The first two rounds of this long-running Aaron Rodgers-Packers drama produced fireworks — particularly in the 2021 offseason — but no separation. Although Rodgers headlines have been an NFL constant for the past three years, round three is upon us.
After two years of Rodgers and the Packers standing down and finding common ground, the two sides are cognizant the long-rumored divorce may finally come to fruition. The Packers trading Rodgers at some point this offseason is a “very real scenario,” Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (video link).
A deal would be complicated, due to Rodgers’ complex extension agreed to in March 2022, and it would not be expected to involve NFC suitors. The Packers should only be expected to send the four-time MVP to the AFC, Schefter adds (video link). Rodgers was linked to AFC teams — primarily the Broncos — for two offseasons, but he patched things up with the Packers two years ago and signed the three-year, $150.8MM extension months later. Denver moved on, via the Russell Wilson trade, but other AFCers will be interested if Rodgers truly becomes a trade chip.
Rodgers, 39, is owed a $58.3MM bonus payment this year, and while the future Hall of Famer said he has not committed to playing a 19th season, it would be fairly surprising if he walked away given the money in this equation. Structured as an option bonus, the monster payout only translates to a $31.6MM cap hit — if Rodgers is a Packer in 2023. If Rodgers is dealt, however, the team acquiring the superstar passer would have him on its books at just $15.79MM in 2023. That stands to increase the aging QB’s trade value.
Because the option can be paid at any point before the season, the Packers have months to decide on a trade. Though, Rodgers being dealt early would stand to help him acclimate to his next team and give the Packers more time to prepare for Love’s first starter season. The Packers would be best served to trade their current starter after June 1, when the dead-money hit would be just $15.8MM (along with a $24.5MM charge in 2024). A pre-June 1 trade would tag the Pack with $40.3MM dead-cap hit.
Rodgers said a contract adjustment would need to happen for him to play in 2023, citing the near-$60MM bonus, but he is open to making such a move to accommodate the Packers or another team.
“There’s a lot of teams, because of COVID, that are strapped, and you’re seeing with a lot of different contracts, they’re pushing more money out in deals,” Rodgers said during his latest Pat McAfee Show appearance (via ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky). “They’re creating void years to allow for an easier cap hit, so there would have to be some adjustments, for sure.”
Matt LaFleur said he wants Rodgers back, and Brian Gutekunst did not entertain the prospect of a trade earlier this month. But the sixth-year GM noted Jordan Love is ready to play. Green Bay must decide on the former first-rounder’s fully guaranteed 2024 option by May. Gutekunst said a scenario in which the team rolls out a Rodgers-Love depth chart for a fourth straight year is in play, but a trade would both clear a Love path and arm the Packers with valuable draft capital. The Packers should be expected to ask for at least two first-round picks, Peter King of NBC Sports writes.
Of course, the Packers would run the risk of a steep drop in QB quality by trading Rodgers. The franchise has rostered Hall of Fame-bound talents at the position since 1992. It did, however, execute the Brett Favre-to-Rodgers handoff — a clunky but effective baton pass that occurred ahead of Favre’s age-39 season — by trading Favre to the Jets during training camp in 2008. Rodgers turned 39 last month. The 15-year Packers starter dropped from first in QBR in 2021 to 26th this season. Green Bay’s diminished receiver situation contributed to that dip — during a season that included zero 300-yard passing performances, along with thumb, knee and rib injuries — but Rodgers’ value might not be what it was when the trade topic first surfaced ahead of the 2021 draft.
A no-trade clause is not present in Rodgers’ contract, but he would certainly be signing off on his destination before the Packers moved him. The Jets, who traded for Favre during owner Woody Johnson‘s ownership tenure, have long been connected to acquiring a veteran. The Raiders have been linked to reuniting Josh McDaniels with Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo, but they were linked to Rodgers two years ago. Receiver-wise, the Titans situation reminds of Rodgers’ Green Bay setup. But they make some sense as a suitor as well. A few teams will be interested, and if Rodgers is an AFC-only trade piece, it increases Derek Carr‘s odds of being dealt to an NFC team. However, Carr and Garoppolo are set to be available in February and March, respectively. It may take longer for a team to land Rodgers.
The Pack taking their time on a Rodgers trade, for money-defraying purposes, would put potential suitors to major decisions. While franchises will want to solidify their QB situations by April, the latest round of Rodgers trade rumblings may dominate yet another offseason.
40 comments on “Latest On Packers, Aaron Rodgers”
He will be a New York Jets QB next season
Send him to the Jets for a year. Once Cousin’s contract is up, the Vikings should step up and make a run at him. Wait… this sounds familiar.
And then the Vikings will sign Wentz for a year
Wentz is done. Lance has a better chance to come home.
He’s acting just like Favre did at the end of his career, so why not follow in his steps and go to the Jets.
It’s a really good situation for a great QB to be in with the Jets
The guy has issues he is dealing with internally. He has some much conflict within his life, family, career. He needs to address those before doing anything or he will be unhappy forever. A change of scenery won’t help him
Then the Jets can have the Packers Sloppy Seconds again!! If you didn’t learn from having Favre in 2008 you’ll never learn… only the Jets SMH
Bloated contract, diminished skills, I smell a soon to be Colt
He does this every year and loves the attention. He’s not leaving Green Bay.
It’s all fluff. He’s going nowhere.
I’m making a list of things I’d rather be doing than reading any more about Rodgers and will he/won’t he stay in Green Bay. I’ll bet I don’t run out of ideas before this gets resolved, and I need to buy more pens and paper.
He didn’t get the hosting gig, so watching more Jeopardy episodes should be on that list somewhere.
Buying more pens and paper needs to be on the list.
Us old dinosaurs still rely on pens and paper but I expect the next tech generation will regard them as ancient relics.
winning is for losers
“Death smiles at us all…all a man can do is smile back”. – Marcus Aurelius
Can Tampa afford Rodgers or did Brady leave a lot of dead cap money?
Tampa is 53mill over the cap as of now..Brady is a free agent.. no dead cap $
If Brady doesn’t resign in Tampa by March 15 then there would be a dead cap hit of $35.1 million.
Explain your math
I looked it up.
Packers only interested in deal with AFC team
There’s really one team I can see him being traded to and that’s the Raiders. It all depends on what Tom Brady does. But if TB goes elsewhere like the 49ers then I can see him linking up with Adams again. The Raiders have a valuable draft pick this year so I don’t see them trading that unless it’s a pick swap this year with a second round and a first next year would be a fair deal.
I think Brady ends up in Vegas
They already gave the Packers a haul for Adams, they can’t afford to do that again for a dinosaur/1 year rental.
The Packers are going to stink next year with or without Rodgers – as they clearly don’t have the receivers needed to compete in this league. If they keep Rodgers they won’t have the money needed, and if they decide to go with Love few receivers will trade money for bad reception/TD numbers.
David Carr and Picks to GB for Aaron Rodgers.
Love is a bust. They know it,
Carr’s contract is much more palatable.
I’m not buying the Brady / McDaniel hype.
If SF loses to the Eagles, They sign Brady.
Lance to the block, traded to whichever team misses out on a QB in the draft.
Purdy learns from the best for a year…. Or two ?
I love this deal. Especially because David Carr has not played in the NFL for 10 years. Raiders could definitely sign and trade him.
They get both of the Carr brothers in the deal!lmao
Wow this seems even more dire and serious than the offseason before this.
And the one before that
As a 50 year Jets fan,
Based on salary, timing of trade, draft capital and his age….. no thanks
You do realize he was the best QB in the league in 2 of the last 3 years. This past year he had a broken thumb and was playing with a cast of receivers who averaged ~2 1/2 drops per game. Watson came on in the second half of the year, but other than that he was playing with a bunch of WR4’s.
Yes and the person who was the QB at the beginning of the 50-year Jet fandom volunteered/encouraged the Jets to “unretire” his #12 if Aaron Rodgers is willing to come aboard.
Imagine Aaron Rodgers wearing #12 in Jets green. Broadway Joe Namath told WFAN/New York last week that he’s willing to have his shirt number unretired for the NFL’s A-Rod.
Plus with the Jets playing the NFC East next fall, it’ll be another opportunity for Rodgers to beat Dallas and the Giants.
2 first round picks for a guy who never plays and when he does he looks lost as can be??
Bro this guy ain’t gonna retire lol
I lived in Wisconsin during the Lynn Dickey years. Want to list the QB fails in 40 years?
It’s pretty safe to say there weren’t any for the last 30.
I’m not a Packers fan but understand the tradition and the team’s ties to the region and the fans. That said, here’s hoping they trade this prima donna and rebound quickly with a new QB.
This guy and his drama are exhausting