The Green Bay Packers went from play-off shoe-in to giant question mark the moment Aaron Rodgers was carted off the field in Week 6’s game against division rival Minnesota Vikings with a broken collar bone. So tepid is the mood around Green Bay that ticket prices for the next home game have dropped by 50% according to Ticket King, a ticket broker that focuses on events in Wisconsin.
Now we know how much Aaron Rodgers is really worth: half. The $110 million the Packers paid to lease him for five more years in 2013 is a product of the salary cap and the CBA, not his true market value. It sounds crazy, but at $22 million a year, the guy is grossly underpaid.
It’s going to be an interesting season for the Packers without Rodgers. The two-time NFL MVP is the Packers.
Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre left some big shoes to fill when he ended his 16-year tenure in Green Bay in 2008. You don’t just replace a guy like that.
But that’s exactly what the Packers did.
Aaron Rodgers sat on the bench for three years before Favre’s torch was passed to him. Since then, he’s been the best quarterback in football. He delivered a Super Bowl, passing the ultimate litmus test, and now, 10 years into his reign as King of Wisconsin (sorry, Paul Ryan), he’s inarguably surpassed Favre as the greatest Packers quarterback ever.
At 33, Rodgers still has a lot of gas left in the tank. Tom Brady, his only true contemporary, is 40 and still playing MVP-caliber ball.
Brady has five Super Bowl rings to Rodgers’ one, but Rodgers holds the NFL record for career passer rating at 104.1. Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger is also destined for the Hall of Fame, but not even Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would argue that Big Ben is a better quarterback than Rodgers.
While the Packers and their fanbase are hardest hit by Rodgers’ injury, the whole league suffers when a marquee player goes down. Unless you’re a Minnesota Viking or Detroit Lion, because winning the NFC North is looking a lot more feasible than it was this time last week.