By Nick Shook
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Much has been made of Tom Brady‘s recent entry into the 40 club (not to be confused with a certain rapper’s chain of sports bars and lounges), his strict diet and his desire to play well beyond the social norm.
Add Aaron Rodgers to that group.
Rodgers told The MMQB’s Peter King he intends to play “another seven, eight, nine, 10 years,” King wrote in his Monday column.
It’s not all that peculiar of a declaration for one of the game’s greatest competitors at the sport’s highest level, but it came with another interesting tidbit about Green Bay’s timeframe of contention. It also sheds a little light on who Rodgers likely considers to be his greatest adversary.
“I think what we’ve done the last eight years making the playoffs, there’s only a couple other teams that have ever done that,” Rodgers told King. “New England, actually, currently is on the same streak as us, making the playoff for eight straight years. That’s tough to do, especially with the parity of this league and how they pair up division champions each year to play each other in the same conference. We’ve sustained success, we just haven’t sustained it on the top level. …
“I don’t feel like our window is closing here. I feel like this window is going to be open for a while. And in order for some of that stuff to go away, the outside noise, we’re going to have to win another Super Bowl. It would be disappointing if we were only able to win one in my time here. Hopefully we can get one of those done.”
Roster turnover is an annual given, but a quarterback like Rodgers serves as a window prop, reliable through rain, sleet or snow. If one is generous and gives Rodgers the Brady timeline, that window stays open for another six years. Plenty of teams would sell the farm for that period of potential success. General manager Ted Thompson even stepped out of his shell this past offseason to bring in a couple of key players via free agency, something he and the Packers rarely do.
The Packers also saw plenty of talent leave in the offseason. Green Bay has managed to be consistently competitive in the Rodgers era, with a good amount of credit due to the quarterback. How much talent he has to work with also plays a part.
Then again, if you have the guy under center, you’re already halfway there in the NFL. Look at Brady, who benefitted from a fantastic defense early in his career and has found consistent success no matter who has filled the skilled positions. Rodgers even mentioned Brady in King’s piece, saying he told the elder passer that he looks like he’s getting better with age, and like Brady has also paid closer attention to his diet as he’s gotten older. Brady should sell his methodology in a package plan (oh wait, he already does).
Rodgers is 2-for-2 in the predictions category (see: “R-E-L-A-X,” “run the table”). If he nails this one, Green Bay can settle in for another decade of football prosperity. Another Lombardi isn’t guaranteed, though.