The 2021 fantasy football season is officially in the rearview mirror, but the grind never stops! As soon as one season ends, we immediately start looking ahead to the next. The 2021 Aaron Rodgers offseason saga ended with him restructuring his contract to return to the Packers for one final season. Although Rodgers is still under contract for 2022, the team is expected to let him go if he wants to leave. Where might we see Rodgers play football in 2022?
Aaron Rodgers is still good at football
Rodgers will turn 39 years old in December 2022. Given his performance this year, I have no doubt he can still play at a supremely high level for at least another couple of seasons.
Rodgers led the league in touchdown rate and had the lowest interception rate as well. He threw for 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. He also rushed for 3 touchdowns. Where Rodgers will play will once again be the NFL’s top offseason story.
Aaron Rodgers’ 2022 options
I expect the Packers to honor their agreement with Rodgers and either release him or trade him if that is what he wants. Will Rodgers be playing football for another team next season?
According to Rodgers himself, he seriously contemplated retiring rather than returning to Green Bay. As a result, we cannot dismiss this as a possibility. With guys like Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, and, of course, Tom Brady all playing to at least age 39, we’ve been conditioned to expect these quarterbacks to keep playing.
Rodgers is not like other humans. He does what he wants, and if he doesn’t feel like playing football, the fact that he can clearly play at a high level will not compel him to return. Rodgers doesn’t have Brady’s “I’ll retire when I suck” attitude. If the Packers win a Super Bowl this season, it wouldn’t shock me to see Rodgers walk away on top.
Green Bay Packers
Continuing on that theme, if the Packers win a Super Bowl, it also wouldn’t shock me to see Rodgers return to Green Bay. They say time heals all wounds. You know what else heals wounds? Winning.
We know Rodgers wants to win. It will certainly be a bit more difficult to leave a team that just won a Super Bowl for the unknown — especially if Davante Adams returns to the Packers, which is a strong possibility as the Packers can franchise tag him. Recent reports suggest Rodgers’ relationship with the Packers is improved. I still think the most likely outcome is Rodgers plays elsewhere, but a return to Green Bay wouldn’t be totally shocking.
The Broncos make a ton of sense for Rodgers if he wants to leave Green Bay. In 2012, the Broncos had a loaded roster and were a quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender. They signed Peyton Manning.
Entering the 2022 season, the Broncos have a loaded roster and are a quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender. It just makes too much sense.
Rodgers is at least a mid-QB1 target regardless of where he plays. More important is what Rodgers would do for the Broncos’ skill-position players. Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy would immediately skyrocket in value. Having Rodgers could see them valued like Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker were back in 2012. Tim Patrick would be the Emmanuel Sanders of that trio.
Javonte Williams’ value goes up as well, now that he’d be on an offense that would score more than the 36 touchdowns it scored in 2021. Rodgers’ presence would raise everyone up and make the Broncos a team to target heavily for fantasy assets.
Just about everything that applies to the Broncos also applies to the Steelers. The primary difference is the Steelers still need to fix their offensive line. While that’s a huge component, they still made the playoffs in 2021 with the ghost of Ben Roethlisberger.
Rodgers would have the luxury of throwing to Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. Johnson was already a fantasy WR1 with Big Ben — just imagine what he could do with Rodgers. Claypool could be Rodgers’ new version of Jordy Nelson and finally realize his potential. Pat Freiermuth would also become an instant TE1.
The Steelers have talent on defense and a young running back in Najee Harris. Even if they can only make the offensive line mediocre, this team has enough talent to make a Super Bowl run with Rodgers.
NFL players have surprised us before with decisions, but this is likely a three-team race: Green Bay, Denver, Pittsburgh (or retirement). Wherever Rodgers goes, it will send shockwaves through the football and fantasy universe.