When Jay Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears in 2009, it looked like he and Aaron Rodgers would begin a great NFC North rivalry at the quarterback position. There has been no comparison at all between the two players in the four subsequent seasons with Rodgers going on a historical run with a Super Bowl in 2010 and the NFL MVP in 2011 after a 15-1 season.
With Cutler out of the top-10 at the quarterback position and now 30, he isn't even our choice to be nominated from the Bears as that distinction goes to Brandon Marshall.
In the five seasons Rodgers has been the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, he has ranked sixth, fourth, third, first and first in passer rating and now is the career-leader at 104.9.
Rodgers was a highly accurate quarterback at Cal, but his lack of arm strength caused him to slide all the way to the Packers at 24th in the 2005 NFL Draft. Similar to Tom Brady, Rodgers significantly improved his physical profile once arriving in the NFL to make the type of throws that the way he reads the field allows possible.
Rodgers has a 52-26 record as a starter and that has come with a rotating cast of receivers and often a patchwork offensive line. Rodgers has mastered the West Coast offense in a way that would make Bill Walsh proud and he is truly a blend between Joe Montana and Steve Young given his playmaking abilities both in the pocket and in the open field with his running.
Marshall earned the Baby T.O. nickname early in his career and has produced to that effect with 1,241 yards per season in years two through six. Marshall has put up those numbers, however, on largely mediocre teams and is one of the best active players in the NFL to have never appeared in a playoff game.
Marshall is now 29 and is coming off the most productive season of his career, catching 118 balls for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns. He will almost certainly regress somewhat in 2013, but it is hard to envision him dropping below 85 yards per game. Marshall is physically one of the best talents at wide receiver and he also is supremely gifted as a route runner, even when compared to other elite players like Calvin Johnson.