Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur have been bastions of NFL success since uniting in 2019. Except for deep in the playoffs, that is. Despite three straight 13-win seasons, the first two of which included NFC Championship Game appearances, the Packers have failed to advance to the Super Bowl under the dynamic duo, and Saturday night’s surprising home loss to the underdog 49ers marked Rodgers’ earliest exit from the postseason in six years. Now, Green Bay is left to reckon with not only the disappointment of another big year that ended too soon, but also the uncertain future of its longtime quarterback.

How, exactly, can the Packers make things right and ensure they’re back in the mix in 2022? Here are five steps to success:

1. Extend Aaron Rodgers

Yes, you read that right. It’s more fun to entertain the idea of Rodgers playing elsewhere, as he hinted for much of his months-long feud with Packers brass a year ago. And you could make the case that he and Green Bay have already past their prime together, considering their latest playoff defeat. But let’s not get too cute here. Unless Rodgers, who repeatedly emphasized future collaboration with team management in his postgame remarks, suddenly becomes hell-bent on relocating, this is the only logical path forward. Jordan Love, the former first-round pick waiting in the wings, may be good someday. But Rodgers is one of the best right now. Like Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, he’s shown no signs of slowing down, but rather increased poise and production with age. His massive 2022 salary cap hit ($46.8 million) can be lessened with a new deal that runs past 2022. The Packers are still built to compete, and you only get so many years with a top-two NFL QB running the ship.

2. Shop Jordan Love

It’s the natural byproduct of recommitting to Rodgers, which LaFleur and general manager Brian Gutekunst will assuredly be ready to do. How could they even look Rodgers in the…



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