Like most people, I am pretty annoyed with wild speculation about where Aaron Rodgers may or may not end up in 2022, a point in Rodgers' contract where the Packers can cut ties with the future Hall of Fame quarterback with limited financial repercussions. Some places are offering three or four landing spots; some have made a top ten. Usually though, it's someone telling us that the Vikings are gonna be all-in on yet another former Packers QB, or the Bears, or maybe the Lions, because why not.
Here is your comprehensive look at where Aaron Rodgers may or nay not end up in 2022. Or 2021. Or 2023. Whenever.
Green Bay Packers
Hey, he's still under contract for four more years! If the Packers do nothing transaction-wise with him, they can run Rodgers out there through another presidential election cycle.
Plausibility: The most likely of all scenarios, and also the most boring by far.
Because the Brett Favre experiment worked out so well for them before. It's not going to stop people from dreaming; after all, it was once unfathomable that Favre would don the horns and fans yelling SKOL would be rooting for the ol' gunslinger.
Plausibility: Do we really have to go through this again?
From Peter Tom Willis to Trevor Lawrence, the Chicago Bears will have started something like 500 quarterbacks since Brett Favre arrived in Green Bay through the time Aaron Rodgers leaves. Maybe this time the Packers can trade for Khalil Mack in a deal?
Plausibility: Bear-on Rodgers would be fun in the same way that your little brother crying to your mom because you won't give up the remote is fun.
Ford Field, 2022: Aaron Rodgers calling his own plays in spite of his head coach, throwing his arms up at no one in particular when an RPO gets stuffed for no gain. Except the head coach is in the huddle. And the coach is the quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is the coach and quarterback.
Plausibility: Rodgers already has experience being his own coach. so sure. Why not?
Tampa Bay Home For Aging Legendary Quarterbacks
Live the twilight of your career out in one of American's largest cities in a sunny warm climate and enjoy the local tax code! Also, your divisional rivals are all part of the greatest QB division in the NFL. Retiring in Florida... who would find that weird?
Plausibility: Move over Tompa Bay, it's time for Tampa Bay-Rod!
Imagine what Rodgers could do with a guy like Christian McCaffrey running around on offense. Now imagine the Packers shelling out similar money for Aaron Jones. That's a lot of money.
Plausibility: Vinny Testaverde finished his career with Carolina, playing in the 'Senior Bowl' in 2007 against... Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers! So sure, this could work.
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans is fond of collecting former Packers quarterbacking legends as of late. Plus, Brett Favre's nearby, and Rodgers can get shrimp po'boys any time he wants.
Plausibility: Rodgers will miss out on being the heir apparent to Drew Brees, so perhaps we move this one down the board.
Matt-lanta be damned, Rodgers on turf is a scary, scary thought. Even scarier is Rodgers with a team that has drafted not one, but TWO receivers in the first round in the last decade.
Plausibility: Kind of the reverse Brett Favre, right? Rodgers could be the Falcon that Favre never became. Scoreboard, A-Rodg.
San Francisco 49ers
Hey, the Niners had their shot back in 2005. Potentially 17 years later, they could right their past wrong and bring home Mr. Rodgers to the neighborhood.
Plausibility: Finally, all of those 2005 Rodgers-in-a-49er-uniform images made in MS Paint will be relevant again! #Homecoming
This is destiny because the 12th man has been a 15-year-long campaign for the Seahawks to eventually land Aaron Rodgers started by one Mike Holmgren during Rodgers' rookie season in 2005. It took a while, but finally, the 12th man can be #12.
Plausibility: I'm all for a good conspiracy, but I'm all in on stacking a few pallets on the bonfire of the Packers-Seahawks rivalry. (Sorry, DangeRuss Wilson).
If you're going to stick it to The Man, why not do it from the comfy confines of the desert? Larry Fitzgerald will play until he's 160, so he'll have at least one legitimate receiving threat. Plus, Kliff Kingsbury's offense.
Plausibility: Rodgers would have to overcome the bar set by Emmitt Smith, who became the NFL's all-time leading rusher while a Cardinal.
Los Angeles Rams
Joe Namath went Hollywood; Aaron Rodgers might as well too. Who wouldn't want Rodgers going from the NFL's smallest market to one of its biggest?
Plausibility: It's not like Rodgers has to relocate from his home state, so...
Aaron Rodgers has done something in Dallas during his career that the Cowboys haven't managed to do in a quarter-century: Win a Super Bowl. Jerry Jones can afford whatever ridiculous contract Rodgers demands, too.
Plausibility: Rodgers has some experience with the current Cowboys head coach, Mike McCarthy. Also, what would it look like if the internet literally exploded? Does Al Gore's house launch into space?
Plausibility: Much like Favre to the Jets, Rodgers could keep all of his green gear.
Daniel Snyder can claim one victory in his two decades of ownership: The fans left for Washington are as die-hard as they get! What up, Czabe?
Plausibility: Rodgers is more likely to join the roster of the D.C. Defenders.
New York Football Giants
If Rodgers wants to fulfill his destiny as The Next Brett Favre, he could follow #4's path to New York. Same stadium and everything!
Plausibility: You think the Packers have made questionable roster-building decisions? Eesh.
The Canadian Football League
He's already got the wardrobe for the gig!
Plausibility: How many Gray Cups equals one Super Bowl? And why aren't football championships on the metric system yet?
New York Jets
Never mind, if Rodgers is going to New York, he absolutely has to become a New York Jet. Think of all the SNL bits A. A. Ron Rodgers could awkwardly slide into!
Plausibility: Are the memories of Jet Favre really going to prevent the NFL from getting Rodgers into the #1 media market 14 years later? Hashtag, ratings.
New England Patriots
OK, so he won't be able to wear #12 anymore. But the Patriots have drafted more receivers in the first round (one) than the Packers since 2005. That Bill Belicheck, always giving Tom Brady the help he needs.
Plausibility: Rodgers is only five Super Bowl rings behind Tom Brady. Maybe give him the #12 when he surpasses that?
Alas, like the rest of the AFC East, the #12 jersey is or will soon be on the shelf. Rodgers could always grab his college uniform, #8, but let's be honest, nobody is gonna see the numbers on the uniform anyways by mid-August, the start of winter in Buffalo.
Plausibility: A similar climate to the one he enjoys in Green Bay. Plus, it's technically New York.
While Green Bay has been stuck in perpetual close-but-no-cigar territory for much of Rodgers' tenure since 2010, the Dolphins have been stuck in mediocrity forever. The last relevant Miami quarterback was Willie Beamen.
Plausibility: Tampa Bay's offer minus the cool pirate ship. Also have to put up with being less famous (or infamous) than Marlins Man in town, although the entire 97.3 The Game staff is apparently just Dolphins fans (Dario, Bob, even the website person). Hard pass.
Are there other Browns fans that exist besides Drew Carey and Mike Pilch? Plus, the only uniform duller than the Browns are the awful Packers throwbacks that show up for like 15 games each year.
Plausibility: Sure, the Browns can fit a few more names onto this jersey. (OK, so it's been retired, but it's never too late to start a new one)
Finally, a chance to play with not one, but TWO of the Watt bros. Including, of course, the one that the Packers could have had in 2017.
Plausibility: "Remember that time I beat you in the Super Bowl?" Yeah, no, Steelers fans aren't gonna like this.
You almost forget the Bengals are in the league, but they are I guess technically in the NFL so theoretically one of 35 landing spots for Mr. Rodgers. Aaron doing a Tiger King cosplay would be kind of fun, for a minute.
Plausibility: Skyline Chili has a better chance of becoming overrated than Rodgers does of quarterbacking the Bengals in two years.
The last Ravens QB out of Cal was a Boller. Baltimore has drafted five receivers or tight ends in the first three rounds in the past three years... seems like a team committed to figuring it out on offense, after years of building a brand as defensive-first, which includes a Super Bowl win with Trent Dilfer calling the signals.
Plausibility: With Lamar Jackson in place, it's hard to see how Rodgers fits, but if the Ravens are stacking their offensive depth chart anyways...
Who isn't all-in on a buddy comedy with Rodgers and Clay Matthews? (Sadly, Rodgers wasn't part of the Pitch Perfect cameo, which weakens the resume).
Plausibility: Presumably, some of his Malibu neighbors have a friend who knows someone who works in movies.
BORTLES! This is effectively relegation for Rodgers, since the closest Jacksonville is getting to a Super Bowl is hosting one... unless we really are in The Bad Place.
Plausibility: Good news Aaron, we've traded you somewhere you can be a starter! #DUUUVAL
The potential of late-career Aaron Rodgers teaming up with late-career J.J. Watt is pretty interesting, isn't it? The Texans would get 16 weeks on CBS in the opposite timeslot of whatever Packers game was on that week in Wisconsin.
Plausibility: Brian Gutekunst could load up on second-round picks by demanding 17 selections in exchange for Rodgers, and probably get them. That's a lot of backup quarterbacks!
Indy added a receiver and running back (JT23!) with its first two picks. At least the Colts waited until the fourth round to add a quarterback.
Plausibility: Philip Rivers isn't gonna be playing football in two years, so...
Ryan Tannehill is not the answer unless the question is "name a mediocre, yet well-compensated quarterback in the NFL." Which there are a lot of those. Also, there's probably a reason Matt LaFleur left Nashville. That all being said. The Titans also lost their conference championship game, so they're at least on even ground with the Green and Gold, but with Tannehill at QB and better barbecue joints nearby.
Plausibility: Rodgers as a Flaming Thumbtack would just be weird, you know? But so was Jet Favre.
Kansas City Chiefs
Ah, the Super Bowl champs. In a couple of years, a lot can happen. And football is not a sport where high profile quarterbacks go ring chasing, especially as backups. But, what a story it would be if Rodgers took the Joe Montana route out of the NFL.
Plausibility: Rodgers could bookend his career backing up Super Bowl champion ol' gunslingers!
John Elway will never stop collecting quarterbacks. They're like Pokemon to Elway. Look at this year's NFL Draft. Did he even take a defensive player? Can a roster with 37 receivers compete in today's NFL?
Plausibility: Rodgers playing for Elway in Denver would be like forcing a Packers fan to watch Elway's helicopter dive in Super Bowl XXXII on loop. How did the Packers lose that game?
San Diego Los Angeles Chargers
Much like the Rams, the Chargers offer the comfort of being vaguely in the area of Malibu. Unlike the Rams, the Chargers are light years away from a Super Bowl.
Plausibility: The Discount Double Check is a solid one on the corny-as-hell scale compared to the Electric Glide.
Oakland Las Vegas Raiders
Even an aging star like Rodgers could light up Vegas with star power.
Plausibility: Chucky. Rodgers. Vegas. The Raiders. Make it happen!
A Couch in Malibu
Maybe Rodgers won't have to play anywhere in 2022. Maybe by then, Rodgers, with his millions in the bank, is ready to call it a career, among the best to ever do it. Yet, you get the sense Rodgers has more than two years of exceptional play left, so a retirement in just 32+ more games would seem awfully abrupt.
Plausibility: Retirement versus the field: While retirement is probably the underdog, it's closer than you think...
All Photos: Getty Images