Aaron Rodgers is a brilliant quarterback, but by not at least asking for someone of the caliber of Odell Beckham, Jr. instead of Randall Cobb, he looks like a rookie GM.
Aaron Rodgers is now reunited with an old friend in Randall Cobb, but it might have been more impactful if he would have asked for a superstar like Odell Beckham, Jr., of the Cleveland Browns, if he had truly wanted to have input in the personnel decisions by the Green Bay Packers front office and act like an assistant general manager.
Rodgers may be the most brilliant quarterback of our generation, and he may be a superb game show host. But by having the Packers practically announce in advance that they would acquire Randall Cobb in order to appease Rodgers, general manager Brian Gutekunst lost whatever leverage he might have had, and the team gave up a lot.
As it was, the Texans were able to clear some $5 million from their salary cap and received a sixth-round draft pick from Green Bay, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. That is not bad for a 31-year-old receiver. Cobb, who made the Pro Bowl one time in 2014, had a good year for Dallas in 2019, but started only two games last season and had only 441 receiving yards last season.
Green Bay got fleeced, it seems. Rodgers, of course, is a football savant so perhaps he will surprise us mortals and will get another 1,000-yard season out of Cobb, seven years after the last one. But the rest of us would never have made this deal.
Rodgers seems to have made the sentimental mistake of choosing his friend rather than the player who can help the team win, and cost his team millions of dollars on the salary cap, plus a draft pick.
In short, he seems to be a lousy general manager.
If Rodgers had wanted impact on his team, it would have made at least as much sense to ask for true impact players. This year, the big-name free agents who were out there included Kenny Golladay, Corey Davis, Curtis Samuel, Nelson Agholor, and others. In addition, Rodgers could have asked to put forward a serious proposal to the Browns to acquire Odell Beckham, Jr.
OBJ would probably gain 1,500 yards for the Packers. The value proposition is that the Packers are more dependent upon the long ball than the Browns, who are a ball-control, two-tight-end team. So OBJ might conceivably be worth more to the Packers.
This writer does not believe that the Browns are particularly interested in trading OBJ, who is well-liked by his teammates and is especially close with college teammate Jarvis Landry and quarterback Baker Mayfield. It’s true that the Stefanski/Van Pelt offense wobbled a bit early in the season in 2020, but the belief here is that they will work through those problems, and Mayfield and OBJ will be fabulous together.
Possibly the Browns and Packers would not have been able to conclude a deal, but that is not really the point. The point is that, as far as we know, nobody even inquired on behalf of Aaron Rodgers. The only player they had any interest in was Randall Cobb, and he is supposed to be the difference-maker for the Super Bowl.
It’s like the Browns are a high school beauty queen, and we had no intention of going on a date with the rich kid, but we wanted him to ask us for a date, anyway. It’s kind of an insult that he did not even look at us.
Still, the Browns would have at least listened had the Packers come calling. The Browns would need to have a star player in return, perhaps on the defensive side of the ball. But now, it turns out that Rodgers and the Packers were fixated only on Randall Cobb. Really? Go figure.