Pat Leonard’s NFL Notes: Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur will raise Lombardi Trophy this NFL season

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are going to win Super Bowl LVII.

The quirky quarterback is talented enough to overcome the loss of his top receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders in the offseason.

Coordinator Joe Barry’s defense might be in the best in the league paced by star corner Jaire Alexander, the best NFL player that no one talks about.

And Rich Bisaccia’s hiring as special teams coordinator will improve the unit that doomed Matt LaFleur in January’s 13-10 division round loss at Lambeau Field to the San Francisco 49ers.

The Buffalo Bills are the chalk, and they proved why with their opening night beatdown of the reigning champion L.A. Rams.

The Cincinnati Bengals seem capable of getting back to the big stage and finishing the job.

The Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders all seem poised to possibly make runs.

Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs and Tom Brady’s Bucs certainly have the pedigree from recent titles of their own.

But LaFleur and Rodgers have won 39 games the past three seasons. They’ll run the NFC North with two first-year head coaches in Minnesota’s Kevin O’Connell and Chicago’s Matt Eberflus, with Detroit’s Dan Campbell in Year 2 with the Lions.

And Rodgers, a four-time MVP and winner of the last two, will come out on top again.

The offense will run through running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, but veteran wideout Sammy Watkins quietly is poised for a big season in a receiving corps where Rodgers will need one young buck to assert himself by midseason.

It’s unclear how many years Rodgers has left, but it’s hard to believe the future Hall of Famer will retire with only one Super Bowl victory on his resume.

He’ll win Green Bay’s first championship since the 2010 NFL season, lifting the Lombardi Trophy in Glendale, Ariz., in February.

PAT’S (OTHER) PICKS MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (he’s somehow become an underdog) Coach of the Year: Josh McDaniels, Raiders Offensive rookie of the year: Treylon Burks, WR, Titans Defensive rookie of the year: Jalen Pitre, S, Texans Comeback player of the year: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars

THEY SAID IT “There’s a reason why they call Derek Henry ‘The King:’ Because he’s on the iron throne, for all you Game of Thrones fans ... He’s like our modern-day Jim Brown.” — Giants defensive coordinator Don Martindale

JACKSON, RAVENS TABLE CONTRACT TALKS The Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson were unable to reach agreement on a new contract before the start of the season. So the former MVP will take the risk and play his fifth season on the $23 million fifth-year option salary — with no clear security past it.

JACKSON, RAVENS TABLE CONTRACT TALKS “Despite best efforts on both sides, we were unable to reach a contract extension with Lamar Jackson,” GM Eric DeCosta said in a statement. 

JACKSON, RAVENS TABLE CONTRACT TALKS “We greatly appreciate how he has handled this process and we were excited about our team with Lamar leading the way. We will continue to work towards a long-term contract after the season, but for now we are looking forward to a successful 2022 campaign.”

JACKSON, RAVENS TABLE CONTRACT TALKS Head coach John Harbaugh assured: “Those things will work themselves out in the end. I’m confident in that. I said at the beginning that it will happen when it’s time, and when it’s time it will happen. So Lamar is playing quarterback. He’s going to be playing quarterback here for a long time.

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