BRONCOS

Report: Broncos wanted Aaron Rodgers all along, settled for Russell Wilson

Dec 1, 2022, 7:19 PM | Updated: 7:38 pm

Someone is finally saying it.

The Broncos wanted Aaron Rodgers to be the next QB of the franchise, and settled for Russell Wilson.

In a new report published by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Thursday, there’s a peek behind the curtain about what Denver GM George Paton was thinking this offseason.

“Multiple league execs are still convinced that Rodgers was the (Broncos) first choice, before the four-time MVP re-signed with Green Bay,” Fowler writes.

It makes sense. Denver hired head coach Nathaniel Hackett after an exhaustive search, one that perplexed a few folks. It’s not that Hackett wasn’t qualified for the job, he had been an offensive coordinator in multiple places, but rather his relationship with Rodgers being a potential key. Hackett was Green Bay’s OC from 2019-2021.

“Aaron Rodgers, I could understand giving up that sort of package, but not Russell,” a high-ranking NFC exec told Fowler. “Denver didn’t have any familiarity with the player or his fit in the system, and he’s declining as an aging, smaller quarterback.”

That decline for Wilson has been evident and painful. The Broncos sit at just 3-8 on the season and Wilson has thrown only eight touchdown passes to go along with five interceptions. He’s played in 10 of 11 games for Denver and is averaging 236.9 yards in the air per contest. He’s been sacked 35 times.

Meanwhile, it’s not like Rodgers and the Packers have had a lot of success. Their record is just 4-8 and they’ll almost assuredly miss the NFC playoffs. It could be the final year with Green Bay for Rodgers, or maybe of his entire NFL career.

He left Sunday’s game against the Eagles with an injury, and management may see what backup Jordan Love can offer in a handful of games the rest of the way.

Would Rodgers have been better in Denver? Maybe, maybe not. But the Wilson experiment isn’t working right now, at all. And fans can only guess how it would’ve look with Rodgers.

We know this: it probably wouldn’t have gone any worse.

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