The Way I See It
In this The Way I See It: Aaron Rodgers rumors, Derek Carr situation reviewed, NFL Hall of Fame 2023 nominees, and more.
Aaron Rodgers Rumors
To be honest, the grumblings surrounding Aaron Rodgers are less rumors and more of the same tired nonsense. Regarding the nonsense, Rodgers reminds me of Howard Stern. If you were a fan of Stern, you’ll recall that he’d start contemplating retiring every time his contract was up. He’d complain about his staff, his pay, his bosses, the FCC, etc. Management always fell for his schtick (he never planned on retiring) and consequently gave in to his demands. Similarly, that tactic is precisely what Rodgers does to the Green Bay Packers every season.
William Del Pilar and I predicted this last season, when Rodgers’ whined about Jordan Love being drafted and not-so-quietly debated returning to Green Bay, that the team giving in to his demands would lead to it being held hostage. Of course, Rodgers entering “four days of darkness” to decide his own fate, right after saying Raiders’ fans seem to really want him on their team, is keeping a metaphorical gun to the Packers’ head.
The Packers need to find a team willing to take on Rodgers’ bloated contract who will be satisfied with a QB that will win the MVP, earn the #1 or #2 seed, and lose in the Wild Card round. After that, focus on developing Jordan Love.
SPORTS GRUMBLINGS SPOTLIGHT
In this clip, superstar QB Aaron Rodgers announces his intentions to meditate on how he can best serve the NFL and mankind. Rodgers is a modern-day Buddha!
The Wrath of Derek Carr
As I pound out this column in service of my ungrateful readers, the consensus around the NFL is that the Saints are strongly considering trading for Raiders’ QB Derek Carr. However, I’m not buying the trade rumors.
The Raiders have to agree to trade Carr or cut him by Feb. 15 to avoid $40.5 million of the $121.5 million remaining on his contract becoming fully guaranteed. Additionally, Carr has trade veto power in his contract. In other words, the Raiders have painted themselves into a corner and Carr doesn’t have to help them out. As a result, I think Carr should blindly veto any trade the Raiders work out.
Look, I’m a naturally vindictive person. If a team treated me as disrespectfully as the Raiders treated Carr, I’d be seething. Why in the world would I allow the Saints to send picks to the Raiders? “Hey Mickey Loomis, I’ll tell you what: I’ll sign with you on Feb. 15th for the exact same terms in the trade agreement you negotiated with Dave Zigler. That said, you’ll save a pick or two that you can use to draft a couple of linemen to keep me upright.”
I know Carr is a good Christian man, but vengeance needn’t exclusively be the Lord’s alone.
NFL Hall of Fame
The NFL Hall of Fame announced the 2023 modern-era finalists for induction:
- Jared Allen, DE
- Willie Anderson, OT
- Ronde Barber, DB
- Dwight Freeney, DE (first year of eligibility)
- Devin Hester, PR/KR/WR
- Torry Holt, WR
- Andre Johnson, WR
- Albert Lewis, CB
- Darrelle Revis, CB (first year of eligibility)
- Joe Thomas, LT (first year of eligibility)
- Zach Thomas, LB
- DeMarcus Ware, LB
- Reggie Wayne, WR
- Patrick Willis, LB
- Darren Woodson, S
Some really good players on this list, but only a few that I feel should be in the Hall.
Fully Deserving of Induction NOW!
Darrelle Revis was the premiere cover corner of his generation. Revis was so good, that NFL general managers would openly state that they were looking for the next “Derrell Revis” coming out of college… every year. Revis would take opposing WR1s and make them irrelevant.
Joe Thomas was an iron man left tackle and perennial Pro Bowl selection. Unfortunately, Thomas spent his entire career playing for horrible Cleveland Browns teams, however, I doubt the Hall voters will hold his lack of post-season play against him.
Deserving of Induction (but may have to wait)
Jared Allen was a premiere edge rusher who played with his hand in the dirt. Allen posted 136 sacks in his career (12th overall).
Zach Thomas was the little engine that could for Jimmy Johnson’s Miami Dolphins teams. Despite being undersized, Thomas was a heady player with a non-stop motor. I compare Thomas to Chris Spielman— and Spielman is not yet in the Hall. However, Thomas may have an advantage over Spielman in that he played in more games, and for better teams.
Certainly, Andre Johnson/Torry Holt/Reggie Wayne were great receivers, but are all in the same tier for me. If one or none got in, I’d understand.
Deserving of Induction (but is being blackballed)
Devin Hester was the greatest kick/punt returner I’ve ever seen play, a true weapon. Especially for the Bears. However, the Hall voters are reluctant to induct special teams players. There have only been three pure special teamers inducted into the Hall, and were kickers (Jan Stenerud, Morten Andersen, and Ray Guy). The discrimination against special teamers has always seemed weird to me, since you always hear coaches say that special team play is often the deciding factor in tight games. Hester deserves to get in, Adam Vinatieri deserves to get in (when he’s eligible), Justin Tucker (when he decides to retire), and Steve Tasker deserves to get in. They should get in, but I’m not holding my breath.
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