When the month of March started, it seemed almost certain that if Aaron Rodgers was going to get traded, it was going to happen before the start of free agency on Wednesday, but with the way things are looking now, it’s starting to feel like we’re going to have to wait a lot longer before we see a trade go down. It appears that one thing holding up a potential deal is the Packers’ asking price for their star quarterback. During a Wednesday morning appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up,” Adam Schefter revealed what the Packers might be looking for in a possible trade with the Jets. “My understanding is that within the Packers organization, they feel that he is worth a package that is similar to the one that the Rams once got for Matthew Stafford, which is multiple [first-round picks],” Schefter said. If you need a quick refresher on the Stafford trade, the Lions got two first-round picks, a third-round pick AND a starting quarterback (Jared Goff) in exchange for Stafford.
Although the Packers made it pretty clear over the weekend that they want to move on from Rodgers, they don’t plan on giving him away for free, which seems to have caused a holdup in a potential trade with the Jets. “The Green Bay Packers, as much as they’d like to clear the salary from their books and gain clarity, they’re not rushing to [make the trade],” Schefter said. “The Jets aren’t willing to give up what the Packers are asking and so, that could take some time.”If you’re the Jets, there’s almost no way you’re going to be willing to give up two first-round picks for Rodgers. The problem with giving up that much compensation is that the Jets have no idea how much longer the 39-year-old will be playing. If he goes to New York and retires after one season, then the Jets will feel fleeced if they give up two first-rounders.
Besides the draft picks, the Jets are also going to have to pay Rodgers an astronomical sum in 2023 or they’ll have to negotiate a new deal with him which also could take some time. If his deal doesn’t change, Rodgers would make $59.465 million from the Jets in 2023, although he’d only count roughly $15.5 million against the salary cap (Of that $59.465 million, $58.3 million would be treated as an option bonus, so the Jets would be able to pro-rate it over four years). If the Jets are going to give up two first-round picks and pay a quarterback $59 million, they might as well go after Lamar Jackson. As for Rodgers, the downside for the Jets is that the Packers apparently aren’t in any rush to make a deal. If they can’t get their asking price, then they’ll just wait this thing out. According to PFT, the Packers are more than content to hold on to Rodgers until at least the draft if they have to.
The most likely scenario is that this all ends with Rodgers in New York, but it’s hard to put a timeline on when this will all happen. If there’s one person who could help clear things up, it’s definitely Rodgers and he’ll get a chance to do that on Wednesday. The Packers quarterback is set to be a guest on “The Pat McAfee Show” at 1 p.m. ET (details here) and there’s a good chance he’ll face a question or two about his future during his talk with McAfee.