Aaron Rodgers: Time for No.12 to Look Out for No.1?

Aaron Rodgers
via Mike Morbeck / CC-BY-2.0

For Aaron Rodgers, the annual pursuit of Super Bowl glory is over for another year. He was left watching on from snow-dusted sidelines as Robbie Gould drilled through the uprights from 45 yards to send the San Francisco 49ers into the NFC Championship Game and the Green Bay Packers, well, packing.

A serious sense of Deja vu descended through the grey clouds hanging over Lambeau Field and onto the broad shoulders of an all-time great. A playoff bogey team – one he grew up supporting and was overlooked by in the 2005 NFL Draft – had proved to be a thorn in his side once more.

The 49ers are now +520 in Super Bowl betting as they are set to face the Los Angeles Rams for a place in the big game, with the Packers left to lick their wounds and reflect on what could have been – which has become an all too familiar occurrence for them over the course of the last decade.

As Rodgers trudged his way back to the locker room following his latest post-season disappointment, the inevitable question on everybody’s lips was: Will he pull on the famous green and gold again?

With emotions running high, the immediate aftermath of a painful setback was not the time to be making bold future calls. Such instances can see heart rule head, with statements made that are regretted almost as soon as they have left illustrious lips.

Rodgers was keen to point out that, with a clock ticking on his playing days, he does not “want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing”. Such a stance is understandable, with time a commodity that is no longer on his side.

A change of scenery?

Any parting of ways in Wisconsin will not be easy, with the strongest of professional ties forged over the course of 17 memorable and record-setting years. Rodgers is, however, in a position where he has to start putting himself first.

A second ring has proved elusive for one of the best to ever do it, and that will irk him more with each passing campaign. If he is to move on and chase the dream somewhere else, then he will not be the first to tread said path.

Tom Brady has proved with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that he can deliver outside of New England and with someone other than Patriots coach Bill Belichick calling the shots, while Peyton Manning had to call time on a 13-year stint with the Indianapolis Colts in order to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy for a second time in Denver.

Rodgers has said of potentially requesting a trade: “I don’t think it’s fair to anybody or myself to really go down those paths at this point.” He is right to avoid any spur-of-the-moment decisions, with any exit needing to be managed carefully.

He has, however, stated that he remains “super competitive, still know I can play on a high level”, with no waltz into the sunset being planned just yet.

Rodgers has done all that he can in Green Bay, eclipsing the efforts of predecessor Brett Favre – another who went in search of an Indian summer elsewhere – and the time has come for No.12 to start looking after number one.