Friday, June 2 2023

As a piece of theater, “The Aaron Rodgers Lambeau Love Wrangle” had one heck of a run, right up until the curtain came down on Monday with a trade, an announcement, a collective sigh of relief and a 39-year-old quarterback finally swapping one shade of green for another.

The show held its audience for three years and a day, and for all its twists and turns and periods of dark (sometimes very dark) suspense, it never wavered from one centrifugal question:

Could Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers really be headed for a divorce?

The answer, sealed by the New York Jets finally getting their man, turned out to be yes, of course, but a plot unfolded along the way. The dragged-out nature of the journey was infuriating at times, but it was never dull, and if you’re the kind of weirdo (like me) who thinks football soap opera is better than actual soap opera, you’ll miss this.

[Aaron Rodgers trade analysis: How Jets, Packers did and what’s next]

Jets acquire Aaron Rodgers, No. 15 pick from Packers

The trade is finally done!

Back when Jordan Love got called up into the NFL from commissioner Roger Goodell’s basement in that oddly delightful draft of 2020 — thus catapulting the notion that Rodgers’ Green Bay days were numbered — a lot of things were different.

No one could have figured it would play out for as long as it has, with all the quirks and maybes and distracting sub-stories dangling.


[Packers ready to move on to Jordan Love following Aaron Rodgers trade]

Between the rumblings of the night of April 23, 2020, and now, Tom Brady suited up for a new team, won a Super Bowl, retired, un-retired and retired again. The league added a game to its regular season and two teams to its playoffs, and we all got plenty older. Even Brady.

Rodgers’ love life also provided plenty of fodder for the entertainment pages during the time his romance with the Packers was being intently scrutinized.

As the story unfolded, we discovered that being immunized and being vaccinated are apparently different, that there’s a thing called ayahuasca that, er, illuminates the mind, that QBs can host “Jeopardy,” that QBs can make a million bucks a week, and that sitting in a room with the light off can perhaps be good for the soul.

Whoever is writing Rodgers’ script is a creative genius, for spinning three spellbinding seasons out of a situation where the definitive cliffhanging moment never happens – at least not until now.

So, what for an encore then? Are things in the world of Rodgers going to quiet down? Well, given that he’s moving to one of the biggest media markets on the planet, that he’s become magnetized to attention and drama, and he’ll be playing for a passionate fan base that’s positively salivating at this new opportunity, the likelihood of dull tranquility must be pretty low. Expect some fireworks.

[Aaron Rodgers should be great for Jets. But will New York be great for him?]

Jets complete trade for Aaron Rodgers

Nick Wright, Chris Broussard and Kevin Wildes react.

If we really want to break it down, the way things played out in Green Bay for three spins around the sun could have only happened with Rodgers. It takes a certain kind of situation, a certain kind of team, a certain kind of character and a certain kind of player for a scenario like this to unfold. Some players steer clear of the fire; others enjoy its warmth.

Perhaps the only thing Rodgers likes as much as trying to win football games is the feeling that he is in the know while everyone else is guessing. Now, at last, we know. And now the guesswork begins again, trying to figure out what Rodgers-as-a-Jet is going to look like.

The administrative part of the trade is interesting in its own way, the arm wrestle between the Jets and Packers involving balancing pick swaps plus a 2023 second-rounder and a 2024 conditional second-rounder, adding a few more weeks to a tale that was generally decided in March.

Juicy too, is the Xs and Os component, who Rodgers will throw to and be protected by in New York, and whether he can bring his four-time MVP form to the Big Apple.

[NFL world reacts to Aaron Rodgers trade to Jets]

But the really fascinating part of the Aaron Rodgers chapters – the old one, the new one, and whatever the remainder of his career holds – is Aaron Rodgers himself.

He’s a hero to some and a villain to others, still one of the best players in football and an absolute master at how to stay relevant amid the whirlwind of focus that comes with being a leading figure in America’s sporting obsession.

Finally, believe it or not, the show is over. A new one begins. Are you not entertained?

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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How Aaron Rodgers trade impacts Jets, Packers Super Bowl odds, MVP lines


Aaron Rodgers should be great for Jets. But will New York be great for him?

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