The idea of Aaron Rodgers not playing or even suiting up for a different team than the Green Bay Packers during the 2021 season would be shocking to the legendary Peyton Manning.
Manning, who played most of his career for the Indianapolis Colts before joining the Denver Broncos for his final four seasons, appeared on MLB Network on Monday and discussed the Rodgers situation (h/t Nick Shook of NFL.com):
"Great question. Obviously, it's the question of the summer here in Denver. Obviously, I hope he plays somewhere this year. The fact that Aaron Rodgers might not play this year, I can't fathom it. He's too good of a player. Too fun to watch for the fans. I personally hope it's in Green Bay. That's what I see him as. I hope they can kinda make amends and work [it] out. That team is so close, if he were to leave there it'd be a major change, obviously, for them.
"My gut is he's not coming to Denver. My gut is Denver's gonna have Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater be their quarterback. At this point, you gotta kinda know what your plan is, you can't be having a new quarterback three weeks before the season."
While Manning is correct about the difficulties breaking in a brand new quarterback with limited time before the season would present for the Broncos, Rodgers would be quite the upgrade over Lock or Bridgewater.
After all, the future Hall of Famer is on the short list of the best signal-callers in NFL history and has a resume that includes a Super Bowl title, three league MVPs, three All-Pro selections and nine Pro Bowl selections.
Denver has been connected to Rodgers at various times during the offseason, but there has been no trade for the career-long Packer.
That leaves Green Bay and the quarterback in a familiar position this offseason. Rodgers is apparently unhappy with the only NFL team he has ever known, and a Packers squad in the middle of a win-now window after reaching the past two NFC Championship Games is surely in no hurry to move a generational talent.
For his part, Rodgers said, "I'm going to enjoy the hell out of this week, and then I'm going to get back to working out, and figure things out in a couple weeks," when asked about his status during the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Tahoe on Saturday.
He also said "I don't know" while competing in Capital One's The Match:
The biggest question now is whether he will show up for training camp after skipping out on mandatory minicamp over the offseason. If he doesn't, it will present a new layer to the drama that has unfolded in Green Bay during the offseason.