Count Zaza Pachulia among the 49ers Faithful pulling for an Aaron Rodgers homecoming.
Some San Francisco fans are still bitter that the franchise didn’t draft Rodgers with the No. 1 overall pick in 2005. Rodgers is the favorite to win his third straight NFL MVP this season, but the Green Bay Packers lost 31-26 on Sunday in the NFC Championship to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Following his season finale, Rodgers told reporters his future with the Packers is “uncertain” and signed off his media session by thanking local media members.
It didn’t take long for the Rodgers-to-49ers hype train to start rolling. Pachulia, who is now a basketball operations consultant for the Warriors, is definitely on board with the idea of the Chico native returning to Northern California.
Pachulia and Rodgers have developed a bromance over the years, as Rodgers' first-ever (since-deleted) Instagram post in 2017 was of him shooting hoops in a Zaza jersey before a Milwaukee Bucks playoff game. For a long time, Rodgers only followed one person on Instagram: Pachulia.
The 37-year-old Rodgers is just the latest high-profile possibility to be floated for the 49ers’ quarterback in 2021, if the franchise wants to part ways with Jimmy Garoppolo. The team could also target other veterans like Matthew Stafford or Deshaun Watson via trade, or attempt to move up in the draft for a talented rookie like Justin Fields.
Rodgers is under contract for the next three seasons and due for a $37.5 million cap hit in 2021, according to Spotrac, which is slated to be the third-highest figure in the league.
While the 49ers surely won’t weigh Pachulia’s fandom when making any roster moves this season, the former Warriors’ fan favorite brings good energy wherever he goes and would be a welcome sight at Levi’s Stadium. If he gets his wish, Pachulia won’t be the only one closely watching Rodgers and the 49ers next season.