When discussions are held about what the best non-Wisconsin home for Aaron Rodgers is, the Denver Broncos are often brought up. It makes a lot of football sense. Denver has a good defense with some up-and-coming stars, a deep group of pass-catching options brimming with potential, and a gaping hole at quarterback. Since the Broncos haven't been good for the last five years, the organization has the motivation to make a blockbuster deal and willingly hand the keys to the franchise over to Rodgers.
It's all well and good-- in theory. In reality, there needed to be a little something extra added to this recipe. Denver would need additional security if they were to move heaven and earth to acquire Rodgers, some kind of assurance that the mercurial quarterback wouldn't just decide he doesn't want to work anymore and walk away at the first available opportunity or demand another trade.
The Broncos may have locked down that assurance today by hiring Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach. Hackett was Rodgers' offensive coordinator in Green Bay the last three seasons.
Does this mean the good people of Denver should start buying bootleg orange Rodgers jerseys? Not quite. But with a familiar face in place, the dream of acquiring Rodgers is officially alive. The final box has been checked-- a head coach that Rodgers knows and (probably) likes.
There is legitimacy in questioning how much of Green Bay's success over the last two seasons can be attributed to Hackett rather than head coach Matt LeFleur, a Sean McVay disciple who was hired in 2019 specifically for his offensive scheme. But Hackett was hired by LaFleur to oversee that scheme and did so well enough that Rodgers won one MVP and will probably take home another this year. It seems reasonable to think Rodgers would be content teaming up with Hackett again if he does ask out of Green Bay.
There are still a lot of moving parts and a deal is far from a sure thing. But by hiring Hackett, the Broncos have put themselves in the best possible position to make this happen.