Commentary

Aaron Rodgers: Should Broncos Fans Even Want This Jerk?

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after his team lost to the San Francisco 49ers on January 22.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after his team lost to the San Francisco 49ers on January 22. CBS Sports via YouTube
When the number-one-seeded, Super Bowl-favorite Green Bay Packers lost 13-10 at home to the less-than-invincible San Francisco 49ers on January 22, many Denver Broncos fans on Twitter were overjoyed. After all, the embarrassing defeat increases the odds that Rodgers will leave the Pack in favor of the Broncos — the hot rumor that failed to come true on day one of the NFL draft last April.

One typical message reads: "@AaronRodgers12 please come play for my @Broncos! You’re the missing piece! So let your manager know that you want out of Green Bay, ASAP!"

There are naysayers, however, with one Twitter-pated person contending, "Aaron Rodgers should be at the bottom of the @Broncos QB candidates list. Denver doesn't need his crazy, lyin' freaky here!"

Hence the dilemma for Denver fans, who are debating two questions. Should the team shoot the works to lure Rodgers, an undeniably great talent who would represent a roughly 1 billion percent upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock? Or should the team ignore him because he's a narcissistic diva and morally dubious anti-vaxer who has spent the last decade losing playoff games that his squad was supposed to win?

It's a tough call, since Rodgers's abilities on the field are matched only by his inarguable douchebaggery.

Rodgers's bona fides aren't in question: He's a surefire Hall of Famer who's earned three NFL most-valuable-player awards, plus the Super Bowl MVP prize in 2011, the one time he led Green Bay to the mountaintop. And even though he's now 38 years old, his skills don't appear to have markedly diminished; he's still among the most elite QBs in the league.

At the same time, many of Rodgers's ex-teammates seem to hate his guts, in part because he tends to act contemptuously toward anyone who's not as brilliant as he considers himself to be. This self-evaluation was definitely called into question last year, when his claim that he'd been "immunized" against COVID-19 proved false, at least when it comes to federally approved vaccines. He maintains that he's allergic to mRNA shots — a diagnosis that would be debatable even if he hadn't admitted to getting advice about taking the unproven med Ivermectin from comedian Joe Rogan.

As for why Rodgers might be interested in coming to Denver, the top reason usually cited is actress Shailene Woodley, variously referred to as his girlfriend, fiancée and "future wife." Woodley has been reported to live at least part-time in Colorado — when she isn't bunking at Rodgers's place in Malibu, that is.

The Broncos recently interviewed Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett for their open head coach position — a move widely interpreted as a signal to Rodgers that the squad will do whatever's necessary to make him happy. Problem is, Rodgers doesn't seem joyful about anything these days, including the fact that he wasn't made permanent host of Jeopardy after he essentially failed his on-camera audition.

After the loss to the 49ers, Rodgers talked about the "tough decision" he'd have to make in the off-season about whether to stay with the Packers, whose general manager, Brian Gutekunst, he's alternately ripped and praised over recent months, or to demand a trade.

The Broncos would hardly be the only team that might be interested in Rodgers, and would likely have to give up a ton of assets to have a chance to land him. Victory in the contest would immediately make Denver a contender — but it would also put Broncos Country in the position of embracing a man who gives every impression of being a giant prick.

Somewhere, Peyton Manning is laughing.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts