Options Open for Rodgers

NFL Championship Sunday is only 72 hours away — and yet one of the biggest storylines concerns the future of a quarterback who won’t be playing this weekend.

The Aaron Rodgers chatter intensified Thursday with the possibility of a pair of new destinations for Green Bay’s unsettled star.

First, the Broncos hired former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to be their next head coach. A few hours later, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger officially announced his retirement from the NFL.

Both teams are arguably an elite quarterback away from being serious Super Bowl contenders.

  • Denver’s defense ranked third in the league in points (18.9) and eighth in yards (326.1).
  • Pittsburgh boasts PFWA Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt, who led the NFL in sacks and tied Michael Strahan’s single-season record (22.5).
  • But both franchises struggled with QBs — among qualified players for ESPN’s QBR, Teddy Bridgewater ranked 20th (47.3), and Roethlisberger ranked 26th (35.5).

Rodgers has one season remaining on his four-year, $134 million contract — but Green Bay could be wise to trade him or else risk losing him for nothing next offseason.

A trade partner could get a package deal: Pending free agent WR Davante Adams has implied that he wants to continue playing with Rodgers wherever he goes — assuming the Packers don’t use the franchise tag on Adams.

Still, Rodgers could end up staying in Green Bay — he remained despite highly publicized tension with the front office last offseason.