It was April 29th, 2021. I was preparing for the draft, finishing up all my reports for players who are eligible, and it seemed like an ordinary day. An hour before the start of the draft, a notification came up saying the San Francisco 49ers were looking into trading for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers prior to the draft.
After reading the notification, I found it more or less humorous of the 49ers for even attempting to trade for the reigning NFL MVP. However, within the next 30 minutes, news broke that read “Aaron Rodgers has informed the Packers organization that he wants out.”
At this point, rumors began to circulate naming teams who could attempt to trade for the star quarterback. There is a lot of speculation on why he wanted out, but nothing has been confirmed by Rodgers himself. The one thing Rodgers has confirmed for the media is that he doesn’t want to play another snap in Green Bay and will continue to stay away.
Just because Rodgers wants out, however, doesn’t mean he will get his way. However, if the Packers are inclined to make a move, what teams have both the need for a quarterback and the ability to put together a valuable trade package. The most popular answer to that question seems to be the Denver Broncos.
If Aaron Rodgers somehow ends up in Denver, what would that mean for the Chiefs?
Two years ago the Chiefs took on the Packers at home, however the matchup that everyone was hoping for between Rodgers and Mahomes, wasn’t feasible. Prior to the matchup, Mahomes dislocated his knee against the Broncos, an injury that sidelined him for two weeks. Given the lack of previous experience, it means the Chiefs aren’t exactly sure what to expect when the two play against each other, perhaps giving Denver a slight edge in that respect.
Looking back at Rodgers career with the Packers, and even more so recently, it’s easy to notice the lack of weapons. Rodgers’ only real weapon last season was Davante Adams, and although he is arguably the best receiver in football , Rodgers had little else to work with.
Should Rodgers end up getting traded to Denver, depending on who goes to Green Bay in the deal, he could reworking with some semblance of wideouts like Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and K.J. Hamler; tight end Noah Fant; and running backs Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams. If Rodgers is able to do as well as he does with Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, Robert Tonyan, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, he’d accomplish extraordinary things with the Broncos.
Very few players truly make everyone else better, and that’s what separates the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers is unarguably great. There is a message that I once heard a couple years ago and believe in it fully, “A truck can pull a truck and it can pull a trailer, a trailer needs a truck to be pulled.” Rodgers entire career has been defined by this greatness, and the Chiefs have a young quarterback capable of the same in Patrick Mahomes.
Being able to see Mahomes and Rodgers go head-to-head two times each season would be one of the best divisional matchups in recent NFL history. The Broncos drafted quarterback Drew Lock in the 2019 NFL draft, but after his disappointing career thus far, the Chiefs have found themselves with pretty easy wins, each of which helps them wrap the AFC West fairly quickly. With Rodgers taking snaps under center, the Broncos would be a much, much tougher matchup.
The Chiefs have built quite the roster over the past couple seasons. With additions through the draft, new free agent signings this offseason, and trades they have made, the Chiefs are still in a terrific spot. A new offensive line should be much better at protecting Mahomes than last year. With the additions of Joe Thuney, Orlando Brown, Creed Humphrey, Kyle Long and others, the offensive front will fare a lot better against the Broncos pass rush combination of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.
With Rodgers at the helm, how would the defense fare? The Chiefs have improved their defense, especially at linebacker, but they are still lacking in some areas. The Chiefs have a lot of question marks on their defensive line and that was before Frank Clark’s legal troubles. After losing Bashaud Breeland, the Chiefs will be expecting a lot from an inexperienced secondary without having enough good physical cornerbacks who can play the big receiver.
When matching up with the Broncos you have to find someone who will be able to play physical with a star receiver like Sutton. Looking at some of the cornerbacks that the Chiefs have, it’s going to difficult for the Chiefs to play Sutton well. Charvarius Ward has performed well in the past but he isn’t strong enough at the line, which could lead to blown coverages and bad reads on the ball downfield. Ward is likely to play well against receivers like Jeudy or Hamler, but the Chiefs could miss Breeland against a bigger receiver, which Rodgers could take advantage of.
There’s no denying that a trade for Aaron Rodgers would make the Broncos a lot more difficult. It could force the Chiefs to think about further moves in the secondary and the recent win streak against the Broncos could be in jeopardy. However, it would also lead to some of the most anticipated matchups of the season for fans of both teams—that is, if the Packers relent to Rodgers’ demands.