Are we sure Aaron Rodgers is off limits?
Are we sure the 49ers can't trade for him this offsesaon?
Let's say the Packers lose big to the Buccaneers this weekend, which could happen. The Bucs beat the Pack 38-10 in October. So let's say that happens again. Well, things could become extremely tense in Green Bay.
Head coach Matt LaFleur could blame Rogers for the loss. And Rodgers could blame LaFleur. Or Rodgers could blame the front office for spend a first-round pick in 2020 on quarterback Jordan Love instead someone who could have contributed this season. And Rodgers would have a point.
There could be a breakup looming.
Just look at Rodgers' contract. He's scheduled to earn more than $37 million in 2021, or roughly 20 percent of the Packers salary cap. That's untenable. No quarterback ever has won a Super Bowl while taking up more than 13.1 percent of his team's cap space.
If Rodgers wins the Super Bowl this season, the Packers could extend his contract, give him another signing bonus and make his salary affordable for next season. But if he doesn't win the Super Bowl, if he doesn't even make it there, will they extend his contract?
He's 37. Plus they drafted a quarterback in Round 1 last year. They might prefer to turn the team over to Love rather than commit themselves to another four or five years of Rodgers.
And if that's the case, the 49ers absolutely should trade for Rodgers. They'd have to pay him only $23 million next season, which is reasonable. And if they make the trade after June 1, Green Bay would have $14 million of dead cap space instead of $31 million, so the Packers probably would prefer to wait until the summer to make a deal. Which would work out nicely for the 49ers, because they could keep their 2021 draft picks, then trade picks in 2022 and 2023 for Rodgers.
And the 49ers could get that draft capital back in a year or two by trading Deebo Samuel or George Kittle or Nick Bosa or Brandon Aiyuk. The 49ers would have plenty of options.
Don't overthink this. Get Rodgers if he becomes available. He will lead the 49ers to their sixth Super Bowl.