This won't be the first or last time you hear someone say this, but if anyone can relate to how Aaron Rodgers is feeling in the aftermath of the Packers' maligned decision to trade up for quarterback Jordan Love in the first round, it's Brett Favre, who watched the Packers draft Rodgers in 2005 before Rodgers eventually replaced him in 2008. But there's another reason why Favre knows how Rodgers is feeling: He's actually spoken to his former teammate about the Love pick.
A few days after sayingFavre gave an entirely different take, giving a pessimistic prognosis for the future of the Packers-Rodgers relationship.
Appearing on "The Rich Eisen Show," Favre first revealed that he and Rodgers have spoken about what happened during the draft. That's notable, because until we hear from Rodgers himself, we'll be forced to read into the situation by listening to people who actually know what Rodgers is thinking. It's also notable because Favre hinted that Rodgers isn't happy with the Packers' selection of Love at No. 26, saying Rodgers "has every right to be disappointed, if he is."
"I'm not going to talk about all that we talked," Favre said, per ESPN's Rob Demovsky. "He was, let's just say surprised, they went that direction."
As Favre said, Rodgers has every right to be disappointed. The Packers entered the draft with a clear and urgent need at receiver opposite Davante Adams. They emerged with a developmental quarterback who was taken to replace Rodgers, a running back who doesn't catch passes, and a blocking tight end. If anything, it'd be weird if Rodgers wasn't unhappy.
Then came the bomb. Favre predicted that Rodgers would follow his career arc by eventually leaving Green Bay to finish his career elsewhere. As Eisen prepared to ask Favre the question, Favre interrupted Eisen before he could finish. He knew what the question was going to be. And he knew the answer.
Like Tom Brady did this offseason in leaving New England for Tampa Bay, Favre thinks Rodgers will leave the only franchise that he's called home during his Hall of Fame career.
"I think Aaron will finish somewhere else -- that's my gut," Favre said. "I guarantee you this, and I don't know this for certain, but I guarantee you it's got the wheels turning in Aaron's mind, which if that's the case, then that means there's a chip on his shoulder toward the organization that otherwise was not there. All he needs is a reason other than this reason to expedite that."
There's no doubt that the Packers he ranked 13th in DVOA, which measures value per play, and 20th in total QBR. He's under contract through the 2023 season, but it's possible the Packers could cut him beginning in 2022 and save over $22 million in cap space -- though, if they were to do that, they'd be forced to absorb $17.2 million in dead cap. It's more likely the Packers will move on from Rodgers in 2023, when they can save over $25 million by cutting him while eating only $2.9 million in dead cap.by trading up for Love, regardless if Rodgers joins another team once his time in Green Bay runs out. Rodgers is 36, and he's seen his level of play drop off over the past few seasons; last season,
The Packers took Love knowing full well that he's a raw developmental prospect coming out of Utah State, where he enjoyed a terrific 2018 season and a topsy-turvy 2019 season, and could afford to let him sit behind Rodgers for two or three seasons. The only problem with that line of thinking is that the Packers will be wasting roughly half of Love's rookie contract, meaning if they want him to be their next franchise quarterback, they're going to be forced to give him a new contract after only two or three seasons, which renders the value of having a quarterback on a cheap rookie contract less significant.
No one knows how exactly the next few years will play out. Maybe Rodgers will decline even more in 2020 and retire earlier than expected -- not every quarterback ages as gracefully as Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Maybe he'll get traded, if the Packers want to move onto Love sooner than expected. Maybe Love won't ever demonstrate that he's capable of usurping Rodgers, and Rodgers will hang onto the job for the duration of his contract before retiring as a career-long member of Packers. Maybe Rodgers will get cut in 2023 and finish his career elsewhere, like Favre did with the Jets and Vikings once his time in Green Bay was up.
No one knows what comes next. But we do know that it doesn't appear to be on track to end well.
"At some point," Favre said, "it will rear its ugly head."