Why the 49ers Could Trade for Aaron Rodgers in 2021
Could Aaron Rodgers finish his career where he should have started it?
If Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t improve next season, the 49ers, who drafted Alex Smith instead of Rodgers in 2005, could trade for Rodgers in 2021. Don’t believe me? Read what Shanahan said just a couple weeks ago when asked why the 49ers considered signing Tom Brady this offseason.
“When you have to talk to Jimmy about one of the best quarterbacks of all time being available,” Shanahan said, “I know Jimmy has a goal to be that. I know Jimmy. I believe Jimmy has the ability to be that, and that’s what both of us are going for. If we can get him there, and he has the ability to do it, we’re going to be pretty happy with who we have for a long time.”
Translation: Of course the 49ers considered replacing Garoppolo with an all-time great quarterback. Garoppolo isn’t one yet. He aspires to be one, and he has talent, but he hasn’t achieved greatness yet. And until he does, the 49ers will continue to look for great quarterbacks.
The 49ers ultimately decided Brady was too old or too expensive or both. But they’re not done looking for quarterbacks. He’s not the only great one out there.
Rodgers could be available next year. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur inherited Rodgers and they don’t seem to get along. Rogers frequently rolls his eyes after LaFleur calls plays and often freezes out LaFleur during games -- stands on the field during timeouts instead of walking to the sideline and talking to LaFleur. Disrespects him.
And LaFleur doesn’t seem to want Rodgers. The Packers traded up Round 1 this year to take quarterback Jordan Love. That’s LaFleur’s guy, not Rodgers. If the Packers backslide next season -- and I think they will, because I think LaFleur is a bad head coach -- they probably will scapegoat Rodgers and try to trade him.
And if the Packers want Rodgers gone, I’m guessing the 49ers would love to take him off their hands.
By trading Rodgers next year, the Packers would save $4,976,000 of salary cap space in 2021, $22,648,000 in 2022 and $25,500,000 in 2023, or a total of $53,124,000. Probably sounds appealing to them.
And trading for Rodgers actually would save the 49ers money. Because he will earn $73 million in total cash from 2021 to 2023, while Garoppolo will earn $76.3 million during that time. The 49ers could trade Garoppolo back to the Patriots, then use the picks they receive from New England to trade for Rodgers.
I’m sure the 49ers know this already. And I know they made Rodgers look old and miserable twice last season. But imagine him in the 49ers’ offense, throwing all those quick, short, easy passes Garoppolo throws, handing the ball off 30 times per game and actually completing the deep passes when the season is on the line.
In a year, you might not have to imagine Rodgers in a 49ers uniform. You might see him wear it with your own eyes.