If the Packers decide they want to trade Aaron Rodgers, the New York Jets would be a perfect trading partner.
The Green Bay Packers have plenty of important decisions to make this offseason, but it all starts and ends with Aaron Rodgers.
There has been no shortage of rumors about Aaron Rodgers and he sort of fuels them each week when he joins the Pat McAfee show. This week, he talked about how there were conversations surrounding his future that didn’t involve him — which he didn’t seem to appreciate.
Aaron Rodgers on @PatMcAfeeShow: “It sounds like there’s already conversations going on that aren’t involving me, which are interesting.”
Rodgers said he’s still taking his time, “but I’m not a part of those conversations right now.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2023
However, it’s hard to believe that the Packers are really shopping Aaron Rodgers without him deciding whether or not he will play in the 2023 season or not.
Regardless of whether Rodgers plays for the Packers or is traded, the cap hit is going to be huge. That’s just the bottom line. The Packers did get some good news earlier this week as the NFL announced the salary cap will increase by about $16 million.
Adam Schefter reported earlier this week that the word from sources around the league is that the Packers were looking to move on from Rodgers. Schefter is good at his job and he’s usually on point, but I wonder who these sources are.
I don’t doubt that the Packers would be interested in moving on to the Jordan Love era. He looked ready last season in limited action and players on the roster have echoed that. Jordan Love needs to play sooner rather than later.
At the same time, as long as the Packers exercise his fifth-year option, they’ve got him for two more years. I understand, he could request a trade but they have no reason to honor that request. The fact is, Love doesn’t have much leverage. The Packers hold all the cards and if they wanted to play hardball and franchise tag the kid, he can’t go anywhere for three more seasons.
Yet, if the Packers are ready to go with Love and move on from Rodgers, the Jets would be a perfect trading partner, assuming Rodgers still wants to play.
Here are three reasons why.
The Jets seem willing to meet the asking price
There have been plenty of trade rumors circulating about Aaron Rodgers but the Jets have been an open rumor from the start. Joe Namath even offered up the No. 12 recently if Aaron came to New York.
Source: The NY Jets are gearing up to send a lucrative offer to Green Bay for QB Aaron Rodgers. This includes a first round pick and more.
GB is not yet firm on any decision regarding Rodgers’ future with the team but this has been heating up for the NYJ over the last 72-hours.
— Cam Marino (@MarinoNFL) February 1, 2023
The only thing is that it would take a trade. Cam Marino is quoting sources saying that the Jets are going to make a push for Rodgers and he said the magic word: first-round pick.
Green Bay needs to get at least a first-round pick out of the deal. My guess is that the Jets, who have missed on a number of high draft picks and veterans, would be willing to give up possibly two first-rounders and at least a few premium draft picks (first 3 rounds). They have a team ready to win, they just don’t have a QB.
That means they will be willing to surrender a first-round pick and more draft capital to get Rodgers, who could push the team immediately into Super Bowl contention.
Aaron Rodgers is probably going to have to sign off on any deal. If he doesn’t want to play for a certain team, he could always threaten to retire and his contract will need to be reworked a little if he’s traded. Basically, the $60 million option bonus for March 15th can be converted into a signing bonus and his cap hit would be around $15.8 million.
That’s manageable for the Jets, especially with the cap increase. New York will need to work on upgrading the offensive line and I’m guessing the franchise will want to push some of the draft picks into 2024 (to trade to the Packers) so it can do that.
New York would probably also count on Rodgers recruiting some talent, so it’s a move that makes sense. The cap can work and so can the draft capital, plus Rodgers could play for an elite defensive coach, which I think he’s always wanted.
The Jets almost made the playoffs with some of the worst quarterback play in the league, so they should be plenty motivated to make this happen if the Packers are indeed willing to trade 12.
The least haunting move for the Packers
If Aaron Rodgers goes on and wins the Super Bowl, that would sting. But you have to ask if this Packers roster is capable of winning Super Bowl with him and the past three years tell us that answer is no.
Green Bay needs to reload and that’s going to make it tough with Rodgers on the team. It needs draft picks and to let Jordan Love play before he’s gone and you become the Saints — middling in the middle.
Trading Rodgers to the Jets is the least painful move. Green Bay just played New York this season, so there wouldn’t be a regular-season matchup (unless it was the 17th game) for a few years and if the only potential meeting happened in the Super Bowl, both sides would be fine with that.
You can’t trade him to a team in the NFC.
Imagine him going to the Vikings or the 49ers. This trade makes it as unlikely as possible that he ever returns to Lambeau as an opposing starting quarterback, although that depends on how long he decides to play.
At any rate, if a trade must happen, the Packers and Jets are a perfect match as partners.