Seth Udinski, FISM News
An exciting NFL off-season hit fever pitch this past week, as the 2021 NFL draft commenced in Cleveland, Ohio. As experts predicted, the Jacksonville Jaguars grabbed phenom quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first-overall pick in the draft.
The star quarterback from Clemson who finished second in the voting for the 2021 Heisman Trophy award will have the weight of the franchise on his young shoulders. The Jaguars are one of the NFL’s younger franchises, in existence for only 25 years. They were 1-15 in 2020, the worst record in the league. Other than superstar lefty Mark Brunelle in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the team has never had a “true” franchise quarterback. They now turn to the 21-year-old Lawrence to be the face of the franchise and right the ship.
Meanwhile, one of the preeminent franchises in the NFL is facing serious turbulence. The Green Bay Packers, one of the most storied and successful teams in NFL history, may soon lose their Hall-of-Fame quarterback.
2020 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers has quarterbacked the Packers for his entire career, since the 2005 season. After backing up the legendary Brett Favre for three seasons, Rodgers took over and had immediate success. He led the Packers to a victory in Super Bowl XLV and established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, winning numerous division titles. This past week, however, ESPN reported that the 37-year-old Rodgers wants to play elsewhere for the 2021 season.
Rumblings began surfacing of Rodgers’ discontentment as early as several years ago, when it was reported that he clashed with former head coach Mike McCarthy. Rodgers appeared to get along well with McCarthy’s replacement, the spunky young head coach Matt Lafleur, who was awarded the job before the 2019 season. In the 2020 draft, the Packers took quarterback Jordan Love in a move that irked Rodgers. Many believe he took offense to his team drafting a young quarterback to eventually replace him, instead of an offensive weapon to help Rodgers and the Packers, who were far from rebuilding mode, win another championship.
The Packers have suffered two straight losses in the NFC Championship Game. The most recent loss was a heart breaker. It came as the result of a coaching blunder, in which LaFleur elected to kick a field goal late in the game instead of going for a touchdown. Perhaps the gut-wrenching playoff loss was the last straw for Aaron Rodgers. Regardless of where the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback plays in 2021, it seems likely it will not be in Green Bay.