It appears that not everyone in the NFL world is waiting on Aaron Rodgers to make a decision. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New Orleans Saints are now the favorites to sign former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Carr had met with several NFL teams, including the New York Jets. The Jets were reported to be impressed with Carr, but were awaiting a decision from Rodgers to make any kind of deal.
Saints have emerged as the front runners to sign former Raiders’ QB Derek Carr and an agreement could be reached as early as today, per league sources. pic.twitter.com/f02UQ3m1pL
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 6, 2023
What Does Derek Carr to the Saints Mean for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers?
If Aaron Rodgers decides to return to the NFL in 2023 and Green Bay decides to keep him, it means absolutely nothing. If Rodgers decides to return and the Packers decide to trade him, this is absolutely the best case scenario.
As mentioned previously, the Jets had been interested in Carr, but are also interested in Rodgers. With Carr off the market, that leaves them with a choice between Rodgers and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as their two main alternatives at quarterback. Clearly, the choice is simple: Rodgers is a MUCH better quarterback than Garoppolo.
This gives the Packers much more leverage than they would have had if Carr had remained on the market longer. If he had stayed a free agent, the Jets could have swung a deal with less draft compensation due to there being another quality starter on the market, a stater they could get without giving up anything. Now that he is off the market, the Packers can increase their asking price for Rodgers.
Will the Packers Trade Aaron Rodgers?
As it stands right now, Rodgers has not made a decision but is expected to this week. This belief is based on the fact that he signed his three-year $150 million contract on March 8 last offseason. This upcoming Wednesday will mark the one-year point since that decision.
The question of whether or not to trade Rodgers has to include the Packers’ belief in Jordan Love. Both Matt LaFleur and Brian Gutekunst have said that Love is ready to be a starter in the NFL. They have also said they want Rodgers back. So which is it?
Even if Rodgers does come back to the Packers in 2023, there is no guarantee that we would not see a similar situation going down next offseason. At that point, the Packers will be in a much more disadvantaged spot when it comes to moving on from Rodgers. Love would, presumably, have his fifth-year option picked up for $20 million. Rodgers’ $47 million for 2024 becomes guaranteed five days after the Super Bowl. You can see how that presents a huge problem when it comes to finding a potential trade partner.
In other words, if the Packers are going to trade Rodgers at all, this offseason is the time to do it. Thanks to Carr signing with the Saints, they are in the best position they will ever be in going forward when seeking a trade. The Jets, of course, remain a suitable option. However, the Las Vegas Raiders are still the betting favorites to land the four-time MVP via trade.
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