Aaron Rodgers told The Pat McAfee Show that he is committed to playing for the New York Jets in 2023. There is only one problem: he is still under contract with the Green Bay Packers. Of course, the Packers have also publicly committed to having Jordan Love as their starting quarterback next season. The obvious remedy is that the two teams need to make a trade. Unfortunately, there seems to be a large disagreement in regards to what Rodgers, a four-time MVP and future Hall of Famer, is worth. A trade could happen at any time, but as the talks drag on, here are some key dates to keep in mind.
April 17: The Beginning of the Jets’ Training Program (Would Aaron Rodgers Even Show Up?)
Rodgers has skipped the Packers’ offseason training programs for the past several seasons. There is no guarantee that he would even attend the Jets’ program which begins on April 17. That being said, the Jets would probably like to know for sure who their starting quarterback will be when they begin training.
April 27: NFL Draft
Two years ago, Rodgers (thanks to Adam Schefter) stole the thunder from the young men that got drafted in 2021. On the day the draft started, Schefter broke his report that Rodgers was not happy in Green Bay and would not return unless some demands were met. Rodgers could steal (through no doing of his own) the spotlight again if he were to be traded during the draft.
Of course, the Packers would like to get a deal done before this because they reportedly covet the Jets’ first round pick (13th overall).
May 1: Jordan Love Fifth Year Option Deadline
The Packers need to decide whether or not they will pick up Love’s fifth year option by May 1. This option would guarantee Love around $20 million in 2024. Needless to say, this decision will be a lot easier to make once Rodgers is officially off the roster. If Rodgers remains on the roster and the Packers pick up Love’s option, they could be looking at having $75 million of their 2024 salary cap tied up in quarterbacks.
June 1: The Pre-June 1 and Post-June 1 Implications
If the Packers trade Rodgers before June 1, they will still carry a dead cap hit of $40.3 million. No, this cannot be moved to the Jets in the trade. The Packers have already paid this money to Rodgers, but contract restructures and other cap-saving moves of the past have to count sometime. The time is now.
Unless, of course, the Packers trade Rodgers after June 1. Don’t get me wrong, they still will have a dead cap hit totaling $40.3 million. However, if they wait until after June 1, they can spread that hit out over two seasons. Rodgers would carry a dead cap hit of $15.8 million in 2023 and then $24.5 million in 2024. Keep in mind, if they do this and pick up Love’s fifth year option, they still will have over $44 million tied to the quarterback position in 2024, and only one of them would be on the roster.
The benefit of trading Rodgers pre-June 1, at least for the Packers, would be the cap hit would just apply to this year. No future salary caps would be affected.
Late July: Training Camp Begins
Obviously, both teams would like a deal done by the time training camp comes around. It would be best for both of them.
September 10: The Season Begins
If we get to September 10 and Aaron Rodgers has not been traded, he will probably be under center for the Packers. This does not seem likely to happen, but it could.
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