Aaron Rodgers was rightfully upset after the Green Bay Packers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-26 on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.
The likely 2020 NFL MVP watched his coach take the game out of his hands by opting to kick a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the 8-yard line with the Packers trailing by eight points and just over two minutes remaining. He looked across the sideline and saw a Bucs team that gave Tom Brady everything he wanted to compete for a title, while the Packers used their first-round pick on Rodgers' eventual successor.
Rodgers' postgame comments were vague, signaling an uncertain future in Green Bay. This, of course, led many to point to the 49ers as a possible trade destination should Rodgers ask out of Green Bay. But Jerry Rice doesn't think the 49ers are a team Rodgers would want to be traded to.
"Aaron is not going to want to come here," Rice told 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast." "Aaron is not going to want to come here because the 49ers didn't draft him. He's still got that grudge. He's still got that on his shoulders. I'm not saying this guy is not going to stay in Green Bay because it's got to be frustrating to him because he has lost the last two championship games."
Rodgers' comments following the loss to the Bucs were calculated. He knows it will dominate the airwaves and hopes to send a message to ownership: Go all-in with me or let me go win elsewhere.
There's almost no chance the Packers will trade Rodgers. They aren't going to take a massive dead cap hit and trade the league MVP just because he's upset after another championship game loss. Smart money is on the two sides eventually sitting down and Rodgers laying out what he believes he needs to get back to and win the Super Bowl.
Rodgers, of course, isn't the only quarterback who is available that the 49ers passed on in the NFL draft. The 49ers had the opportunity to draft Deshaun Watson in 2017 but elected to select Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick.
However, Rice doesn't believe Watson has the same type of grudge against the 49ers that Rodgers does.
"It's a whole different scenario there," Rice said of the 49ers passing on Watson. "Because I think Aaron Rodgers, he played at Cal and was a big fan of the 49ers and he just knew he was going to get drafted by the 49ers and it didn't happen that way. With Deshaun Watson, it's totally different. I don't know where this is going to go. I don't know if the 49ers will make this move to go get Deshaun Watson. They might go get Matthew Stafford, I have no control over that.
"If it was my pick, I would go for it all, I would go for the Ferrari (Watson) and try to get back to the Super Bowl."
The 49ers will have to fully evaluate the quarterback position this offseason. Last offseason, they elected to pass on Tom Brady. While Brady wouldn't have saved the 49ers in 2020, it's clear he still is a top-tier quarterback even at age 43.
All signs currently point to Jimmy Garoppolo returning as the 49ers' starting quarterback in 2021. But with Watson wanting out of Houston and Stafford's time in Detroit reportedly ending, the 49ers might be able to upgrade at quarterback if they are willing to pay the price.
But it won't be for Rodgers. He'll be wearing green and yellow again in 2021.