Peyton Manning is one of the many legendary quarterbacks who moved on from his first team late in his career. Even with how well his jump to the Denver Broncos worked out, he’s rooting for Aaron Rodgers to stay put with the Green Bay Packers.
Manning’s situation was much different than Rodgers’ of course. He was coming off of major neck surgery that cost him the entire 2011 season, during which the Indianapolis Colts went 2-14, giving them the right to draft Andrew Luck, a can’t miss prospect, as his heir to the throne. Manning’s release was amicable, his jersey was retired immediately, and he went on to have some of his best seasons and win a second Super Bowl with the Broncos.
Now, we’ve seen Tom Brady, Manning’s chief rival, do something similar with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rodgers could be next, after mounting issues with the Packers’ moves in recent seasons, and the leverage he has after leading the team to a second straight NFC Championship and winning the MVP in 2020.
“When I think of Aaron, I think of him as a Green Bay Packer,” Manning told TMZ. “Hopefully they can get it worked out. “He’s done such a great job there in Green Bay.”
Peyton Manning Rooting For Packers In Rodgers Drama, I'm Hoping They Work It Outhttps://t.co/56kv79eudV
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) May 20, 2021
Interestingly, the team that has been most heavily connected to Aaron Rodgers in the constant rumors that have flown around is Manning’s Broncos. Peyton maintains a strong connection to his second team, as well as his first, after leading both to Super Bowls.
Denver has built out a very interesting roster, but the quarterback position is a major question mark, which is an issue for any team, especially one in a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. Young QB Drew Lock will be pushed by veteran Teddy Bridgewater, who was acquired this offseason, assuming the team doesn’t add Rodgers down the line.
The Green Bay Packers have maintained that they don’t intend to trade the franchise quarterback in any deal. We’ll see if that changes after June 1, when moving Rodgers would free up some major salary cap space.