On Wednesday, March 15th, 2023, four-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers joined the Pat McAfee Show to clear the air. For days, weeks, and months now, the entire league has speculated what the 39-year-old would do. Might he retire with the Green Bay Packers? Could he wind up with the New York Jets? Is there even a chance he suits up for the Packers again?
Well, Rodgers has finally given his answer…
Aaron Rodgers says his mind is made up ✈️ pic.twitter.com/gQq74VR9rY
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) March 15, 2023
Aaron Rodgers Announces Intention to Play for New York Jets in 2023
How The Departure Unfolded
To understand the story, one must look back to the 2020 NFL Draft, when the Green Bay Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love. The 26th overall pick out of Utah State was selected by a new regime in the Packers front office, one that did not draft Rodgers. Moreover, one with Love’s selection, set for a timeline for Rodgers’ departure.
Coming into this off-season, Rodgers had hoped to be entering his darkness retreat riding off a Super Bowl victory and possibly into retirement. Then, the Packers missed the playoffs. And ultimately, the Packers were publicly hinting at their intention to move on, even though they told Rogers otherwise before his retreat.
"Something changed" when he came out of the darkness, Rodgers says, noting "little bit of a shift." Says #Packers were interested in trading him. Says he was 90% retired before darkness. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 15, 2023
As the team began to search for potential offers, the Jets brass flew out to meet with Rodgers, with his decision still unknown at the time. Come Friday, March 10th, Rodgers had made his decision, with the intention to play for the New York Jets.
The Question is When will the Trade be Official
There were two different reasons why the trade had not yet gone through. Either Aaron Rodgers hadn’t made a decision or trade compensations were still being discussed. Thanks to Rodgers, there is now a clear answer.
Aaron Rodgers said the holdup has been the compensation the Packers are trying to get for him.
He's going to be a Jet.
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) March 15, 2023
That being said, it is only a matter of time before the Jets and Packers come to terms on a deal. And thankfully for the Jets, it does not appear it will take a ridiculous amount of compensation to acquire the 10-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
The #Packers and #Jets continue to negotiate on an Aaron Rodgers trade but have not yet agreed to trade terms, per sources.
Green Bay isn’t looking for multiple first-round picks like other QBs (Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford) have commanded in recent years. Talks ongoing. pic.twitter.com/W1SZlx0UZA
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 15, 2023
With all the speculation of what a trade could look like, one would have to imagine the Jets 2023 second-round pick, 43rd overall, will be included. Joe Douglas certainly does not want to sacrifice his future and lose capital to build a Super Bowl contender around Rodgers. So, expect the 43rd overall pick to be the starting point.
From there, the Jets have two picks on day three of the 2023 NFL Draft and have picks they can afford to trade in 2024. Additionally, the Jets may include some young, under-contract pieces. The Jets are not willingly trading Elijah Moore, but perhaps wideout Denzel Mims is part of the package. Or maybe a promising defensive back such as Bryce Hall or Brandin Echols as a sweetener. Regardless – it will not take the world to bring Rodgers to the big apple.
Fallout for the Green Bay Packers
The plan is clear – trade Aaron Rodgers to get as much capital in return to build around Jordan Love. As they enter a new era, the Packers are not completely rebuilding. Rather, the front office has tooled for Love for years now. With Rodgers’ decision made, the only true fallout is saying goodbye to the franchise great and ushering in a new era.
Fallout for the New York Jets
For the Jets, they need to clear cap space to bring on Aaron Rodgers’ deal. Players such as defensive end Carl Lawson and safety Jordan Whitehead will likely be cap casualties. The same goes for wideout Corey Davis, whose replacement, Allen Lazard, is already on the way. The team can also still explore a restructured contract with linebacker C.J. Mosley.
After that, the games will really begin. With a quarterback of Aaron Rodgers prestige comes the perks of veteran players wanting to sign for less to play with him. With a young team, the Jets do not need to sacrifice long-term financial stability to build with experience. Expect the Jets to be interested in running back Jamaal Williams, and Randall Cobb, as well as many others.
Lastly, putting any other additions in the ring-chasing pursuit aside, it is about keeping the same core for Gang Green. The Jets were a top-five defense in 2022, with a handful of pieces departing. The defensive tackle position has lost Nathan Shepherd and can use depth to go with a hopeful Quinnen Williams extension. Starting linebacker Kwon Alexander also must be replaced.
The bottom line though – Aaron Rodgers being traded to the Jets is inevitable.