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Five Ex-Quarterbacks Tell ESPN What Aaron Rodgers Should Do

Eli Manning, Kurt Warner, three others share their opinion on the former Cal star's decision about his future

ESPN.com asked five former NFL quarterbacks whether they thought former Cal star Aaron Rodgers should stay with the Packers or seek employment elsewhere, assuming he doesn't retire.

They all gave detailed responses, so you need to read the story to get all of their comments.  We provide brief excerpts from each of the five ex-quarterbacks.

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Matt Hasselbeck, who played for four NFL teams:

"I'd be surprised if Aaron is back in Green Bay. One reason would be to look at recent history. The guys that he looks up to -- there's probably not a lot of guys that he looks up to, but Peyton Manning and Tom Brady would be two of those guys -- you could never have ever imagined Peyton Manning leaving Indianapolis or Tom Brady leaving New England. But it worked out awesome for both guys. There is life after."

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Eli Manning, who played his entire career with the Giants.

"It was important for me to finish my career with the Giants, and I would think it would be important for him as well, just because of the legacy that he has, the history of Green Bay, being there as long as he has been, winning a championship and winning MVPs.

Usually what happens is the egos get involved. It's either his ego or the GM's, and for some reason that's when there's usually separation. When a quarterback's been there a long time and leaves, it's because the egos can't get along with everybody.

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Dan Orlovsky, a career backup in the NFL

"It seems like he's got the ultimate power. And right now, he's the best quarterback in football. So I think you stay there, one, because you understand how good the coach is and how good the scheme is. Now, I want to 100% give Aaron his credit and his congratulations for his individual performance, but the scheme is fantastic as well. That's part of the reason he's playing at such a high level at his age. Two, the talent on the football team is pretty good; you're not going to go to a bunch more teams that are significantly more talented. Three, in the NFC, how well do you feel like you stack up for a Super Bowl?

Where can he go that's going to be at least a lateral move? I think you go maybe Cleveland and Denver. I can't see Pittsburgh, I just can't. Their offensive line and the talent is just so substandard in Pittsburgh right now."

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Rich Gannon, who played for four NFL teams:

"I would say to myself, 'Why would you want to leave?' With that head coach and playcaller [Matt LaFleur] and coordinator [Nathaniel Hackett], the numbers just keep going up. He threw 48 touchdowns and five picks last year and completed over 70% of his passes and was the MVP. Similar thing this year.

"So you say, 'OK what's the problem?' Oh, you didn't get some receiver or something else you wanted? It's not all going to be perfect. 

"It's different if you're a free agent like Tom Brady was. If something's going to happen, Aaron Rodgers will pick up the phone and call Tom; I'm certain of that.

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Kurt Warner, who led two teams -- Rams and Cardinals -- to the Super Bowl .

"So if Aaron was going to go somewhere, and the first year or two he wouldn't have the same success, how would people see that?

"But if you do it and you have success like Tom Brady -- not that Tom hadn't sealed his legacy -- but this just cements it. As a competitor, you go, 'Man what an unbelievable challenge to go somewhere,' and because you're confident in yourself, you go, 'Let me show everybody. I'm going to show them that Green Bay made a mistake or whatever they did, but more importantly I'm going to show them I can transcend anything around me.' And that to me goes a long way in setting your legacy and how great you are because it is such a rare thing to do, and it's such a rare thing to be one of those guys."

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Cover photo of Aaron Rodgers is by Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports

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Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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