Aaron Rodgers has confirmed that he’s back in the NFC North for at least the 2022 season, and rumor has it that he was cajoled back to Lambeau with the promise of a four-year deal. Bears fans’ dreams of a desperate, cap-strapped, and rebuilding Green Bay, so furtively considered, must be shoved back into the recesses of our collective consciousness. We will be seeing Aaron Rodgers, that whiny diva, that dirty hippy, that doped up, disease ridden, dead eyed, drooling robot, with his lame discount double check signature move and weekly Pat McAfee spot, twice a year for the foreseeable future. He makes me sick. I know this little rant will give Packers fans so much joy- check out this Bears fan, triggered by our success. I do not care. I’m glad you guys lured that pathetic little freak back for one more season. I hope he retires Week 1 a la Vontae Davis. Then we, and especially I, can avoid having to hear all NEXT offseason discourse about if he’ll stay or go, and the same thing NEXT offseason, ad nauseum, while NFL insiders sagely praise his wisdom for forcing Gutekunst to bring Jordy Nelson out of retirement, or for skipping team meetings, without punishment, because Slade Bolden got cut after Rodgers had already invited him for Thanksgiving.
This isn’t a Packers rivalry thing either. I understood Brett Favre. Respected him, even liked him. A good ole boy who likes to take risks, likes to chuck the rock downfield and run into contact? That’s familiar. It’s commendable, even. And I have a lot of respect for the players on the rest of the current roster too. Davante Adams is great. Adrian Amos is sorely missed in the Windy City. Rashan Gary, Go Blue. But this is different. I can think of very few other professional athletes who so publicly act out their own narcissism, to the detriment of their team, their fanbase, and their own image, like this one. There’s a reason he has 3 MVPs and only one Super Bowl. Rodgers is a cancer. The ultimate front office nightmare. Good enough to win regular season games but not good enough to elevate the team.
This guy (along with BJ Raji) ruined a shiva for me. He ruined Khalil Mack’s Bears debut. He ruined my flight to Michigan after my grandpa died. Why can’t he walk off into the sunset? Why must he subject me to SNL skits about him, to stories about his enema cleanses, to shouts of “I own you”? Why?
Anyway, here’s my 2022 First Look at the Green Bay Packers; as a Bears fan
GM: Still Brian Gutekunst. Gutekunst probably has the hardest offseason of his career in front of him, and his hit or miss track record will be put to the test. His name is also too hard to spell. What’s the deal, man? Does Wisconsin know they can hire people who aren’t 100% German? Anyway, the Packers are around $45 million over the cap, with multiple impact free agents on their way out the door. Rodgers and Adams, the two most important names, are locked in, but there will be tough cuts coming, especially with the late draft position.
HC: Still a knockoff Sean McVay in a sea of knockoff McVays, though pretty boy LaFleur is the knockoff McVay with the highest win percentage of the crop. I was excited to see Matt LaFleur having to actually develop a team as a coach. Unfortunately, he will continue to not have to. He has, notably, lost his OC to the Broncos and his QB coach to the Bears (😈).
QB: You know how I feel about the starter. The more pertinent story is now Jordan Love, who the Packers traded up to get, who will now surely be dumped to the Panthers or the Seahawks for a third or fourth rounder.
I’m going to give you the stat line of two quarterbacks. These stats are from their first start for the Packers in 2021. Point out to me which stat line is Jordan Love, and which is Aaron Rodgers:
Stat Line A: 19/34, 190 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int, 5 carries for 23 yards. Loss by 6 to a team that made the AFC championship.
Stat Line B: 15/28, 133 yards, 0 TD, 2 Ints, 0 carries for 0 yards. Loss by 35 to a team that didn’t make the palyoffs.
Which game was started by Jordan Love, a “bust” who will be shipped out for pennies on the dollar? And which one was started by Aaron Rodgers, a $50 million dollar MVP who must dictate this team’s entire future?
Obviously, that is not a fair comparison. Sure; the Packers organization has been incredibly unfair to Jordan Love. They wasted (net) a first-round pick and fourth-round pick, along with the first 2 years of this young man’s career. And we still don’t know how good the kid could even be; Rodgers built on a poor start to become MVP. Love had no such runway.
RB: All three of these guys are good and under contract. No notes.
WR: Adams is back for a hefty, hefty one-year contract. Will Rodgers make the Packers keep an old and expensive Randall Cobb for another year, with replacement Amari Rodgers waiting in the wings no less? He could if he wanted to, the way this organization bends over backwards for him. Otherwise, the loss of MVS and Lazard means the team needs to go get some outside receivers- have fun finding one that can block as well as Lazard.
TE: Big Bob Tonyan seems to be on his way out, and Marcedes Lewis may be cut soon. Josiah Deguara better work out fast, or Gutekunst can toss another need onto the draft list. It’s a good year for tight ends.
OL: Depth is needed inside and youth is needed outside, but a healthy Bakhtiari and the proven team strength at development should keep this unit in good shape.
Front 7: Preston Smith is taking up 9% of this team’s cap. He is almost certainly cut come the new league year, especially with the rise of Rashan Gary. The bigger question is the other Smith brother, who may be asked to take a pay cut or be cut. Can Gary do what he did last year alone? Also, is this the year Kenny Clark finally gets a worthwhile running mate on the interior? The iDL class is talented at the top, with big contributors expected to be available at 28. Perrion Winfrey and Devonte Wyatt may be in reach. Then there’s the issue of linebacker. In true Rams spin-off fashion, this team hates focusing on its linebackers. De’vondre Campbell was, with Rasul Douglas, a lucky breakout, but even he is now gone. Oren Burks and Krys Barnes may be gone too. Another hole that a late round draft pick will be pressed into filling.
Secondary: The star here is Jaire; nobody is debating he’s worth his $13 million cap hit. After that though, questions abound. Darnell Savage and Eric Stokes will start for the cheap, with Savage playing for his second contract and Stokes playing to show he’s more than just his flashy speed. Both need to prove it fast. Adrian Amos, on the other hand, is an aging safety with a $12 million cap hit. Somethings gotta give there- but the problem is there’s no strong depth on either side.
I hope the cap strips this team for parts and Packers fans are left in a year or two with no stars besides an aging Aaron Rodgers. Wisconsinites are Chicagoans baby brothers in everything but this- it’s only natural that they’ll eventually fail here too.
Season Prediction: Packers go 10-7, split the series with the 8-9 Bears, and lose in the first round. Again.