Because the reality of it is, the Packers have a lot of money in the wrong places. And that falls on upper management. However, when you pair that with the amount of money required to make an elite Aaron Rodgers functional – you get a franchise that, like a Wisconsin PBR, does not get better with age.
The Packers are spending more money than all other teams except the LA Chargers. So simply spending more money is not an option.
With that said, let’s debunk some arguments shall we….
1: If Aaron Rodgers had the same supporting cast as Tom Brady, he would have one the same amount of Super Bowls.
Let me make this clear. On the offensive side of the ball, the Aaron Rodgers we see today WOULD NOT FUNCTION in a Bill Belichick offense. On the Packer’s side, you hear “we don’t protect Aaron Rodgers enough, he needs more time.”
Tom Brady does not need time, and that is why the Patriots can get away with only putting 7.94% of their cap towards their starting O-Line. And that number is off their 2018 numbers – in 2017 that number was 9.41% as a result of LT Nate Solder who they released because they did not need him in the grand scheme. But how that compares to the amount of money you need to invest in the Packers Starting O-Line…. The Packers need 15.71% of their cap invested in their starting O-Line, which is 7.77% more than Tom Brady!
7.77% may not sound like a ton but when you put that into a dollar amount… that would get the Packers an extra $14M to play around with! But no, because Aaron Rodgers gift of extending plays requires more protection and more strain on the Offensive Line, that costs you $14M more than what a Super Bowl Champion Quarterback needs.
So in conclusion, unless Aaron Rodgers shortens his release time and doesn’t require his O-Line to give him the long protection that he has grown accustomed to, Aaron Rodgers would not survive with the supporting cast that the Patriots give Brady.
2: If Aaron Rodgers had a Defense, they would be unstoppable.
Now this one does not fall entirely on Aaron, but just remember that that $14M difference in O-Lines (Packers vs. Pats), makes a difference.
The Packers have had all sorts of health issues (Sam Shields as one), under performance from Clay Matthews, so there are multiple factors that start in the front office as to why Rodgers does not get Defensive support.
And Bill Belichick is a Defensive scheme mastermind. So you can give him a little and often times that is enough to take a team to a super bowl. That can’t be overstated. And if Aaron Rodgers were on the Patriots, the same amount of money that the Packers can spend on Defense (minus Rodgers expenses), would be in way better hands with Belichick and Rodgers would benefit from that NO QUESTION.
But we have talked about the O-Line spending difference. Let’s talk about other offensive expenses for two QBs to play at an elite level, which in turn keep dollars away from the supporting Defense.
Packers Offense Breakdown (Cap Hit %): WR: Cobb – 7.02% WR: Adams – 5.82% TE: Graham – 3.27% WR: Allison – 0.35% RB: Jamaal Williams – 0.38% RB: Aaron Jones – 0.29%** assuming he would be in the lead back but if it’s Montgomery (0.49% cap hit) = 17.13% Cap Hit
Patriots Offense Breakdown (Cap Hit %): TE: Gronk – 6.54% WR: Edelman – 1.83% WR: Hogan – 1.82% RB: White – 1.35% RB: Burkhead – 1.28% WR: Dorsett – 0.77% = 13.59% Cap Hit And this gives the Patriots 3.54% more to spend on the other side of the ball in addition to the 7.77% saved on the O-Line! And that 3.54% on the Packers roster amounts to a little over $6M and pair that with the Aaron Rodgers additional O-Line needs of $14M that is over $20M additional cap that the Packers are spending on Offense than the Patriots need to win.** which would have been more if Jordy Nelson resigned.
Now I can’t throw all of this on Aaron Rodgers because obviously the front office paid Cobb when it looked like he was trending in the right direction. BUT going back to the O-Line, the Packers can’t afford to make these errors when they are already spending so much on the supporting protection around Aaron Rodgers.
3: Aaron Rodgers (vs) Tom Brady
Now you would think that since Tom Brady needs very little to succeed when compared to Rodgers… you would think he would make less, but as we all know he does not.
Tom Brady: 8.36% Cap Hit Aaron Rodgers: 11.60% Cap Hit
Now do I think Aaron Rodgers is overpaid… I guess, sure. But do I think that this he going to be the highest paid player in 2 years from now? No WAY. Jimmy Garoppolo was the highest paid QB for like 2 weeks and now that’s old news. This is where the NFL is going, so I don’t think the Packers are going to be regretting that 4 years down the road.
But what I will say, is that Aaron requires a lot more to play at an elite level than Tom Brady does, and as a result that large contract which may be irrelevant in 4 years comes with all sorts of other costs which I have listed above, which should stay proportionate with the QB raises.
And while extending plays tires out Defenses, it also wears down your team financially and physically. And if you are extending plays – you gotta pay that O-Line, which in turn is less money you can put towards your Defense.
And while this style of play may get you regular season wins, I have my doubts that this will get you far in the post season when you don’t have money to pay for a Defense. And in addition, when Aaron Rodgers’ mobility goes away, that may be the time where he has to stay in the pocket and do more quick releases. If that day comes, I will be curious to see if he can adapt and if he does, the Packers may be able to give him the Defense that helped win him a super bowl in his younger years when his contract was not as much of a hit.
Time Will Tell.