Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”: ESPN host advocates for improbable Aaron Rodgers-to-49ers scenario

Jan 26, 2022 at 9:51 AM--

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers once said the San Francisco 49ers would regret not selecting him in the 2005 NFL Draft. Since then, he has been 0-4 against his hometown team.

Most are predicting that Rodgers' time in Green Bay is over. The four-time first-team All-Pro and 10-time Pro Bowler will likely force an exit from his NFL home of 17 years. That could mean joining a team that feels it is a quarterback away from being a potential contender, like the Denver Broncos.

One ESPN host, Mike Greenberg, believes Rodgers should join the team that has been his playoff kryptonite.

"I'm going to bring up Kevin Durant," Greenberg said on ESPN's Get Up. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. You know what? Kevin Durant went to Golden State because he couldn't get through them. I think Rodgers is gonna go to San Francisco. Go ahead.

"He's 0-4 against them in the playoffs. That's his hometown, so he grew up in Northern California. They should've drafted him No. 1 all those years ago. Let's right that wrong. They've got Jimmy Garoppolo. He may win the Super Bowl, and yet, still, I think they need a different quarterback."

San Francisco flirted with the idea of signing Tom Brady after the 2019 season. That was after Garoppolo led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance, so the idea that the team would look to upgrade from Garoppolo isn't far-fetched. In fact, the Niners seemed to be in the mix for every veteran quarterback option this past offseason—including their opponent's passer this weekend, Matthew Stafford.

San Francisco, having already traded up to the No. 3 overall spot, even called Green Bay when word about the Rodgers-Packers rift surfaced before the start of the draft.

The 49ers aren't expected to hold onto Garoppolo after this season, with most feeling the veteran quarterback limits what head coach Kyle Shanahan can do on offense. That's what led the 49ers to trade up to draft Trey Lance at No. 3 overall.

That brings up another point. What could San Francisco give Green Bay for Rodgers, assuming they wanted him? The 49ers don't have a first-round pick until 2024 because of the trade up for Lance.

Due to his limited collegiate experience, the plan for Lance was always to allow the rookie to sit and learn during his rookie season and ride Garoppolo's arm as far as it would take the team. That ended up being on the doorstep of another Super Bowl appearance.

Greenberg sees Lance's lack of playing time as a lack of confidence in the rookie quarterback.

"They've got Trey Lance," Greenberg said. "Let's put it this way. If Trey Lance was what they wanted Trey Lance to be, I think he'd be playing right now."

Greenberg added, "Do I think it will happen? No. Do I think it's the best fit for him? I absolutely do."

H/t to Tzvi Machlin of The Spun for the find.

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