49ers were Aaron Rodgers' top choice if tumultuous offseason with Packers led to split

Aaron Rodgers will play on Sunday Night Football for the Green Bay Packers, a statement that is obvious despite the fact that this offseason, it was anything but.

That the 49ers happen to be the opponent, is noteworthy. When Rodgers mulled an exit from Green Bay this offseason, amid frustration with the team's front office among other reasons, San Francisco was a key figure.

Sources say that the 49ers were Rodgers' top choice when it came to a new destination. And when the 49ers made their phone call to coach Matt LaFleur, it was done because they got word that Rodgers was more than into it.

In fact, LaFleur and Niners coach Kyle Shanahan did talk, with LaFleur quickly shutting the door on any possible trade as quickly as it was brought up. This was before San Francisco traded up to No. 3 to eventually take Trey Lance.

If Rodgers, for instance, was somehow an unrestricted free agent, San Francisco would have been his spot, especially since, as he showed with his renegotiated contract, money wasn't the most important factor.

That's why this week, when Rodgers was asked if he thought the 49ers would trade for him, he admitted he pondered it.

"There were points where I thought anything was possible," Rodgers said this week. "Definitely. But not a strong possibility."

It also means that the 49ers are now more than the hometown team that didn't draft Rodgers when he thought they would. They are also the team he wanted to go to, but never could.

Of course, the 49ers weren't the only team interested, nor were they the only team he would have gone to. Once the Niners moved on to draft Lance, the Broncos emerged as a possible destination and they would have offered several prime draft picks for Rodgers. Rodgers would have been more than happy with it. But, similar to San Francisco, it never got there.

That led Rodgers to his new contract and another year with Green Bay.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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