How many times lately have you heard Green Bay Packers fans or commentators panic, saying the chances of another Super Bowl for an Aaron Rodgers-led team are running out?
The best comparator for Aaron Rodgers is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Rodgers is beginning his 12th year in the league. Brady is five years ahead of him, about to begin his (delayed) 17th season.
Both players have been relatively healthy. Brady missed almost all of his eighth season (2008), whereas Rodgers lost about half of his ninth season in 2013. Brady has been a starter since his second year, while Rodgers had to wait until his fourth year.
Aaron, however, had his first 4,000-yard passing season in his fourth season (his first as a starter), while Brady didn’t get there until his fifth year.
We can only directly compare each QBs first eight years. Brady had 4,000 passing yards only in his fifth and seventh years. Rodgers hit the 4,000-yard mark in years four, five, seven and eight.
What has Brady done in his years nine through 15? He’s reached the 4,000 mark in all seven years, save being 100 yards short in 2010.
Brady turns 39 on August 3 – there’s no sign yet that he’s slowing down.
If Rodgers, who is off to the better start, mirrors Brady’s career path, he’ll have at least 3,900-yard years through 2022!
By the end of that season, Rodgers will be 39.
Most players at other positions are retiring between 30 and 35. Quarterbacks, meanwhile, seem to be extending their careers. Brett Favre had a 4,200-yard season when he was 38. Peyton Manning brought home the Super Bowl trophy last year at 39. Even Favre’s former backup, Matt Hasselbeck, was still winning some games last year for the Colts at age 40.
Rodgers says he wants to play until he’s at least 40 and has expressed a desire to remain in Green Bay the whole time.
So, as the man says: relax!