It’s only a matter of time until the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets execute the Aaron Rodgers trade that everyone is waiting for. While there are still very few details on when Rodgers will be traded or what the deal will look like, speculation and insight can paint a picture.
There is still plenty of debate over who holds leverage in trade negotiations. Arguments for New York point to the money Rodgers is owed by Green Bay, his expressed desire to only play for the Jets and Green Bay’s public statements expressing its desire to move on from their star.
Related: 2023 NFL mock draft
However, the Jets might also be staring down a worst-case scenario that would put jobs in jeopardy. If fans are teased landing a future Hall of Fame quarterback but a deal doesn’t come to fruition, Zach Wilson is the starter in 2023. Wilson starting for the Jets next season would likely yield another year without a playoff appearance, culminating in general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh being dismissed.
- Aaron Rodgers career stats: 103.6 QB rating, 475-105 TD-INT, 59,055 passing yards
Both sides will eventually reach a settlement, agreeing to a deal that neither team loves but is willing to accept. Here we’re looking at three potential deals that could lead to the long-awaited trade everyone is waiting for.
Green Bay Packers, New York Jets swing a simple deal
It’s evident Green Bay wants the Jets’ first-round pick. While several executives around the league don’t believe it happens, the Packers’ asking price is reasonable considering the alternative for New York. As part of the negotiating process, general manager Brian Gutekunst is likely seeking even more than the 13th overall pick. However, that might all be part of the plan to reach the middle ground before the 2023 NFL Draft.
Related: Green Bay Packers draft picks 2023
- Green Bay Packers trade: Aaron Rodgers
- New York Jets trade: 13th overall pick
It’s a really cut-and-dry agreement for both sides. While New York would prefer to keep the 13th pick, using it on an offensive tackle to protect Rodgers, trading it beats the alternative. The Jets also now have two early second-round picks in a deep draft class, which they can use to fortify the roster around Rodgers.
Naturally, the Packers get what they want. A pair of top-15 picks means Green Bay can take a wide receiver at 13th overall and then a pass rusher or offensive tackle with its original first-round selection. All of this helps build a young supporting cast around Jordan Love and Matt LaFleur adds a rookie he can immediately get to work on implementing into his system.
5 NFL Draft trades we’d love to see in 2023
Aaron Rodgers traded with conditions in mind
Rodgers, age 39, is similar to Brett Favre when it comes to contemplating a future in football. The four-time NFL MVP has seriously considered retirement in each of the past three offseasons. Most recently, he said was 90 percent leaning towards hanging up his cleats when he entered his darkness retreat. Even with Rodgers back for the 2023 season, New York can’t feel like it has a quarterback plan in place for 2024.
Related: New York Jets add another playmaker in NFL free agency
- New York Jets acquire: Aaron Rodgers
- Green Bay Packers acquire: 42nd pick, 43rd pick, NYJ conditional 2025 5th
That’s where the deal with contingencies comes into mind. Rodgers’ back-and-forth every year should impact the Packers’ return in a deal. Naturally, Green Bay would also want to include some conditions in the event Rodgers plays more than one season for New York.
Using the CBS Sports’ NFL Draft trade value chart, the 42nd and 43rd overall picks equate to a top-20 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The 2025 fifth-round pick will stand as is if Rodgers doesn’t play for New York in 2024. If he plays, it becomes a fourth-round pick and elevates to a third-round pick if the Jets reach the playoffs.
Jets, Packers pull off a post-draft blockbuster trade
There’s an outside chance that the Packers and Jets drag things out beyond the 2023 NFL Draft. It’s likely not the outcome either side wants, but the desire from both front offices to get what they want leaves the door open to negotiations stretching through May.
- Green Bay Packers trade: Aaron Rodgers
- New York Jets trade: 2024 2nd, Jermaine Johnson II, 2024 3rd
New York will be a Super Bowl contender with Rodgers in 2023, immediately devaluing some of the future draft picks they want to put on the table. While the 2024 NFL Draft is believed to be deeper by NFL scouts than the 2023 class, future picks always have less value and that will impact the Jets’ negotiations.
In exchange for taking the future picks, Green Bay lands edge rusher Jermaine Johnson II. Selected with the 26th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the 6-foot-5 pass rusher played on just 34 percent of the Jets’ defensive snaps as a rookie. He checks off a lot of boxes the Packers like and would provide them with a desperately-needed pass rusher to pair with Rashan Gary and Preston Smith for next season.