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For the Bears, Aaron Rodgers’ playoff exit only matters if it hastens his departure

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For all he’s done — Rodgers is headed for his fourth MVP award and has been voted to 10 Pro Bowls — he has as many Super Bowl starts as Rex Grossman.
Bears fans celebrated the Packers’ playoff loss Saturday night as though their hometown team had actually won the game. That joy continued into Sunday: new-to-Twitter Dick Butkus joked about quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Wiener’s Circle offered free all-you can eat french fries topped, of course, with cheese. When your favorite team hasn’t won a playoff game in 11 years, schadenfreude qualifies as the most fun you can have this time of year. The Packers’ surprise 13-10 loss to the 49ers at Lambeau Field — secured by old friend Robbie Gould’s 45-yard field goal — only matters, though, if it hastens Rodgers’ departure from Green Bay. It sounded Saturday night like it might. That’s a dramatic turn from the rest of the Packers’ once-magical season. They boasted the NFC’s best record at 13-4 and earned a first-round playoff bye. Rodgers, by any measurement, is the league MVP. The fact that the Packers lost Saturday — and the way it happened — could trigger a series of events that makes the NFC North decidedly less miserable for the Bears. Rodgers, forever grumpy that the team drafted quarterback Jordan Love in the first round rather than giving him help on offense, might look at the team — and the fact it is headed for salary cap hell next year — and decide to go elsewhere.

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