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Aaron Rodgers-Inexperienced Bay Packers cut up? From Johnny Unitas to Peyton Manning, historical past reveals it might be nothing new

GREEN BAY, Wis. — When Aaron Rodgers signed his most up-to-date contract — a then-record $134 million extension in 2018 — he posted a message of due to the Green Bay Packers on his Instagram account. Among the many hashtags on the backside of his submit was #packerforlife.

Within the NFL quarterback world — even the one the place future Corridor of Famers reside — #forlife is a subjective time. In Rodgers’ case, it’d imply solely three extra years from the time he signed.

If Rodgers by no means takes one other snap for the Packers, the query turns into, does he retire or play for an additional workforce?

The Packers have made it clear all through the offseason standoff that they don’t have any plans to commerce the three-time NFL MVP. However this is similar franchise that traded Brett Favre 13 years in the past.

There’s precedent each in Inexperienced Bay and across the NFL. Twelve of the 27 modern-era quarterbacks within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame cut up with the workforce they’re most related to and completed their careers elsewhere.

The approaching weeks will decide if Rodgers is destined to be No. 13.

This is the way it went down for the earlier 12:

Norm Van Brocklin, Rams, 1949-57

What was behind their cut up? “The Dutchman” had a 42-20-3 report over 9 seasons with the Rams and performed on their 1951 championship workforce, sharing quarterback duties with Bob Waterfield. His 554-yard passing efficiency in 1951 nonetheless stands as an NFL report. After a 6-6 season in 1957 during which he led the NFL with 21 interceptions, Van Brocklin briefly retired at age 31 principally as a result of he did not wish to play for coach Sid Gillman. When he determined to maintain taking part in, he was traded to the Eagles in 1958.

How he fared with new workforce: Van Brocklin led the NFL in completions (198) and makes an attempt (374) in his first season with the Eagles, however they completed with a 2-9-1 report. Following a 7-5 mark in 1959, Van Brocklin and the Eagles made historical past by defeating the Packers 17-13 for the NFL championship, the one playoff loss by a Vince Lombardi-coached workforce. At age 34, Van Brocklin additionally received NFL MVP in his ultimate season in 1960.

Quotable: “I did not a lot wish to come to the Eagles,” Van Brocklin advised Sports activities Illustrated in 1958. “You may’t beat that West Coast dwelling. However what else am I going to do? I suppose if I knew what I will do after I get via, I might begin doing it now.”


What was behind their cut up? The Niners thought Tittle was just about carried out. He was 34 years previous on the time of the commerce and coming off an injury-plagued 1960 season. San Francisco coach Pink Hickey was working a shotgun offense and had their 1957 first-round choose John Brodie groomed to be the starter. Hickey and proprietor Vic Morabito made it clear to Tittle that he can be traded. Tittle wished to be dealt to the Los Angeles Rams. As a substitute, he went to the Giants, a lot to his preliminary dismay.

How he fared with new workforce: Tittle resuscitated his profession with the Giants. They went 8-1-1 in his 10 begins that first season in 1961, and he was named first-team All-Professional the next two years. The Giants received three straight Jap Division titles and Tittle set league information with 33 and 36 landing passes in 1962 and 1963, respectively. He even received the MVP within the 1963 season. Although he by no means finally received an NFL championship, Tittle had a pleasant run in New York.

Quotable: “Who the hell is Lou Cordileone? They did not even hassle to commerce a reputation participant for me. Tittle for a guard named Cordileone? Effectively, that takes me down a peg.” — Tittle upon studying of the commerce (by way of his e-book “Nothing Comes Simple”).


What was behind their cut up? Is the Curse of Bobby Layne actual? It actually appears that means after years of heartbreak in Motown. It might be laborious to consider, however the Lions dominated the Nineteen Fifties, successful three championships led by Layne. Nevertheless, Layne suffered a damaged and dislocated proper ankle, opening the door for his backup, Tobin Rote, to steer the squad to the 1957 title. The subsequent season, Lions coach George Wilson traded the Corridor of Fame quarterback to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Layne was bitter. He supposedly uttered that the Lions would not win a championship for an additional 50 years. Positive sufficient, the franchise has not come near successful once more, with just one playoff victory because the title.

How he fared with new workforce: As a Lion, Layne received three NFL championships. He performed in 4 Professional Bowls and made First-Crew All-Professional Twice. In Pittsburgh, he made the Professional Bowl twice in 5 seasons, however by no means reached the playoffs once more earlier than retiring forward of the 1963 season. The Lions have seemingly been cursed for many years following his daring assertion. He died in 1986 at age 59.

Quotable: “No, there is no bitter grapes,” his son Alan Layne advised the Detroit Free Press in 2017. “He by no means mentioned something derogatory round me or my brother. It was simply water underneath the bridge. He wasn’t like that, and he simply went on.”


Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts, 1956-72

What was behind their cut up? Robert Irsay took over controlling curiosity of the Colts in 1972 and put in normal supervisor Joe Thomas, who wished the 39-year-old Unitas benched early that season in favor of Marty Domres. Coach Don McCafferty resisted and, after a 1-5 begin, he was fired. Domres took over because the starter. Unitas, who held each vital passing report on the time and led the Colts to a few world championships, noticed spot responsibility in three extra video games, trying simply 4 passes. His Colts profession formally got here to an finish when Thomas traded Unitas to the Chargers on Jan. 22, 1973, for a reported $150,000. Unitas advised The New York Occasions after the commerce that he was not even positive it was authorized as a result of he had signed a 10-year private providers contract with the Colts underneath former proprietor Carroll Rosenbloom that might pay him $30,000 per 12 months.

How he fared with new workforce: The 40-year-old Unitas’ Chargers debut in 1973 was a catastrophe, and it did not get a lot better from there. He accomplished 6-of-17 passes for 55 yards with three interceptions in a 38-0 loss to Washington. He began three extra video games, shedding two, earlier than being benched for rookie Dan Fouts, who went on to turn into a Chargers legend and a Corridor of Famer. Unitas accomplished simply 34 passes in his 18th season and opted to retire.

Quotable: “… I received a name from Ernie Accorsi, the Colts’ PR man, and he mentioned Joe Thomas wished to speak to me. I mentioned, ‘Effective, put him on,'” Unitas advised the Los Angeles Occasions in 1989. “Thomas mentioned, ‘You’ve got simply been traded to San Diego,’ and bang, he hung up. That was it, after 17 years with the ballclub.”


George Blanda, Houston Oilers, 1960-66

What was behind their cut up? Blanda performed 26 seasons for 4 groups, however his greatest run as a quarterback got here with the Oilers. He led the AFL with 3,330 yards passing and 36 touchdowns in 1961. He additionally led the league in interceptions 4 straight years, together with 42 in 1962. Additionally a kicker, Blanda made simply eight begins at age 39 in 1966, throwing 17 touchdowns in opposition to 21 interceptions and finishing simply 45% of his passes. The Oilers launched him, however Blanda wasn’t able to retire, and shortly Al Davis referred to as.

How he fared with new workforce: Blanda joined the Raiders at age 40 and was used primarily as a kicker for 9 extra seasons. He solely made one begin at quarterback with the Raiders however appeared in 126 video games and helped Oakland to its first AFL championship in 1967. He performed in 11 championship video games, together with seven with the Raiders. Blanda retired simply earlier than the 1976 season, weeks shy of his forty ninth birthday, with 2,002 factors in 340 video games.

Quotable: “Once I look again on my 9 years with the Raiders, what involves thoughts first is my nice affiliation with Al Davis,” Blanda advised the Raiders web site in 2010. “If it had not been for him I could not have carried out the issues I did as soon as I left Houston. I could not have even saved taking part in if it weren’t for Al. I respect him extremely.”


What was behind their cut up? Namath and the Jets parted methods in 1977. The Tremendous Bowl glory from 1969 had lengthy since pale, and the 33-year-old Namath, his physique ravaged by accidents, did not match right into a deliberate youth motion that included quarterback Richard Todd (a 1976 first-round choose). Possession made an Eleventh-hour plea for Namath to remain, most likely as a result of he nonetheless was an enormous draw, however he requested a commerce to the Los Angeles Rams, who finally picked him up on waivers. From a soccer perspective, he wished the Rams as a result of they had been a perennial playoff workforce and due to his affinity for coach Chuck Knox, a former Jets assistant. The lure of Hollywood needed to be an element, too.

How he fared with new workforce: Broadway Joe by no means turned Hollywood Joe. His one season in La La Land was a catastrophe. The Rams made the playoffs, however Namath was benched after solely 4 video games. The previous magic was gone. The tell-tale second occurred throughout a playoff loss to the Vikings. Knox, on the lookout for Namath to return off the bench and save the day, made eye contact with him on the sideline. Namath seemed away, tacitly turning down the chance. That is when he knew it was over.

Quotable: “I actually felt like I may nonetheless play despite the fact that I misplaced a number of bodily ability that I used to be capable of play with earlier. I actually felt like I may nonetheless play given the chance to be with a workforce that was fairly rattling good, but it surely turned out to be a really tough transition. To vary groups, it is robust, it is actually robust.” — Namath to ESPN.com


Ken Stabler, Oakland Raiders, 1970-79

What was behind their cut up? Stabler, who was NFL MVP in 1974 and led the Raiders to a Tremendous Bowl XI victory two seasons later, noticed not solely his play dip after successful a long-awaited championship, however his workforce’s success falter as nicely with just one playoff win his final three years with the workforce. “Blame the lefty,” Al Davis mentioned in 1978, “he makes all the cash.” A 12 months later, Stabler responded in form when requested if he want to bury the hatchet with the iconoclast proprietor, saying, “Sure, between his shoulder blades.” Stabler, who held franchise profession passing information till 2020, was traded after the 1979 season to the Oilers in a starter-for-starter swap for Dan Pastorini, although Pastorini suffered a damaged leg in Week 5, opening the door for Jim Plunkett and a Tremendous Bowl XV win.

How he fared with new workforce: Stabler, in his first 12 months with Houston, led the Oilers to a wild-card berth, the place he confronted … the Raiders. Oakland dominated Stabler, sacking him seven instances and selecting him off twice, together with a game-sealing 20-yard pick-six by Lester Hayes within the Raiders’ 27-7 victory. Stabler did not seem within the postseason once more as he went 16-12 in two seasons with the Oilers and 11-11 in three years with the New Orleans Saints, earlier than calling it a profession after the 1984 season.

Quotable: “It was a candy encounter. It was like two previous mates, circling again round to the place they had been. Mr. Davis was very fragile, and Kenny hugged him very gingerly … they each discovered peace.” — Kim Bush, the late Stabler’s life companion, recalling the 2009 assembly in Davis’ workplace that ended their feud.


Joe Montana, 49ers, 1979-92

What was behind their cut up? Montana led the 49ers to 4 Tremendous Bowl wins within the Eighties, however by the top of the last decade he was fairly banged up. San Francisco traded for Steve Younger in 1987 and considered him because the inheritor obvious to Montana, who missed 37 video games over his ultimate six seasons with the 49ers. An elbow harm suffered within the NFC Championship Recreation following the 1991 season carried over into the 1992 season. Younger began all 16 video games, passing for 3,465 yards and 25 touchdowns, main the 49ers to a 14-2 report. Montana may see the writing on the wall, and he requested for permission to hunt a commerce. The 49ers labored out a commerce with the Phoenix Cardinals, however Montana turned it down. He wished to be dealt to the Kansas City Chiefs. The 49ers lastly traded Montana, a 1993 first-round choose and security David Whitmore to the Chiefs for his or her first-round choose.

How he fared with new workforce: Montana signed a three-year, $10 million cope with the Chiefs however was unable to put on his acquainted No. 16 as a result of it was retired after being worn by one other Corridor of Famer, Len Dawson. He opted for No. 19. The Chiefs received a division title in Montana’s first season because the starter — their first in 22 years. They misplaced to the Buffalo Bills within the AFC Championship Recreation, and Montana went to his eighth and ultimate Professional Bowl. After a 9-7 season in 1994 that included a win over Younger and the 49ers in a Week 2 Monday Night time Soccer matchup, Montana retired from the NFL at age 38.

Quotable: “The factor that caught in me essentially the most wasn’t that I used to be going someplace else, but it surely was the explanation I used to be going … I had felt I should not be [leaving] at that time limit,” Montana advised the Kansas Metropolis Star in 2013. “I may perceive it if my play was down, but it surely wasn’t at that time. It was just because they did not wish to have a quarterback controversy.”


Warren Moon, Oilers, 1984-93

What was behind their cut up? After the 1993 Oilers failed to achieve the Tremendous Bowl with a 12-4 season, then-owner Bud Adams opted to maintain backup quarterback Cody Carlson over Moon. The Oilers acquired a fourth-round choose in 1994 and a third-round choose in 1995 for the 37-year-old Moon, who received a franchise-high 70 video games. In keeping with the Houston Chronicle, Adams on the time mentioned Moon wouldn’t have been traded if it weren’t for the NFL wage cap, which was put into place earlier than the 1994 season.

How he fared with new workforce: Moon performed three seasons in Minnesota, throwing for greater than 4,200 yards and making the Professional Bowl in back-to-back seasons earlier than breaking his collarbone in his ultimate 12 months with the Vikings. Together with the 1994 and 1995 seasons in Minnesota, Moon was named to eight straight Professional Bowls. He closed out his profession with two-year stints with the Seahawks and Chiefs earlier than retiring in 2001 on the age of 44.

Quotable: “I feel they made a mistake buying and selling me,” Moon advised the Houston Chronicle in 1994. “You take a look at what administration did, and so they received what they deserve. I feel they did what they thought was greatest, however typically what you assume is greatest is not all the time proper.”


Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams, 1998-2003

What was behind their cut up? Top-of-the-line underdog tales in sports activities historical past, Warner went from the Enviornment League to two-time NFL MVP and Tremendous Bowl champion with the Rams. He posted three prolific seasons with the Rams during which he led the NFL in completion share every year and handed for 98 touchdowns, however accidents plagued him for his ultimate two years in St. Louis together with some stress between him and coach Mike Martz. Warner was benched early within the 2003 season in favor of Marc Bulger and was minimize the next summer time.

How he fared with new workforce: Warner signed with the Giants and have become the placeholder at quarterback for No. 1 draft choose Eli Manning. Warner received 5 of his 9 begins however managed simply six landing passes in 277 makes an attempt and was changed by Manning. At age 34, Warner signed with the Cardinals in 2005 and made simply 15 begins in his first two seasons because the workforce gave Matt Leinart an opportunity to be the franchise quarterback in 2006. Warner took over because the No. 1 quarterback in 2007 and led the Cardinals to their first-ever Tremendous Bowl in 2008 when he handed for 4,583 yards and 30 touchdowns. He led the Cardinals again to the playoffs in 2009, shedding to the Saints within the divisional spherical, the ultimate recreation of his Corridor of Fame profession.

Quotable: “I do not know what went fallacious or why selections had been made the best way they had been,” Warner advised the St. Louis Submit-Dispatch quickly after his launch from the Rams in 2004. “However I do know the group determined to go in a special path. And so they’ve received an incredible younger quarterback there in Marc [Bulger], and in case you take a look at which you could’t say they did something fallacious.”


Brett Favre, Packers, 1992-2007

What was behind their cut up? Favre had been waffling about retirement for years, every time taking longer to resolve whether or not he would return. Following the 2007 season, the Packers wished an early reply. Favre wasn’t able to commit to a different 12 months after a grueling additional time loss within the NFC title recreation, so he unexpectedly retired on March 4, 2008. Rodgers had simply completed his third 12 months because the backup, and the Packers believed he was prepared. By early summer time, Favre advised individuals he was getting the itch to return. The Minnesota Vikings inquired, to the purpose the place the Packers filed tampering prices in opposition to them. The Packers tried to purchase off Favre with a $20 million golden parachute to remain retired, however he would not chew. When Favre compelled the Packers’ hand by reporting to the workforce, they traded him to the Jets on Aug. 6. Followers largely sided with Favre and had been angered by the transfer.

How he fared with new groups: After one up-and-down season with the Jets, he retired once more solely to unretire and signal with the Vikings in 2009, making a bitter feeling among the many fan base. He was resoundingly booed in his return to Lambeau Discipline. He led the rival Vikings to the NFC title recreation however misplaced once more in a bid for yet another Tremendous Bowl. He reluctantly returned for the 2010 season, and it was mistake. His iron man streak of consecutive begins ended at 297 late in a 6-10 season.

Quotable: “I could not envision myself taking part in with one other workforce. If that was ever to return up, I might most likely simply retire. I’ve made sufficient cash that I haven’t got to leap ship and go wherever else.” — Favre on the day in 2001 when he signed a 10-year, $101.5 million contract extension with the Packers.


What was behind their cut up? Manning missed all the 2011 season with a neck harm. His absence was the primary purpose the Colts completed with a 2-14 report, which led to them having the No. 1 general draft choose. The mix of Manning’s age (36) and the Colts having the primary choose with quarterback Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III because the projected high picks, made it the proper time to half methods and begin the rebuilding course of with Luck. The Colts launched Manning on March 7, 2012. The transfer additionally allowed proprietor Jim Irsay to keep away from having to pay Manning a $28 million bonus in 2012.

How he fared with new workforce: How does successful a minimum of 12 video games in all 4 seasons, being named league MVP, taking part in in two Tremendous Bowls (successful one) and changing into the NFL’s all-time landing go chief (momentarily) sound? All these issues occurred throughout Manning’s 4 seasons with the Denver Broncos. It was a very good time for the Colts to half methods with Manning, however he additionally proved he nonetheless had one thing left.

Quotable: “There shall be no different Peyton Manning,” Irsay mentioned the day Manning was launched. “The No. 18 jersey won’t ever be worn once more.”

NFL Nation reporters Eric Woodyard, Paul Gutierrez, Mike Wells, Sarah Barshop, Wealthy Cimini and Jordan Raanan contributed to this story.

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