The Green Bay Packers have made it clear that they really hope Aaron Rodgers isn’t on their roster next year. They couldn’t leak their desires enough over the last couple of weeks and in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine.
It seems that Rodgers’ potential trade suitors are down to one: the New York Jets. Rodgers and the Jets met earlier in the week, and the NFL world awaits to see where Aaron Rodgers ends up. His choices are simple: stay with the Green Bay Packers, an organization that no longer wants you around, retire and walk away from $60 million, or agree to go to the New York Jets.
While I always thought Rodgers agreeing to go to the New York Jets was always a long shot simply because I just never saw Rodgers taking the same path as Brett Favre. He’s sensitive, and the jokes would get to him, no doubt. But in this case, it’s reaching the point where he may not have a choice if he wants to keep playing football and collect large paychecks.
Knowing the situation, the Jets have the upperhand in these trade negotiations. The Las Vegas Raiders seem to have pivoted away from Rodgers, and there really aren’t any other options for him. What does that mean? In short, it means it’s almost impossible to see a trade where the Jets give up the 13th pick in the draft.
If there are Packers fans reading this, they are probably up in arms. Rodgers is a top five QB of all-time! There’s no way they won’t get at least one, probably two first round picks! Think again, Cheeseheads. There’s no guarantee Rodgers would play football after this year, he’s going to turn 40 years old this year, and he brings a hefty salary with him.
The Jets currently hold the 43rd pick in the draft. Giving up a second round pick for Aaron Rodgers is reasonable, and I think the Jets would agree to that relatively quickly. But I think if the Jets offer 43, the Packers will say, what else? That’s where a conditional 2024 pick comes in.
Perhaps the teams can agree to a large range of conditions that could make the pick anywhere from a first round pick to a third round pick. Perhaps they can do the first condition based on playing time, if Rodgers plays and started 12 games or more, the pick moves from a third-round pick to a second-round pick. Make the second condition based on team success. If the Jets win the AFC, the second round pick becomes a first round pick. That would be a condition that if that happened with Rodgers, the Jets would be willing to give up a first round pick and also that the condition is enough of a reach that they’d be willing to put it in the agreement knowing it was a longshot with the talent in the AFC.
Assuming this trade happens, I think that’s most likely where the compensation falls. The Jets will send their 2023 second round pick and a conditional pick in 2024. Any hope that the Packers will land a massive haul of first round picks for a 40-year-old QB who is coming off arguably his worst season and has a history of being difficult is quite a stretch.