By Jeremy Hritz
According to Mike Florio of Prof Football Talk, Aaron Rodgers has four potential spots in which he could land: Denver, staying in Green Bay, Tennessee, and surprise, surprise, Pittsburgh. According to Florio, “If Rodgers chooses Denver or Tennessee or Pittsburgh, the deals will fall into place quickly, both as to the trade terms and as to the contract Rodgers would sign.”
There is no way this can happen, right?
Rodgers has been speculated to join the Steelers following the Pittsburgh at Green Bay matchup from earlier this season in which Mike Tomlin and Rodgers made eyes at each other following an offensive Green Bay play. The rumor mill has not died down, and if anything, with this report, there is more momentum than ever that this truly is a possibility.
While I don’t think this will actually happen, with all of the speculation, it is worth weighing the pros and cons of this scenario.
The Positive Rodgers Scenario
The Steelers are able to package adequate draft pick and player compensation in a way that does not hamstring the organization for years to come. Rodgers steps into the starting role in Pittsburgh, and immediately boosts the team into Super Bowl contention. The Steelers utilize their ample cap space, and free up more through contract maneuvering, and bolster the offensive line, re-sign Juju Smith-Schuster, and capitalize on second year running back, Najee Harris. All of this together concludes in a stalwart Steelers team, with a quality defense, who threatens the AFC as the best team and a likely culprit to be the Super Bowl representative. Rodgers sticks around for a few years and keeps the Steelers relevant and in contention for a Super Bowl for at least 2-3 years before finally having to start from scratch at the QB position.
The Disaster Rodgers Scenario
The Steelers give up way too much draft capital and players, and get mired down in a contract with Rodgers that hinders the team for years to come. Worse yet, the longtime GB QB gets injured and never fully gets right, making the investment lackluster and unable to live up to its ballyhooed expectations. The organization gets set back by years due to sacrificing so many future draft picks, and the Steelers are bottom feeders for a period of about 5 years, call it the dark ages if you will.
The Middle Ground Rodgers Scenario
The Steelers give up what can be expected for a player like Rodgers, and the Steelers become a contender for the next 2-3 years, though they never reach the Super Bowl. A middling offensive line and underperforming wide receiver corps, coupled with an aging defensive line, doesn’t allow the stars to align, and the team, like its last few years with Ben Roethlisberger, is always close, but no cigar.
Could This Really Happen?
Who knows? But this much is for certain: if this narrative has lasted this long, we should at least take notice. Rodgers is a future Hall of Famer, and who wouldn’t want him as the Steelers starter? But the team just cannot afford to leverage its future for a 2-3 year player at QB. If they can work out an economical package that doesn’t damage future drafts, I’m all for it. But the future of the team cannot be sacrificed for short term glory.
Whatever happens, this is surely an intriguing story to pay attention to if you are a Steelers fan.