It was a long, crazy ride, but the Green Bay Packers’ 4-time MVP quarterback and future first ballot Hall of Famer, Aaron Rodgers, eventually got his wish to be traded to the New York Jets.
The “When’s he gonna be traded” drama played on since mid-March, when Rodgers appeared on the Pat McAfee Show and publicly declared, “Since Friday I made it clear that my intention was to play and my intention is to play for the New York Jets.” Rodgers was not going to retire, as had been theorized, he wanted to be dealt.
From that point forward, the drama morphed into one regarding what the Packers would get in return for their star quarterback. The 29-year-old Rodgers still had value on the trading block and the Packers were looking for fair compensation, although they were in a tough spot in terms of leverage since Rodgers was forcing their hand in dealing him to the Jets.
Eventually, though, the deal got made. In exchange for Rodgers (and a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft), the Packers swapped their 15th pick in the draft for the Jets’ 13th overall pick. They also got a 2023 second-round pick (No. 42), a sixth-round pick (No. 207), and a conditional 2024 second-round pick that will become a first-round pick if Rodgers plays in at least 65 percent of the Jets’ plays this season.
In the mind of former Packers executive Andrew Brandt, who worked for the team back when Rodgers was drafted, the Packers absolutely suckered the Jets in the deal.
“Let’s just sum it up,” Brandt said on The Joe Pomp Show, “the Packers got a flip of first-round picks, they got a second-round pick, they got what will most likely be a first-round pick next year and people don’t make enough of this– They offloaded $100 million.
“They offloaded all of this for a player that was never ever in God’s green earth going to play for the Packers again. So, it’s an extraordinary trade for the Packers in my mind.”
It’s hard to argue with the reality that Rodgers is on the decline as a player. Last year saw some of that reality brought to life and even in an absolute best case scenario for him, there’s not a whole lot of playing time left in his body. At most, the Jets got a two or three year rental from their deal. At worst, he’s done after this season.
No matter what, though, big things are expected of the man. The infamously impatient New York fans will quickly sour on him and the deal that brought him there if the team doesn’t perform up to expectations.
In Green Bay, meanwhile, the rebuild that isn’t being called a rebuild, continues with Jordan Love taking the role of starting quarterback and leader of the offense.