There are reasons for the Packers to trade Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers’ play has noticeably depreciated this season. The back-to-back MVP is 38 years old, so a decline is something Green Bay Packers fans should expect. Rodgers has also played with a broken thumb since the end of the New York Giants game in London in Week 5. Rodgers’ play wasn’t up to his previous standard before the thumb injury. However, he’s been playing with injured and inexperienced pass catchers.
The Packers could look at Jordan Love if the team is eliminated from playoff contention in the coming weeks. Love needs to show the Packers staff what he can do as a starter. The Packers can then evaluate if they want to go with Love in the future. At the very least, they must decide which quarterback they should trade. Yes, trading Rodgers isn’t a far-fetched idea because of financial reasons.
Big decisions are coming up for the Packers
Mike Sando of The Athletic wrote about the quarterback future of all 32 NFL teams. Sando wrote the Packers were committed to Rodgers with questions. They think the Packers might be willing to trade Rodgers because it wouldn’t hurt their cap situation much:
Will Aaron Rodgers and the Packers still want to proceed together in 2023 if this season continues to unravel? Rodgers probably would not retire, because doing so would cost him nearly $60 million. If the sides pursued a trade, the Packers could do this pretty comfortably from a cap standpoint. Rodgers’ deal, which does not include a no-trade clause, is scheduled to count about $32 million against the Packers’ cap next season. That figure would increase to $40 million if the Packers traded Rodgers before June. It would drop to $16 million if they waited until then before making the move (the remaining $24 million would hit the cap in 2024).
Rodgers has no reason to retire and a major financial incentive to stay in the NFL. The Packers should certainly field phone calls for Rodgers. Rodgers will still have the skill next season to be a top-ten quarterback in the league. However, the team needs to plan for a future without Rodgers.
If they can sign a top quarterback in free agency or find that Love can start, maybe trading Rodgers could be in the Packers’ best interest. One reason to be pessimistic about Love’s prospects, head coach Matt LaFleur thinks the Packers are better off with Rodgers’ broken thumb than Love’s healthy hand.