The offseason narrative for Aaron Rodgers was, until Thursday night, speculation about whether the Green Bay Packers quarterback and NFL MVP could pull double duty playing in Wisconsin and potentially hosting Jeopardy! full-time. But now it’s widely known that Rodgers is unhappy with things in Green Bay, and there’s some speculation that America’s favorite trivia game show has played a part in that dissatisfaction.
In the flurry of pre-draft reporting about Rodgers and his failed contract extension talks with the Packers was a note about his very successful two-week stint on Jeopardy! Rodgers served as a guest host and generally impressed viewers, and according to NFL reporter Ian Rapoport producers of the show were “really impressed” as well. Enough to actually consider him for the full-time gig once the string of guest hosts, including another favorite in LaVar Burton, finishes later in the summer.
One more note on #Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: He really impressed the brass during his stint on Jeopardy. The belief is, when they finish auditions, he’ll be among those with a chance to do the job full-time. If this isn’t sorted out, a job hosting is also a possibility.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 29, 2021
Though that news may seem small in the sports world, it’s certainly an interesting wrinkle to a story that exploded on Thursday. Outside of a few rumblings of discontent in Green Bay, an actual trade of the NFL MVP seemed like an extraordinary move on the part of the Packers. And yet, much of the NFL Draft’s first night had the potential trade for Rodgers hanging over it. And with that new context, the reports that Rodgers was very seriously considering the Jeopardy! gig, and preparing for it like a real possibility, certainly brings some new details into focus.
On Friday, Rapoport continued to talk about Rodgers seriously considering retirement if he can’t come to an agreement with the Packers or find a trade, potentially picking to host Jeopardy! instead of play football.
If Aaron Rodgers retires (to host Jeopardy or just retire), he would have to repay the team $11.5M this year and $11.5M if he remains retired next year — all from his signing bonus. Unless the situation is repaired to his liking, this is a serious consideration, I’m told. https://t.co/kEQwpexqX0
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 30, 2021
The timeline for that decision on the next Jeopardy! host, though, doesn’t really line up with what the Packers are likely working with. The game show seems intent on playing out the string of guest hosts to give everyone, including Burton, a fair shake. And given the offseason minicamps and training camp and potentially learning a new playbook that would come with a trade, it would be pretty wild to have Rodgers make his decision late in the summer when Jeopardy! producers would, at least in theory, land on a replacement.
That’s not even mentioning what would happen if Rodgers were not picked, either. An ultra-competitive quarterback letting game show producers determine the trajectory of his career after an MVP season would be wild, and given the commitment required for the job it would very much feel like the tail wagging the dog here. Still, it’s clear that Rodgers wants a fair shot at this gig and the chance to pull double duty and host the show while playing football.
Reading between the lines on the reporting here, it seems the Packers are at least hesitant about that possibility. Which means if a team is looking to trade for Rodgers, you’d think their front office would at least have to weigh the possibility that Rodgers would have his eye on some flights to Los Angeles no matter where he ends up playing this fall.