The Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers’ replacement, but how much time does he have left?
In a sentiment many thought absurd before the start of the NFL Draft, Aaron Rodgers is officially on the clock in Green Bay. By selecting Jordan Love in the first round — not to mention trading up to take him — the Packers put Rodgers on notice in similar fashion to Brett Favre in April of 2005.
Rodgers’ contract runs through 2024, when he’ll be 39 years old. It’s easy to point to that number — an advanced age no doubt — as the natural end to Rodgers’ career. However, the Packers have provided him with added motivation in similar fashion to Favre, and a man who previously joked he’d play until his age-45 season after winning another Super Bowl might be primed to attempt just that.
So, when will Aaron Rodgers retire?
Much depends on Rodgers style of play, and if he can limit his mobility to avoid big hits. Rodgers has avoided the major injury throughout his career, suffering lower-body ailments such as an MCL sprain, calf strain, calf tear and a foot fracture. Multiple injuries to his throwing shoulder remain an issue, however, and it’ll be paramount to see how that impacts his durability moving forward.
If Rodgers wants to play into his 40’s in similar fashion to Tom Brady, it will not be in Green Bay. Whether it be Love or another young QB, the Packers’ regime isn’t committed to Rodgers long-term. This means, should Rodgers not take the potential out in his deal in 2022, he could be trade bait by then or be forced to the bench. The latter option will not sit well with one of the more competitive signal-callers we’ve ever seen.
Sports Injury Predictor, which takes recent injury history into account, suggests Rodgers has a 38% chance of getting hurt next year. That number will only rise as he ages. In comparison, a 42-year-old Brady has only a 22.5% chance of getting hurt.
Now, much of this is left to chance, but the odds of Rodgers playing at 45 are not high. However, given his competitive drive, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him flirt with a short-term contract after his current deal expires. That would suggest some post-40 playing days, even if it’s not the version of Rodgers that we’re used to.