Chad Greenway no doubt spoke for many Vikings fans Thursday.
The former Vikings linebacker was a guest on “The Big Show” on Milwaukee radio station WSSP-AM. He had a hard time containing his glee about the possibility that future hall of fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers might not play again for the rival Green Bay Packers.
“As a Viking, right, it doesn’t get better for us than seeing the problems” the Packers are having, Greenway, who played for the Vikings from 2006-16, said on the show. “The sun’s shining a little bit brighter because of that, so I couldn’t be happier about you guys struggling with the Rodgers situation. … From a Vikings’ perspective, hey, let’s get him out of here as fast as possible and as far away as possible.”
It has been reported that the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player no longer wants to play for the Packers. One of the reasons tossed about is he remains perturbed that the Packers used last year’s first-round draft pick on quarterback Jordan Love, his potential eventual replacement.
The weekday radio show, hosted by Steve “Sparky” Fifer and former Packers players LeRoy Butler and Gary Ellerson, can be heard throughout Wisconsin on various affiliates and online. Butler said in a phone interview there’s been lots of chortling heard from Vikings fans who have called the show in the week since ESPN first broke the news on Rodgers.
“They call up and kind of laugh at us,” said Butler, estimating there have one or two such calls during each four-hour show since the Rodgers news broke. “They say, ‘You got the MVP and now he wants to go somewhere else.’ Blah, blah. Those Vikings fans, oh, man, they’re coming out of the woodwork.”
That’s because perhaps no team would benefit more than the Vikings if Rodgers is out of the NFC North. He has led them to seven division titles in the past 10 years, and the season before that stretch began the Packers won the Super Bowl after finishing second in the NFC North.
The Vikings have won just two division titles in the past 11 seasons. The last one came in 2017, and was helped when Rodgers missed all but one of the final 10 games because of a broken collarbone suffered in a Week 6 hit by Minnesota linebacker Anthony Barr.
“Vikings fans think they could take over the North if Rodgers leaves, and they could,” said Butler, a star safety for the Packers from 1990-2001 who was a finalist earlier this year for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Minnesota would be in prime position.
“Chicago is kind of building with (rookie quarterback) Justin Fields for the future and Detroit is rebuilding as well. The only team that would probably not be rebuilding (in the NFC North) would be Minnesota. If Rodgers left, they’d have the best quarterback in the division in Kirk Cousins.”
Butler said Rodgers leaving potentially could be similar to Packers quarterback Brett Favre departing after the 2007 season and being replaced by Rodgers. The Vikings won the next two NFC North titles, in 2008 and 2009. Of course, it helped that Minnesota got Favre in 2009 after he spent the 2008 season with the New York Jets.
“You look at what happened when Brett Favre left,” Butler said. “It put Minnesota in a position where they were the top team (in the NFC North).”
It didn’t last. Favre slipped considerably in 2010 and retired. And Rodgers broke loose in his third season as a starter, leading the Packers to a 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
Since 2010, Rodgers is 14-6-1 in regular-season games and one playoff game he has started against the Vikings. Take out Minnesota’s 23-10 win at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2017, when Rodgers was knocked out in the first quarter, and the record is 14-5-1.
“I can tell you, I played against plenty of rosters, Green Bay Packers rosters, that weren’t better than ours,” Greenway said on the show. “But we would walk away licking our wounds because Rodgers was able to beat us, whip the ball by your head at 25 yards deep. … Just pinpoint accuracy. It’s incredible. And we’d love to see him get out of the division, and out of the conference, It’d be awesome.”
Greenway, though, isn’t getting too ahead of the situation. He said on the air he believes it’s “like 85 percent” that Rodgers works things out and remains with the Packers.
Nevertheless, Greenway did touch upon the possibility that there remains a chance three decades of frustration could end for the Vikings against Green Bay quarterbacks. Favre joined the Packers in 1992 and led them to two Super Bowls that decade, winning one.
“We’ve had our moments over the past 25, 30 years, but certainly Green Bay has reigned supreme (in the division),” Greenway said. “It’s hard for me to say that, as an 11-year vet, but that was just sort of the reality. The division went through them. So, of course, it would make Vikings fans happy (if Rodgers leaves).”