Broncos Country was abuzz during the 2021 NFL draft due to rumors of an imminent Aaron Rodgers trade. The possibility of another future Hall-of-Fame quarterback riding off into the sunset after closing out his career in the Mile High City will tend to get hopes up.
Those hopes died down considerably as the NFL regular season began, as did the expectations that the Denver Broncos could compete with another discarded, average quarterback at the helm.
However, hopes are rising again as Rodgers is being linked to the Broncos in a possible 2022 trade scenario. That possibility has been simmering in the background, but the report from Peter King has turned it up to a boil.
The bad news is, if the Broncos decide to become sellers before November 2's NFL trade deadline, fans can kiss goodbye any hopes of Rodgers riding in on a white horse and saving the franchise next spring.
Rebuild = No Rodgers
Why would the three-time NFL MVP consider Denver if the roster is set for a rebuild? The answer is, he wouldn’t, for several reasons.
The most compelling reason is this: soon to turn 38 years old, Rodgers has a very small window to chase that final Lombardi Trophy. If the Broncos decide to sell off talent for draft picks, there is no way he would be on board because the talent from those draft picks would need time to develop.
Couple that with an ownership in flux and head-coaching question marks and it would be too much to overcome no matter how many draft picks the Broncos would send to Green Bay.
Granted, Rodgers doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract and technically has zero say in where he goes, but a superstar of his caliber can influence any trade. The Packers organization may be willing to do right by him and send him to a team offering a similar trade package as what the Broncos could cobble together — if that team is better suited to win right away.
Retirement Remains a Possibility
The other option. If Rodgers doesn’t think he can win another Super Bowl on a team with a depleted roster, why would he put himself through the rigors of the game? At his age, his only reason for competing now is to win it all.
The Broncos have a solid roster and it could be even stronger in 2022. In fact, the roster before it was riddled with injuries was as good or better at nearly every position group than the one Rodgers fell to in the NFC title game this past January.
The Broncos could opt to re-sign Von Miller. Plus, they have a former All-Pro at left tackle in Garett Bolles and a rookie cornerback that is playing like an all-star veteran in Patrick Surtain II. After quarterback, these positions are the most important in the NFL game.
Combine that with the potential of Javonte Williams, Jerry Jeudy, and a couple of promising interior line players, the Broncos have a very attractive nucleus of talent at important positions on offense.
The Broncos don’t have to be buyers at the trade deadline in order to be part of the Rodgers sweepstakes, but if they're sellers (trading veterans other than cornerback Kyle Fuller), it's a safe bet to wager that Rodgers will not be wearing Orange and Blue in 2022.
Follow Thomas on Twitter @ThomasHallNFL.
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