Green Bay Packers: It's Time to Make Aaron Rodgers a Benchwarmer
Last night's 27-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans has the Packers at 4-7 and, with the 7-1 Philadelphia Eagles on the schedule before their bye week and, even with 6 games left, it will take a miracle for the team to have any chance at the post season. As a result of all of this, it is time for Aaron Rodgers to sit.
Frankly, even if the Packers had a legitimate chance at turning things around and winning the rest of their games this season, I would be encouraging the quarterback change. Normally, Aaron Rodgers versus Jordan Love would result in me picking Rodgers every time. However, that equation changes when it is a healthy Jordan Love versus an injured Aaron Rodgers and, despite his public denials, it's obvious that injured thumb, suffered weeks ago, is affecting Rodgers' play. That's only going to get worse in the colder temps.
Love, a first-round pick, has had one career start since the Packers drafted him. That start was a loss, but many players and coaches have said he has improved significantly since. Still, the Packers and, just as importantly, the fans, don't really know if he's the future of the team and need to have an opportunity to see him play before the team makes a decision on his fully guaranteed fifth-year option next spring. Making the change following their bye week would be logical but the team has a mini bye following their Thursday night game so that's about as good.
This doesn't even need to be a permanent change. If, after a couple games, the Packers find themselves in playoff contention (anything could happen), plugging Aaron Rodgers into the lineup with a presumably healthier thumb would make sense. If not, then Love gets some playing time under his belt and an opportunity to bond with the team's young but seemingly talented receivers, giving them something to build on for next year. It'll also let the team know if they can use their likely top-10 draft pick to find Love a playmaker or if they need to use it to find a different passer.
With cap issues (due partly to Rodgers' contract) in the future, the Aaron Rodgers era in Green Bay is winding down and will likely end with a whimper. It's time to pull the plug, put it out of its misery and see if the team has another future hall of famer waiting in the wings.