Packers trade Aaron Rodgers and win Super Bowl LVI without him in Madden simulation of 2021 season


The Packers kicked off Phase III of their offseason training activities (OTA) on Monday and for the first time in his career, Aaron Rodgers didn’t show up. In a normal year, it would be a total surprise for Rodgers to skip OTAs, but this isn’t a normal year. 

The Packers quarterback has made it clear that he wants out of Green Bay, so he had no reason to show up for the voluntary workouts. Instead of showing up at practice, Rodgers spent the day roughly 4,200 miles away from Green Bay in Hawaii.  And, let’s be honest here, if you had a choice of spending time in Green Bay or on a tropical island, you’re probably not going to pick Green Bay.  

With Rodgers and the Packers still at odds, it’s pretty clear that a trade is absolutely still possible, and with that in mind, Will Brinson decided to do a Madden simulation of the 2021 season that involved Rodgers getting traded. Basically, Brinson looked at the Vegas odds, took the five teams most likely to land Rodgers and then played out the 2021 season as if Rodgers was their starting quarterback.

So how did this all play out? Glad you asked. In four of the five simulations, Rodgers didn’t even make the playoffs with his new team. Also, only one of his new teams even finished above .500. Oh, and there was a GIANT TWIST AT THE END involving Jordan Love and the Packers. 

(One quick note here, Brinson’s Madden game hasn’t been hit with the update for the 17th game yet, so the simulations were limited to a 16-game season).  

Let’s get to the simulations: 

  • BroncosGoing to Denver ended up turning into a disaster for Rodgers as the Broncos finished with just a 6-10 record. That’s what happens when you play in a division with Patrick Mahomes
  • Dolphins. What happens if you dump Tua and send Rodgers to Miami? It turns into a nightmare for everyone. Rodgers time in South Beach was just as bad as his time in Denver as Miami ended up going 6-10 in Brinson’s simulation. 
  • Saints. Rodgers might be viewed by most people as an upgrade over Drew Brees, but not in the eyes of Brinson’s Madden simulation. With the Rodgers as their quarterback, the Saints manage to go just 7-9. 
  • RaidersThings didn’t get much better for Rodgers in Las Vegas. With Derek Carr out of the picture, Rodgers led the Raiders to just an 8-8 record. 
  • Panthers. The only team that actually improved with Rodgers as their starting quarterback was the Panthers, who went 12-4. However, the Panthers didn’t get anywhere near the Super Bowl as they ended up losing in the divisional round of the playoffs. 

The gigantic twist in all of this is that the Packers actually played BETTER without Rodgers. In three of the five simulations, Love ended up leading Green Bay to the SUPER BOWL and they even went on to win it in one of the five sims. 

In the simulation where Rodgers played for the Raiders, Love and the Packers ended up taking home the Lombardi Trophy by beating the Ravens 34-29. 

What I think Brinson’s simulation is trying to say is that it might be in the Packers’ best interest to trade their star quarterback. 

You can check out the entire video of the simulation below. 

The video comes from the Pick Six Podcast, which is CBSSports.com’s daily NFL podcast hosted by Brinson. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast by clicking here.  





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