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Aaron Rodgers

After losing to the Bills, are the Packers still an elite team?

After Sunday night’s 27-17 loss against the Buffalo Bills (6-1), many now wonder – can the Green Bay Packers (3-5) still compete for a Super Bowl? 

The Packers have dropped four straight after losing in primetime, something that four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not familiar with. Rodgers coming into this year has only had two losing seasons: 

“We gotta improve the discipline a little bit. Improve the discipline, then just improve the details. You know, the first play of the game, we are going the wrong way on offense and just [making] little detailed mistakes,”

Rodgers told reporters after the loss

Rodgers later added, “I thought we ran the ball well. I thought ‘Jonesy’ [Aaron Jones] had a great game; I thought AJ [Dillion] ran the ball hard. But, we are going to have to push the ball down the field in order to win games in this league.” 

Will Odell solve their issues?

The NFL tradeline is this coming Tuesday, and many “cheese heads” want to see a change on their roster – specifically in the receiving core. Three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has recently shown interest in joining Rodgers in the cheese state.  

“Odell and I have been friends for a number of years now, so we keep in contact often. We talked various times over the years, and obviously with a player like that, you always [are] hoping that there’s a time where you can figure things out and play together,”

Rodgers told The Pat McAfee Show

Whether they take the trading or free-agent route, change must happen if this team wants to contend for a championship. Yes, the Packers rushed for over 200 yards against the No. 1 defensive in the league. However, if you’re going to make it far, you have to air the ball out.  

How did the Packers lose?

Last night, the Packers dug themselves into a 24-7 hole heading into halftime – a lead that is nearly impossible for a team that can’t pass to come back from. Not only did the Packers have to conquer an insurmountable lead, that had to deal with injuries and mental mistakes.  

Wide receiver Christian Watson and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell had to leave the game after suffering injuries.

Not to mention linebacker Quay Walker, who was ejected in the second quarter after shoving a player on the sidelines. Walker’s ejection ended up extending the Bills’ lead before the half.  

What does the head coach think?

“It’s an unfortunate lesson that he’s got to learn. I hope it’s a good reminder for everyone on our football team because that’s the kind of stuff that I have zero tolerance for,”

Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur told the media after the game.  

“Mistakes are going to happen in this game. But, losing your cool, losing your poise, putting the team in jeopardy – I got no tolerance for that,” Lafleur added.  

What went wrong?

In the 2021-22 NFL season, the Packers finished No.1 in the NFC conference with a record of (13-4). A lot of the team’s success was due to the chemistry between Rodgers and former wide receiver Davante Adams. Together the two combined for the most touchdown passes in Green Bay history, at 68.  

Unfortunately, Green Bay decided they would roll with a heavy rookie receiving core – sending Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders (2-5). Eight games into this season, Rodgers’ struggles with his receivers have shown, already tying his interception count from last season with four.  

If the Packers want any chance of competing in early February, they will need more outside weapons for Rodgers to work with.  

The nine most massive NFL contracts in league history

NFL contracts are set to boom with the league’s new $110 billion dollar TV deal, and some of the contracts in the coming years will likely be the highest in league history.

So far this offseason, we have not seen many huge contracts being handed out, simply because the talent in the market this year doesn’t have any huge names.

However, huge contracts have been given out throughout the past decade. So let us go through some of the biggest NFL contracts (or paydays, yearly) in league history.

Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings: $40 million (2020)

nfl contracts
Kirk Cousins poses with his new jersey along with, from left, Coach Mike Zimmer, General Manager Rick Spielman and owner Mark Wilf on Thursday. (Jim Mone/AP)

I’m going to try to hold my personal opinions on these contracts to a minimum in this article. However, Kirk Cousins never deserved a $40 million contract. But he did get one in 2020.

NFL league history has perhaps never seen such an average player garner such a massive contract.

Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs: $40 million (2018)

nfl contracts
Alex Smith getting ready to let it fly (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

We are going to see the Chiefs on this list again soon. But in 2018 the Chiefs handed out $40 million to Smith.

Interestingly enough, this money was paid by the Washington Football team, at the time the Washington Redskins. This was after the Redskins traded for Smith, so they could move on from the aforementioned Kirk Cousins.

The Chiefs decided to move on from Alex Smith after one of his best years in the NFL. Why? Well because they had future MVP Patrick Mahomes on the bench. Also, because Smith never faired well in the playoffs and it was seen as the right moment to move on.

Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints: $40 million (2012)

nfl league history
Brees gets ready for a playoff game in New Orleans (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Drew Brees, who just recently retired, signed one of the biggest contracts in NFL History in 2012, when he signed a 5 year, $100 million contract. This made him the first $20 million-a-year player in the history of the NFL.

I assume some are confused while reading this because $40 million in 2012, isn’t $20 million as I had said in the previous sentence. Well, how many contracts work in sports is that they are frontloaded (signing bonus).

This means that while the average for the contract is $20 million each year, the Saints gave Brees a higher percentage of the contract in 2012, as an incentive.

Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons: $44.8 million (2019)

nfl league history
Matt Ryan letting it fly (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Ryan, a quarterback that may be on the move this offseason, has always been held in high regard. However, the past 5 years or so have been filled with bad luck for the Falcons and Ryan.

We all know the heroics of the Patriots in Super Bowl LI. But, the Falcons have found themselves all too familiar with heartbreaking losses. The constant heart-ache has led the once-beloved quarterback to be on the fringes of the team.

However, not too long ago Ryan was given a ginormous contract. This was because the Falcons still had hope they could make one more run.

Recent futility now has the Falcons in a rebuilding stage. And a 35-year-old QB doesn’t make sense for a rebuilding team.

Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs: $45 million (2020)

Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium. (Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

10 years, $450 million.

That is the contract the Chiefs signed with Mahomes in July of 2020. If this was an article about the biggest contracts in NFL history, Mahomes would jump to the top. However, in terms of most per year Mahomes lands at #5.

We cannot ignore the talent Mahomes has. After the disappointing loss to the Buccaneers in this year’s Super Bowl, the sky is still the limit for Patrick Mahomes. If injury’s don’t derail his career Mahomes may end his career as the best quarterback the world has ever seen.

Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions: $51.1 million (2017)

Matthew Stafford was then the NFL’s highest-paid player. 
(AJ Mast/AP)

Matthew Stafford was supposed to be the one to lead the Lions to the promised land. He was always loyal to the Lions and had been through rebuild after rebuild with Detroit.

However, he was also loyal because they paid him to be with a massive NFL contract, racking up $225 million over his 12-year career, all 12 spent in Detroit thus far.

Now, after a blockbuster trade, he will play his first game for a different team, the Los Angeles Rams, who sent away their young QB Jarred Goff. You have to be a pretty outstanding quarterback for a team to risk their future, but many believe that Stafford is just that guy.

Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks: $53 million (2020)

Russell Wilson locked in (OTTO GREULE JR / GETTY IMAGES)

The former 3rd round pick ranks #3 in biggest paydays, for good reason. Russel Wilson was in no way touted to be the player he is today. The gritty, go-get-them attitude is what has Wilson in the place he is today, oh and of course his clutch plays that seem to come too easy for him.

Even though he may soon be moving on from the Seahawks, most soon expect an even bigger payday, as he just gets better and better year in and year out.

Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers: $66.9 million (2018)

nfl league history
Aaron Rodgers celebrating in his signature style (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Rodgers, last year’s MVP, always finds himself at the top of the charts for best in the league, and that is why he has had the second-biggest payday in league history. Rodgers, who some say has more talent than Tom Brady, seems to just continue to get better and better.

Although the talent is for sure there, in recent years Aaron Rodgers has seemed to not be able to take the Packers over the hump and get them back to the promised land. 

Although it may sound unfair, you would think that 16 years of Aaron Rodgers would net more than 1 Super Bowl appearance. 

Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys: $75 million (2021)

nfl league history
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Last year started off extremely well for Prescott as he was heavily involved in the MVP discussions. However, a terrible ankle injury sidelined him for the rest of the season, leaving the Cowboys with… well, Andy Dalton.

Many weren’t sure if this injury would have an impact on a contract extension. Jerry Jones, it seemed, wasn’t sure if he wanted to open his pockets for his young quarterback, but he definitely did.

Handing Prescott a 4 year, $160 million contract, with the largest first-year salary of $75 million ever, Jones definitely paid up with this NFL contract.

NFL yearly contracts change the perception of league history

One of the most fun times of the year for sports fans isn’t when the season starts, but instead during free agency. It is a time of hope, that your team will put together an amazing offseason, get that huge star and change the future of the team.

However, it is also a very fun period for some of the league’s best, who garner huge contracts. And currently, the NFL is in that free agency period.

The NFL and its new deal means the league is flush with cash. Thus, teams will be too. Look for superstars, and even average quarterbacks, to soon garner even loftier NFL contracts than we have ever seen before.

Week 6 NFL roundup: Are there actually any good teams?

We’re already done with Week 6 of the NFL season and for the first time in awhile there was little noise off the field and much more on it.

After Vice President Mike Pence made a whole show of pulling up to the Colts game last weekend and leaving after 8 minutes because some players protested during the national anthem, this weekend there was much less talk about protests and more action on the actual field.

Regardless of whether the headlines are being made on or off the field, it’s still been a weird year of results from around the league. There appears to be no good teams in the NFL. Peter King wrote in his Monday Morning Quarterback column of the general weirdness of this season,

“This season is just plain weird. The President hijacks the anthem protest and makes it a monumental thing. Three of the top 10 stars in the game are lost for the season (most likely) in a span of eight days; Aaron Rodgers, the third, got taken down Sunday with the same run-of-the-mill ferocity he’d been hit with a thousand times in his life, only this time it broke his right collarbone. The defending rushing champ is likely to start a six-game suspension on Sunday, and it barely registers on the psyche of Football America.”

Usually by this time in a season, there are a couple clear favorites in each conference with other teams that look promising or could mount a serious challenge in the playoffs. That doesn’t appear to be the case at all this season.

But the worst part of this season has been the brutal injuries to star players. Odell, Dalvin Cook, and JJ Watt went down last week. David Johnson was lost earlier in the season. Julian Edelman tore his ACL in the preseason. Now Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best quarterback in the league, broke his collarbone.

NFL teams have a general mantra of ‘next man up.’ A philosophy that no matter who goes down, the team will be able to plug the hole if everyone does their job. But with star players like those mentioned above out for the entire season or large portions of it, the product on the field just becomes worse.

Steelers beat Chiefs, Giants beat Broncos, Dolphins beat Falcons. Who is actually good?

Perhaps no result exemplified the total weirdness of this NFL season more than the Steelers beating the Chiefs 19-13 yesterday.

The Steelers were coming off a blowout loss to the Jaguars where Ben Roethlisberger threw 5 picks and openly questioned whether he was still good.

While Roethlisberger didn’t have a great game, the Steelers leaned on Le’Veon Bell (179 yards rushing) and Antonio Brown (155 receiving yards), probably two of the best offensive players in the NFL right now, to beat the previously undefeated Chiefs.

Ultimately it was this ridiculous circus grab that sealed the game for Pittsburgh.

Elsewhere, the Miami Dolphins, led by Smokin’ Jay Cutler, beat last year’s Super Bowl finalists the Atlanta Falcons 20-17. Cutler only threw for 151 yards, but did rack up two TDs.

Miami’s Rashad Jones ended the game with this rather disrespectful interception of Matt Ryan.

Perhaps the most surprising result of the weekend was the 0-5 Giants going into Denver and beating the supposedly good Broncos.

The Giants were coming off a week in which they lost their three best receivers, were fighting in the locker room, suspending players for deciding to straight up leave, all while their head coach insisted that he hadn’t lost the team.

Head Coach Ben McAdoo and his big ass play chart gave up playcalling duties during the week and the Giants seemed to benefit from the decision.

They completed only two passes to wide receivers all game, because they no longer have any, but were able to move the ball on the vaunted Broncos defense through running back Orleans Darkwa.

Nothing makes any sense.

Washington D ‘stop and frisk’ celebration

After Washington cornerback Kendall Fuller picked off 49ers QB C.J. Beathard late in the 4th quarter to seal the game yesterday, the Washington defense celebrated in interesting fashion.

With owners trying to crack down on player protest, perhaps we’ll see more and more political celebrations.

Golden Tate drops the People’s Elbow after TD

This was not a political celebration but after Golden Tate’s 1st quarter touchdown reception against the Saints, Tate had a little Rock-inspired display ready.

Great form.

Aaron Rodgers maybe out for the season

Minnesota Vikings linebacker drove Aaron Rodgers into the ground in the first quarter yesterday and it was immediately clear that Rodgers was in trouble.

The Green Bay quarterback had some choice words for Barr after the play.

This is another blow for the NFL. It feels like every week, some of the league’s best players are being sidelined for the rest of the season or large portions of it. It’s a shitty situation for fans, teams, and the league as a whole.

Could we see the Packers pick up Kaepernick? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Weird fumble call dooms the Jets

With the Patriots holding a late lead against the Jets, tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins appeared to cross the line with the ball in his hands.

But upon replay review, the play was ruled a fumble and a touchback with the Patriots given the ball at the 20. You can see Sefarian-Jenkins briefly bobble the ball but it appears he recovers it in time to score.


Maybe the Pats got the benefit out of the doubt a little bit…