The Colts could end up not having the opportunity to trade for Aaron Rodgers when all is said and done.
It’s crazy how much can change in a week.
When Philip Rivers announced his retirement, the Indianapolis Colts were left without a starting quarterback for the 2021 season. At that point in time, trading for Deshaun Watson seemed like the only way for them to land a franchise-caliber guy, and doing so was always going to be difficult given the competing market and the sheer haul Houston would demand in return.
Then, however, the weekend came and Matthew Stafford formally requested a trade after suffering through 12 years of mediocrity and front office incompetence with the Lions. On top of that, Aaron Rodgers refused to commit to another year in Green Bay after they crashed out of the playoffs on Sunday, sparking rumors that he too could demand a trade in the offseason.
Well, it appears that might’ve been a knee-jerk reaction. Per ESPN reporter Rob Demovsky, Rodgers’ passive-aggressive comments could have been directed towards his messy contract situation, rather than hinting at him actually wanting a trade.
With no guaranteed money remaining on his contract extension, it’s easy to see why Rodgers caused a ruckus in the postgame presser.
The 37-year-old has expressed frustration with the organization before — like when it drafted Jordan Love (his supposed successor) in the first round of last year’s draft over drafting one of the top receiving prospects — and long-term contract security would no doubt go a long way toward convincing him to stick around in Green Bay for the remainder of his career.
And based on the strides, or lack thereof, that Love made during his rookie campaign, it’s pretty evident that Green Bay should do everything in its power to ensure that Rodgers doesn’t force his way out this offseason. According to the same report, the 2020 first-round pick has shockingly found it difficult to hit stationary targets (!) at practice.
If that damning update doesn’t prove that Rodgers would have all the leverage in contract negotiations, then nothing does. He’s technically signed through 2023, but has zero guaranteed money remaining on the four-year, $134 million extension he signed three years ago.
For somebody who will probably end up winning the MVP award, the Packers, a team with a wide open championship window, would be smart to restructure his deal as a means to reassure him that they have no plans to transition to Love or a potential stopgap option.
If that happens, the Colts’ chances of trading for him would be flushed down the toilet, which could end up being a blessing in disguise, as it would likely force them to focus all of their attention on the likes of Watson and Stafford.