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The Green Bay Packers and New York Jets ripped off the bandage regarding the uncertainty about Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers' future as the two teams completed a trade Monday that will finally send him to New York. This means the quarterback Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst moved up four picks to select 26th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft will be the team's full-time starter. 

Jordan Love has humongous shoes to fill given that Rodgers is the team's all-time leader in passing touchdowns with 475, won a Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP, four NFL MVPs (the second most in league history) and put up the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history (4.52, 475/105) during his 18 seasons in Green Bay (15 as the starter), which also makes Rodgers the team's longest-tenured player. 

"I'm debatably the best player in franchise history. I'm definitely in the conversation," Rodgers said on "The Pat McAfee Show" recently. "What's not debatable is I'm the longest-tenured Packer in team history… No one has bled green and gold like me."

However, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer has full confidence that his successor will end up having a similar career trajectory that he did when following in Hall of Famer Brett Favre's footsteps -- a great one.  

Passing the baton

"They're ready to move on with Jordan. That's awesome," Rodgers said. "Jordan is going to be a great player. He's a f---ing great kid. He had a really great year this year, getting better on the look team [scout team]. He's got a bright future in front of him. They have a good young team. … They're ready to move on, and so am I."

Green Bay's Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones also expressed his confidence in Love back on Feb. 12. 

"It's hard to replace somebody like that [Rodgers]," Jones said. "But I think if that was to happen, Jordan is definitely ready."

The football world got to see a glimpse of what Rodgers was talking about when he mentioned Love's growth running Green Bay's scout team in Week 12 of the 2022 season. The Packers were playing the eventual NFC champion Eagles in Philadelphia on "Sunday Night Football" when Rodgers went down with an injury to his ribs in the fourth quarter. The 24-year-old backup came in to start his first drive of the game with the Eagles ahead 37-23 with 11:11 left to play. 

Love made the Packers' wish that he would look good come true, completing each of his first three passes: a five-yarder to running back A.J. Dillion, a seven-yard gain to wide receiver Allen Lazard, and then the big one: a 63-yard touchdown to rookie wideout Christian Watson. The scoring strike was set up by Love's execution of the play-action fake that led him to him winding up and firing a dart that allowed Watson to leave his defender in the dust. 37-30, a new ball game with nine minutes to play. 

After the Eagles burned 6:44 off the clock with their next drive that ended with a field goal, Love led a second scoring drive that concluded with a 33-yard Mason Crosby field goal. Ten points scored in two Love-led drives. Those two drives also made a believer out of Love's opponent that night, Eagles Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay.

"As a defense, when A-Rod goes out, we feel great," Slay said on his "Big Play Slay" podcast on Nov. 30. "That's one of the greatest quarterbacks ever, so if he goes out, we have to go out there and really get after it. The D-line gets a little hungrier because they know with a young buck coming in they can get after the quarterback since A-Rod makes a lot of checks and communication at the line of scrimmage, that's hard to sack. Young buck [Jordan Love] comes in and actually does a very, very solid job. Green Bay got a bright, bright future, like a bright one because buddy [Love] was slinging it."

"I ain't going to lie it low-key looked like A-Rod, like he's [Love] been learning a lot," Slay continued. "It should be a blessing for him to be behind a GOAT and learning like that at a high level. He's a talented kid as well, he's a first-round draft pick, has a lot of talent. He just has to wait his time, just how A-Rod waited his time for Brett Favre. His time is going to come, and you can see the gun-slinging mentality he had just like him [Rodgers]. With the quick release and the flick, picking the back leg up, he's [Love] copy and pasting him [Rodgers] for sure. That's a great player [Rodgers] to be copy and pasting from."

With the Packers and Rodgers now going their separate ways, here's a look at what Green Bay's offense could look like with No. 10 taking the snaps instead of No. 12. 

A return to Matt LaFleur's offensive roots, the Mike Shanahan principles

"I didn't quite understand what we were doing at times on offense and my job was to take care of the football, and I did [in 2019] … But I felt there was so much more," Aaron Rodgers said on the "Aubrey Marcus Podcast" on March 2 when talking about what it was like playing in head coach Matt LaFleur's offense in their first year together. "And then they [the Packers] drafted my replacement and I won MVP twice."

LaFleur brought an offense to Green Bay that is diametrically opposed to former head coach Mike McCarthy's West Coast offense that Rodgers spent 13 seasons mastering. The Packers lined up in shotgun formation 52.8% of the time from 2006-2018, the third-highest rate in the NFL. LaFleur's system is a derivative of what Mike Shanahan ran as the head coach of the Denver Broncos for 14 seasons (1995-2008), yielding two Super Bowls. The Shanahan offense is based around lining up under center, running the football off of zone blocking schemes, regular pre-snap motion usage and play-action passing. 

In short, an offensive scheme designed to make a quarterback's life more simple by allowing them to diagnose a defense more easily through utilizing many similar formations, making the run and the pass look the same. That way a quarterback can rely on the pre-snap motion and play-action plays to find receivers to throw to without having to think as much. Rodgers, one of the best in NFL history at pre-snap audibles and quickly identifying mismatches on his own, has referred to the West Coast offense as "the most beautiful offense in football" on many occasions because of its simplicity where the quarterback just goes from one route progression to another with much more of the decision-making process on the passer's shoulders instead of his coaches'.

In 2019, he had an efficient, but lower volume season by his standards, throwing for 26 touchdowns and four interceptions while totaling just over 4,000 passing yards in Year 1 with LaFleur. Rodgers thrived in 2020 and 2021, winning back-to-back NFL MVPs while the Packers went 26-6 in his starts. Those 26 wins are tied for the most in the NFL during those two seasons with the Kansas Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes starting at quarterback. He also led the entire league in passing touchdowns (85), touchdown-to-interception ratio (85-9) and passer rating (116.7) across the 2020 and 2021 seasons. 

During Rodgers' return to his peak performance in those back-to-back MVP seasons, the team leaned into lined up under center 40.5% of the time, the 10th-highest rate in the NFL. Looking more like LaFleur's offense -- with the head coach calling the team's offensive plays and Rodgers for the most part sticking to them -- led to an incredibly more efficient offense.

Packers offensive ranking under Matt LaFleur since 2019



23.5 (15th)

29.1 (3rd)

21.8 (14th)

Total YPG

345.5 (18th)

376.9 (8th)

337.9 (17th)

Red Zone TD Pct

64% (8th) 

68.5% (3rd)

51.9% (24th)

Under Center Rate

39.1% (13th)

40.5% (10th)

31.1% (22nd)

Play-Action Rate

16.4% (12th)

16.5% (15th)

15.2% (17th)

Motion Rate41.9% (12th)51.3% (7th)56.7% (8th)

* Aaron Rodgers won back-to-back NFL MVPs

However, Rodgers and the Packers simultaneously struggled when they went away from the offense's foundational staples of going under center and utilizing play-action. Since the 2022 season had both the lowest under center (31.1%) and play-action (15.2%) rates of LaFleur's four-season tenure in Green Bay, the Packers went 8-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time under their current head coach. A stark contrast to the Packers' three years in a row with 13-win seasons, the only such streak in NFL history. Rodgers also had the worst single-season passer rating of his career in 2022, 91.1, after he and the team shifted to the way he preferred to play and away from LaFleur's style of offense, more shotgun and more route progressions based on his ability to read the field. 

Aaron Rodgers in 2022

Career rank as starter

Pass Yards


3rd worst

Pass Yards/Attempt


2nd worst

Passing Touchdowns


T-4th worst



2nd worst

Passer Rating



"There's certain things situationally that could occur a little bit differently, but we give obviously for a lot of reasons, we give Aaron the liberty to, especially situationally, to get us out of the look based on what the defense is presenting," LaFleur said in the middle of the 2022 season when Green Bay started 3-6. "I have total faith and trust that he's going to put the guys in the best spot. When it doesn't work out, it's easy to second-guess everything. That's the nature of our business, a results-oriented business."

When LaFleur was then pressed on what the specific issues were with the team's offensive struggles, he bluntly assessed the issues. The head coach spread the blame "collectively" opting not to fault Rodgers for likely audibling out of his playcalls.

"Obviously not putting the guys in the right spots," LaFleur said when asked what he is doing differently after the team won 13 games in each of his first three seasons as head coach. "Collectively, everybody could all be a little bit better and we have to for us to win games. It's unfortunate that we're in this situation, but we are."

It's also an unfortunate situation that Rodgers won't be retiring having only put on a Green Bay Packers jersey in his storied career. LaFleur likely returns his Packers offense to its roots with Love, more under center and play-action utilization, looking to fool opposing defenses into thinking they are running the football when it's really a pass play and vice versa. 

Packers will finally draft a first-round offensive skill position player

Green Bay has not selected an offensive skill position player (running back, wide receiver or tight end) in the first round since 2002 when it chose Florida State wide receiver Javon Walker with the 20th overall pick. The last time the Packers took an offensive skill-position player in the first round, Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" (starring Tobey Maguire) was the world's top-grossing movie. The current 20-draft streak Green Bay is on currently without selecting an offensive skill position player in Round 1 is the longest in the Common Draft Era (since 1967). 

Longest drought without 1st-round RB, WR or TE
Common draft era (since 1967)  

Draft YearsTeamDrafts










However, that should end in the 2023 NFL Draft with Love taking over, and even more so now that the Packers have moved up to the 13th overall pick as part of their return for trading Rodgers to the Jets on Monday. Pick 13 puts them into the range of being able to select Ohio State wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba, many teams' top-graded wide receiver prospect. Here's the range of where CBS Sports' current mock drafts have Smith-Njigba going. mock draft projections for Jaxon Smith-Njigba

CBS Sports NFL Draft ExpertPick TeamPick Location

Ryan Wilson

Houston Texans


Chris Trapasso

Green Bay Packers


Josh Edwards

Green Bay Packers


Kyle Stackpole

Los Angeles Chargers


* The Packers' first-round pick before the Aaron Rodgers trade; they now have the 13th overall selection.

Smith-Njigba would be a nice complement to Christian Watson, whose nine scrimmage touchdowns were tied for the most among all rookies with Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III. The Packers' Week 18 slip-up against the Lions showcased the need for another weapon or two, as the Lions double-teamed Watson or bracketed him with a safety nearly the entire game, daring another pass catcher to beat them. Romeo Doubs, the Packers' fourth-round pick receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft, is a player head coach Matt LaFleur has high hopes for, likening the 23-year-old's "movement skills" to those of former Packers All-Pro Davante Adams

However, adding a third option, a true top-flight receiving option, could rapidly accelerate Love's growth under center. Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense hit new heights in 2021 following the addition of Chase alongside receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Higgins, the first pick of the draft's second round in 2020, has totaled over a 1,000 receiving yards in each of the two seasons since the Bengals drafted Chase fifth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. A first-round weapon at 13 overall could open things up for Love, Watson and Doubs in a somewhat similar fashion. 

Even though Aaron Rodgers had the longest-lasting relationship, 18 seasons, and most passing touchdowns with the Packers in team history, once again the franchise is undergoing a makeover with the decision to move on to a new flame at quarterback in Jordan Love. That means the 2023 season will look stunningly different than the 2022 season for a variety of reasons.