Aaron Rodgers has not yet decided if he wants to play football in 2023, much less if its for the Green Bay Packers. He has, however, eliminated one potential trade suitor: the San Francisco 49ers. While golfing in the Pebble Beach Pro Am, Rodgers was filmed stating that he would not be going to San Francisco. This statement, however, has not stopped some from coming up with trade scenarios that would send the four-time MVP to the team he grew up cheering for.
Proposed Aaron Rodgers Trade Sends Brandon Aiyuk
Luke Beller of Sideline Scoop proposed a trade that would send Rodgers to the 49ers in exchange for former first round wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and a 2024 first round pick. In his article, Beller says that he found out about Rodgers’ comment regarding the 49ers right before he sat down to write his piece. However, he defends his trade scenario with the following:
“If Rodgers is being honest he isn’t going to the 49ers. Part of me wonders if we can cross them out for sure. Personally I don’t see why Rodgers wouldn’t want to go to San Fran if given the opportunity because of the all around strength of the team that Kyle Shannahan has built there.
They had the best defense in the NFL in 2022. Their offense has an endless arsenal of weapons: Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, Christian [McCaffrey]. If Rodgers was leading that team they’d be in the Super Bowl next weekend. I guess Rodgers could still be angry that they passed on him in the 2005 NFL draft where they decided to draft Alex Smith at #1 overall instead. “
Beller states that the 49ers do not have a first round pick in this year’s draft and, therefore, would have to send a first round pick in next year’s draft for compensation. He also argues that a wide receiver core of Aiyuk, Christian Watson, and Romeo Doubs would be good enough to support Jordan Love as the starter of the Green Bay Packers.
Evaluating the Trade for Aaron Rodgers
On it’s surface, the trade certainly appears to be beneficial for both teams. On one hand, the 49ers have serious quarterback concerns in 2023. Jimmy Garopollo is all but gone and Brock Purdy needs Tommy John surgery. As Beller states, Aaron Rodgers would immediately put the 49ers over the top in the NFC.
The Packers, on the other hand, would get a veteran wide receiver and draft compensation while being able to move onto Jordan Love. Aiyuk played very well in 2022, hauling in 78 receptions for 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns. All of those numbers would have ranked first on the Packers’ team this year.
The trade, on surface, makes sense. However, one has to wonder if the 49ers would be willing to give up a top offensive weapon AND go a second-consecutive season without a first round pick. If the Packers are looking to move on from Aaron Rodgers, their asking price will, indeed, be steep. The 49ers may risk their future in the draft if they feel they can absolutely win a Super Bowl with Rodgers next season. However, the Los Angeles Rams did a similar thing when they traded for Matt Stafford. They won a Super Bowl, yes, but their “all-in” approach meant a massive Super Bowl hangover in 2022.
Would the 49ers be okay with that kind of risk? It does not seem likely.
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