One vet who springs to mind is Derek Carr, long a Raider. He’s 31, which isn’t old. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler. The Raiders could cut him – he has no guaranteed money left on a contract that has two years to run – meaning he could be available as a free agent, though Las Vegas would surely try to trade him first.
Another is Jimmy Garoppolo, whom the 49ers keep wanting to move but who refuses to leave. Another is Ryan Tannehill, whom the Titans benched before he was lost to ankle surgery, which is how they wound up with Joshua Dobbs of Alpharetta starting Saturday’s playoff play-in against Jacksonville. Jameis Winston is out there, though it’s not a great sign with you sit behind Andy Dalton.
And then there’s this other guy. Maybe you’ve heard of him.
As we know, Rodgers enjoys being enigmatic. His future, he once said, “is a beautiful mystery.” He got miffed when the Packers drafted Jordan Love, presumptive quarterback-in-waiting, and spent years acting as if he wanted to leave. Green Bay’s loss to the Lions kept it out of the playoffs. Rodgers milked the moment by gazing into the Lambeau Field stands as “The Way We Were” played over the PA. (Slight embellishment.)
He’s 39. He mightn’t want to play anymore. He’s coming off one of the worst statistical seasons since he became a starter, which was in 2008. He’s the prima donna Matt Ryan never was. If Rodgers came to work here, he’d take up most of the oxygen in Hall County.
That said, he’s Aaron Rodgers. He might be available. He’s not at his peak, but he’s still better than Ridder, starter of four NFL games.
A word of warning, though. This NFL season saw quarterbacks who’d taken teams to the Super Bowl look nothing like themselves – Ryan in Indianapolis, Russell Wilson in Denver, Matthew Stafford with the Rams. Tom Brady and Rodgers finished 17th and 18th in passer rating. (Brady might also be relocating, FYI.)
Yes, Brady and Stafford won Super Bowls in new environs. Ryan and Wilson upped sticks and had the worst experiences of their distinguished careers. What will happen with Carr and Jimmy G. and maybe even Rodges is, ahem, a beautiful mystery. Were I the Falcons, I’d consider Carr. I wouldn’t consider Rodgers.