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AR and the GOAT may leave town or retire (again). Here’s why I hope they do.
Tom Brady is the best QB in the history of the NFL. Aaron Rodgers is also a lock as a Hall of Famer. I take nothing away from their careers, the numbers they have put up, or the accolades they have earned. I do, however, think that it may be time for them to go.
At this point in their career, Brady and Rodgers are playing for their legacy. Maybe they still dream of going out on top, or maybe the dream at this point is more about going out with style. You can’t crawl inside a man’s head and figure out his motivations, but you can ask yourself what the possible outcomes of his choices mean to you.
As a fan, I’ve enjoyed watching Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers play but at this point, I’d like to see them retire. I think the luster has worn off, some of the skills have diminished, and their storylines have grown dull. I don’t want to see any more of the TB and AR shows. I am ready for the NFL’s next act.
But before that happens, two of the best the game has ever seen need to walk away, out of town, or perhaps into a broadcast booth, to start the next phase of their career. Here’s why I’m rooting for exactly that outcome in each player’s case.
TB12’s story has just gone on too long for. He’s a winner. Great. He’s got longevity. Awesome. He’s got more in the tank. Doubt it. Body of work aside, take a look at Brady’s ‘22 season and you’ll understand why it’s time for him to move on.
TB recorded more pass attempts (733) in 2022 than in any other season. But that’s not the point. The point is, he shouldn’t have had to. 45 year old QBs don’t want to be dropping back 43 times a game — it’s bad for business. They don’t want to be knocked down or sacked a combined 74 times over a season.
Veteran QBs want to play behind solid OLs with a reliable running game and a healthy receiving core full of guys they trust. They want to be on a team that has a chance to go all the way. None of those things are true in Tampa Bay today, which is why Brady will explore his options for ‘23.
I would personally hate to see Brady return to the Bucs or pursue a career-ending deal with another franchise that’s in the same boat. The man’s body of work has been outstanding but he’s just getting too old and the narrative too painful. Here’s hoping TB12 hangs up the cleats for the broadcast booth this off-season.
I love the Green Bay Packers. The winning tradition, the unique culture, the league’s coolest stadium environment — it’s a beautiful football franchise. I’m just tired of Aaron Rodgers being a part of it.
Rodgers can still play but not at the level he once did. I don’t buy the young receiver or OL woes narrative as an excuse for Rodgers’ performance in ‘22. I watched every game and saw him make more bad decisions and pout more than I have ever witnessed out of a Green Bay quarterback. In my eyes, Rodgers is smudging his own legacy and that of the Packers every time (or all the time) he goes into prima donna mode.
I think the Packers should have dealt him to Denver last season and moved on with a bigger cap and a clean slate for the next generation. By keeping him around, they’ve wasted a season of development for Jordan Love, and left the franchise in the exact same, uncertain place it has been for the last few off-seasons — unsure if Rodgers will return. I for one am tired of the drama and I sense I am not alone.
If Rodgers wants to retire, let him. If he wants a trade, give it to him. Ship him to an out-of-conference opponent, forget his name for a while, and move on. In a few years, Rodgers can come back and the Packers can honor him at a nice ceremony, just like they did with another prima donna QB back in the day.
It may be too difficult for Brady and Rodgers to give up the spotlight and gracefully walk away from the center stage but there’s no question that some NFL fans are getting tired of their act, myself included.