Aaron Rodgers is going to be traded this offseason. At this point, it is almost certainly going to be to the New York Jets, but a recent stall in talks and apparent cold feet by owner Woody Johnson have made many wonder if a deal will even happen. According to reports, several teams, including the San Francisco 49ers, have called Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst about trading for the four-time MVP should talks with the Jets completely dismantle. This led Bleacher Report‘s Brad Gagnon to compile a list of four other teams that could potentially trade for the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Aaron Rodgers Trade Suitor #1- San Francisco 49ers
Of a potential trade to the 49ers, Gagnon writes:
“We do know the 49ers have reportedly fielded calls on Lance after making it clear they favor Purdy, and we also know Purdy is still recovering from UCL surgery. Those dynamics certainly make Rodgers-to-California a possibility, but the team also has just $3.8 million in salary-cap space, according to Spotrac. Thus, making this happen would require Herculean efforts from both sides (and likely some short-term concessions from Rodgers, who is set to earn nearly $60 million in 2023).”
Aaron Rodgers being traded to the 49ers is a scenario that has been floated around for a few years now. Even this offseason, many pointed to their current quarterback situation as a reason why San Francisco would want Rodgers. That being said, Gagnon points out a major sticking point: the 49ers’ salary cap. It would be incredibly difficult to move Rodgers’ massive contract to a team that is more strapped for cash than the Packers. Sure, it’s possible, but not likely.
Aaron Rodgers Trade Suitor #2- Detroit Lions
How poetic would it be for Rodgers to end up with the team that ended his final season with the Packers? Of a possible trade with Green Bay’s division rivals, Gagnon writes:
“Green Bay would certainly be reluctant to trade Rodgers to a division rival like Detroit, but the team is somewhat cornered at the moment and would likely feel the need to get Rodgers off the books if he becomes/continues to be stubborn about his future outside of Wisconsin. Plus, with the No. 6 pick, the No. 18 selection and two second-round picks in next week’s draft, the Lions have more draft capital to spare than anyone else in the league right now.”
Certainly, a trade within the division seems far less likely than any other scenario. That being said, the Lions do have those nice draft picks. If they were to offer one of those picks to Green Bay, it could be difficult to pass up. The Lions just lost two of their young wide receivers (and four players overall) to gambling suspensions, so a trade for Rodgers could do wonders for the organization in terms of public relations.
Aaron Rodgers Potential Suitor #3- Tennessee Titans
This is another team that has been linked to a possible Aaron Rodgers trade before. Of course, they have Ryan Tannehill, but he has underperformed in both of the last two seasons. Adding Rodgers would be an improvement, but also might spell the beginning of the end of their competitive run:
“Tennessee isn’t loaded with cap space, but the organization is in the $12 million range right now and can raise an extra $17.8 million by parting ways with Tannehill right now (and $27 million if it waits to do so after June 1, per Spotrac).
“The thought process here would be that the Titans go all-freakin’-in on 2023 with Rodgers and Henry and then accept the reality of a full-blown rebuild soon after that. That might beat continuing to be a quasi-contender for several years to come.”
Given their cap situation, a trade for Rodgers does not seem likely, unless they really believe they can make a Super Bowl run this year with him under center. Derrick Henry is a nice offensive weapon, but would Rodgers give him the ball as often as he has been getting it?
Aaron Rodgers Trade Suitor #4- Washington Commanders
The Washington Commanders are under new ownership, and perhaps making a huge trade for a future Hall of Famer could start off their run with a bang:
“Not only would acquiring Rodgers produce a hell of a splash with new ownership moving in, but it would bolster Washington’s chances of competing with that strong defense and some stellar offensive weapons in 2023.
“The problem is that, like San Francisco, the Commanders lack cap space. And I’m guessing Rodgers would be less willing to bend over backward for Washington than the 49ers. Still, it’s within the realm of a possibility for a franchise that could be desperate to make a statement ASAP.”
The cap space, again, is the issue here. Perhaps a new owner would be willing to do what needs to be done to get Rodgers in the building, but it would take some work.
It’s unfortunate that, of the four teams listed, only the Lions have the cap space and draft picks to make a trade seem plausible.
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