mike Wahle, Darren Sharper were big name players all dumped to the curbside in favor of younger, cheaper options.

There is one exception of course and that’s the quarterback; while Ted Thompson probably believes he can replace just about every player on his roster with someone younger who can be equally talented (and overall he’s been right), even Ted Thompson realizes that quarterbacks are a different breed and the best are diamonds in the rough.  Aaron Rodgers is one of those quarterbacks and Ted Thompson made is clear that he’s not going to be replaced anytime soon by making him the highest paid player in the history of the NFL.

However, while Rodgers is here to stay for the long haul, the same can’t be said for the rest of the roster.  And as Rodgers continues to get older while the rest of the team gets younger, it’s naturally going to cause some issues.  One famous example was with Brett Favre and Randy Moss.  As told by Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post, in 2007 both the Packers and Patriots were interested in trading for Randy Moss, who had languished for 2 years with the Oakland Raiders.  At the end of the day, New England made the better deal and Moss was a Patriot.  Brett Favre was “livid” not only because he had long admired Moss while he was a Vikings but also because the Packers philosophy of building for the future did not work for Favre; Brandt mentions he told Favre he felt Greg Jennings would be a star in a couple years (which ultimately turned out to be true), but Favre countered that he didn’t have a couple years to wait (which also turned out to be ultimately be true).  In the end, Favre knew he only had a couple good years of football left and felt like the Packers were shortchanging him when instead they should have been giving him more ammo for one last push for a Super Bowl.  Obviously in retrospect, Ted Thompson was right to build the future (Aaron Rodgers), but had Rodgers not panned out, Favre would have been correct where sacrificing some of the future for the present would have been the better option.

While Aaron Rodgers has a couple good years left at the peak of his career, naturally after the peak comes the decline and he’s going to run into the same situation as his predecessor. It’s even going to be hard for Rodgers to relate to his new teammates sooner than later; imagine yourself in Rodgers’ shoes in a couple years; you’re a 30 year old star quarterback, 2011 NFL MVP, 2010 Super Bowl MVP and probable hall of famer, at this point in your career, it’s not about the money or the recognition, it’s about Super Bowls and enriching your legacy.  Rodgers might be married at this point, so a kid wouldn’t be out of the picture as well.  Now try to relate to a 21-year old 1st round pick, fresh out of college without a clue in the world.  All this guy wants to do is pick up chicks, go to clubs and flaunt his money around.  Even if he’s talented, it usually takes a couple of years for someone to really settle in and transition into a NFL player.  From Rodgers’ future perspective, is he really going to want to work with a guy like that or a free agent that Rodgers has always liked from afar who is far more in sync with his own point in life and career?

While it might sound a little crazy, Rodgers has already quietly expressed this opinion.  Last offseason, when the Packers brought in Cedric Benson, many of the fans were quick to write him off, with his numerous legal issues, history of underperformance with the Bears (much to the delight of the Packers fans) and overall lack of “splash” plays made it easy to assume Benson was another camp body (I admit I was one of those fans).  However, Rodgers was quick to defend his new teammate:

“I’ve always kind of watched his career from afar. Being drafted in 2005, I’ve followed the guys I was drafted with and the guys in the green room. It’s fun to see a lot of us still playing and playing at a high level. It’s fun to get Cedric in here. He’s a very talented guy.” – Aaron Rodgers

He goes on to state that he likes having a more veteran player because Benson knows what he’s supposed to do and naturally understands the game better than a younger player.  Compare this to when Rodgers broke off his assignment to trail recently signed DuJuan Harris in the event that the former car salesman fumbled the ball or Rodgers’ disappointed comments about the release of Charles Woodson and you can see the difference

In the end, will Ted Thompson change philosophies for just one player?  For any other player the answer would be an astounding no, but for Rodgers, Thompson may have to bite the bullet and give the guy a break.  While Favre was Ron Wolf’s “guy” and who has commented that his biggest regret was not giving Favre more weapons after the 1997 season, Aaron Rodgers is Thompson’s “guy” and hopefully Thompson can arm the Packers with plenty of young talent without alienating his veteran quarterback.

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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38 Responses to “Is Aaron Rodgers Getting Too Old For the Green Bay Packers?”

  1. Batavia Greg says:

    AR once said that Brian Urlacher was his “favorite player to play against.” Does this mean that TT won’t fill the void at ILB with Takeo Spikes after all?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  2. jeremy says:

    I this for real?

    RB and QB are totally different when it comes to age.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

    • Elle says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 12

      • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

        Did you two even read the article? Because your comments strongly suggest otherwise.

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        • Jason Perone Jason Perone says:

          Haha, the one says this is dumb, yet they still read it (or at least tried to). Clearly the title was well chosen and they clicked enter.

          Comments like these further strengthen the argument that comment sections can quickly become a cesspool. Maybe we should just get rid of it.

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          • marpag says:

            Um, OK. But I also think that people would have clicked if the headline had said, “Aaron Rodgers mauled to death by polar bear.”

            The fact that people click doesn’t make it a good or responsible title. Even the author seems to admit that the headline poses a question that no one in their right mind is seriously asking.

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            • Dobber says:

              Agreed. The title might have read better “WHEN will Aaron Rodgers be too old for the Packers”. The article is only marginally about now.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

              • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

                I agree, I wasn’t writing about now, I’m talking in the very near future though, especially in terms of Rodgers and the majority of the team being at different points in their life.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

            • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

              Challenge accepted! Now I have to come up with an article to fit the title.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

              • Batavia Greg says:

                The title to your article is perfectly fine, Thomas. It piques the reader’s interest and curiosity and should spur him on to read the whole of the article. That is assuming, of course, that the reader is intelligent enough to even be curious.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

          • Stroh says:

            No offense, but I find it difficult to read the article cuz the title is completely laughable. So its hard to criticize a commenter for not reading it, when in reality… Well it isn’t realistic!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

        Where did I say that Thompson was going to cut Rodgers? In fact I’m arguing that the issue is that Thompson is going to cut everyone BUT Rodgers

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      As far as I recall, Brett Favre was not a RB

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  3. Kevin says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14

    • Dobber says:

      Sorry, but your facts end with the 13-3 season. To presume that the Packers would have automatically been an SB contender in 2007 WITH Favre is sheer speculation…given the Packers were, what, 12-20 in the two preceding seasons? Lightning in a bottle? Maybe a Favre-led team would’ve been 4-12…

      The bottom line is that Favre dumped himself after that 13-3 season. He opened the door and TT walked through it. It’s TTs job, as mentioned, to keep the long-term health of this franchise in mind. With the exception of the 6-10 season, this has been a SB-contending NFL team ever since.

      We should expect in two or three years for the next QB of the Packers to pop up via draft.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 6

    • Jason Perone Jason Perone says:

      Let’s not forget Favre had a detached bicep injury with the Jets in ’08 that he just as easily could have also suffered had he stayed in Green Bay.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      I’m not arguing that Favre should have been dumped at all, if anything you could say I’m stating a reason why Favre was unhappy with the front office, basically because the front office had moved on and was trying to get players for the future (Rodgers) instead of the present (Favre) and I would be angry too if I was Favre.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Mark says:

    I beg to differ. Look at the stats from the ’07 NFC Title game. The offense was terrible. We were fortunate that Driver got loose for that 90 yard TD or it would have been much worse. While watching that game I was hoping that MM would have put Rodgers in for Favre in the second half. He showed that he could move the team against Dallas.

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    • Dobber says:

      Maybe, but Matt Flynn showed he could move the ball against New England…would you sit Rodgers for Flynn? No way. And there’s no way you sit Favre in that situation for Rodgers.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

      • Stroh says:

        Eccept for thr obvious fact that Favre told the Packers and the world for that matter that he RETIRED! Thompson chose not to let Favre run the franchise like he dif when sherman was GM.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. Batavia Greg says:

    For those of you who like to comment without first reading the article, let me explain that my first post was a joke. It implies that TT would sign Brian Urlacher simply because AR, “Thompson’s guy,” likes him. I have in the past suggested that TT sign Takeo Spikes to replace the now released Desmond Bishop not because he’s a younger player (actually, he’s a year older than Urlacher) but because TT could pay him less than Bishop.

    There, I’ve spelled-out the joke. Excellent article, by-the-way, Mr. Hobbes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • Jason Perone Jason Perone says:

      Well said, Greg. I am probably also guilty of posting funnies that don’t come off that way and so I’m sure I am on a few dartboards around here:)

      My point in doing it, though, is that these thoughts are meant to spurn discussion. The negativity does no good at all. Everyone is entitled to an opinion as long as it’s not pointed as a jab.

      I have read many a fan site. We have a good thing going on here. Our fans tend to be the upper echelon, minus the occasional blip. Want to see it stay that way!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • Batavia Greg says:

        Yes, humor can be used to stimulate thought and discussion. I agree with Mojo’s observation that Thomas’s article was written “tongue-in-cheek.” I enjoy his articles because they often display a playful and subtle sense of humor. It is unfortunate that some of the commentators on this site are so serious and seemingly humorless that they don’t get it.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  6. Mojo says:

    That the Packers don’t keep players over a certain age is a misnomer. The biggest reason the roster is typically young is the D&D philosophy. That is, TT gets nearly all of his player through the draft or UDFAgency. That doesn’t mean he won’t keep older players if he feels they’ll be productive. He resigned Woodson at age 33 to a two year extension. I think Ryan Pickett was 29 when he signed a four year extension which he is on the verge of playing out.

    I think the tone of this post was in part tongue-in-cheek, but it does give me the opportunity to espouse against what I believe is an overstated sentiment about TT and older players. If Rodgers was productive and willing, I don’t think TT would hesitate to play him into his 40′s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      I’d agree with you somewhat, but it’s Thompson’s draft and develop philosophy plus the fact that older players are more expensive. So it’s not that Thompson dumps older players, more that Thompson dumps players who make a lot and aren’t worth the money, which usually happens to be older players. Ryan Pickett is a prime example of an older player who Thompson has actually retained because his value was too good.

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  7. Jason Perone Jason Perone says:

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  8. [...] Is Aaron Rodgers Getting Too Old For the Green Bay Packers? | Jersey Al’s [...]

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  9. BrianD says:

    “Now try to relate to a 21-year old 1st round pick, fresh out of college without a clue in the world. All this guy wants to do is pick up chicks, go to clubs and flaunt his money around.”

    Talk about an exaggeration. Do you really think most young athletes waste their life in a party culture? These are devoted young athletes with plenty of drive to compete in the NFL. There’s little to no time for the vices of this world when you’re competing against the greatest physical talent in the United States.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      There are definitely 21 year olds that are very driven and on the straight and narrow. There are also plenty of 21 year olds that have no idea what they are doing and if you give them a handful of cash, they will end up doing something they will regret. Professional football players are no different. It should be pointed out that Charles Woodson, even with all his talent and success early on in Oakland admitted he partied every night and didn’t sleep before coming in for practice. TJ Lang also admitted to eating poorly and partying all the time the first couple seasons. I think the difference is that some player are physically talented enough where they don’t have to be all that mentally disciplined.

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  11. Michael says:

    Why make him the highest paid player in NFL history if he’s to old? If he was a running back then I would say yes, but if the o-line does their job, he can play another 6-8 years like he wants too.

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      Again, I’m not saying the Packers are going to get rid of Rodgers, I’m saying the Packers are going to get rid of everyone but Rodgers and this will alienate Rodgers at some point.

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  12. Once a QB establishes himself they’re around till they get hurt or their skills diminish, look at Peyton & all he went through to keep playing. The position demands certain skills that most only acquire by playing, so it’s not unusual to have QB’s distance themselves from the rest of the team age-wise. It’s their job to just make “new friends” on the team.

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      How many friends do you have that are a decade older or younger than you? I would assume not as many as those who are in the same age range as you. People relate better to people in similar situations and Rodgers may have a hard time commiserating with a guy who 21 when he’s 31. This isn’t a fault of the Packers or Rodgers, this is just how the human mind works. You hang out with people who share common interests and see the world like you do.

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  13. David says:

    Success never gets old.

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  14. GBPDAN says:

    I just hope that TT can land at least one (or more) SBs while Arod is still playing strong. I know the CM3/Arod contracts are going to hinder him ,cap wise, some what for the near future, but the bottom line is the talent on this team is Thompson’s responsibility and he needs to make good decisions personal wise to give Rogers every chance to bring home the VL trophy. Can’t be overly frugal

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