Despite missing nine games (and most of a 10th) last season, Rodgers still managed to throw 16 TD passes. The veteran defied most experts by taking the field in Week 15 in Carolina and throwing for 290 yards and three touchdowns. Despite his collarbone not being completely healed, he added six rushes for 43 yards. Rodgers had a typically stellar season in 2016. That year, he led the NFL with 40 touchdown passes, and his 4,428 passing yards ranked fourth. In his nine seasons as Green Bay’s starter, Rodgers has crested 4,000 yards six times. He has started 15 or more games in a season eight times in the last 10 seasons, and has started all 16 regular-season games six times. He threw just seven picks in 610 attempts in 2016 and completed 65.7 percent of his passes. In 2016, he also ran for 369 yards and four TDs. Rodgers has thrown at least 31 touchdown passes in five of the last seven seasons. His career passer rating is 103.8, easily the best in NFL history. Nearly all of Green Bay’s offense runs through Rodgers. The Packers are as likely to throw a pass from the opponents’ one-yard line as they are to try and pound it in on the ground. Rodgers has recorded double-digit interceptions just twice in his career, and has had fewer than 10 in every season since 2010. Green Bay signed Jimmy Graham in the offseason, giving Rodgers an outstanding red-zone target.
All is not hunky dory in Cheeseland. Rodgers is reportedly miffed about the Packers not consulting with him in advance of letting go of QB coach Alex Van Pelt. There is also the matter of his contract: Rodgers is currently the ninth-highest-paid QB in the NFL -- a fact that is not lost on him -- but we fully expect a new deal that will correct this issue soon. It’s hard to blame him for being less than thrilled, especially when you consider he is behind Joe Flacco on the list. The Packers cut ties in the offseason with Jordy Nelson -- a favorite target of Rodgers' over the years. Again, Rodgers was reportedly disappointed with the release of Nelson. Most notably, the shoulder injury suffered last October required 13 screws to be inserted in his collarbone. It was the second clavicle fracture of Rodgers’ career. The first was in 2013. Rodgers cannot be counted on to do too much with his legs any longer. He did score four rushing TDs in 2016, but in 2015 and 2017 combined, he scored a grand total of one.
Rodgers tops our QB list, but, unlike some prior seasons, he doesn’t really stand out from the next four QBs. He is the consummate professional, and we find it unlikely that his play will be affected by the offseason grumblings. The only real concern here are the mounting shoulder injuries. With an offseason to recover, and with Graham in the fold, we believe Rodgers is poised to put up excellent numbers. The lack of a clear standout at the position might have quarterbacks lasting a little longer in fantasy drafts. Rodgers will be the first -- or one of the first -- QBs selected. But (depending on the particulars of your league) he likely won't be worth a first-round investment.