The Green Bay Packers and New York Jets reportedly have agreed to the parameters of a blockbuster trade, leaving one of the biggest deals in NFL history up to future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers, age 39, returned from a darkness retreated and vowed to make a decision in the near future. The four-time NFL MVP stated at the end of the season that he wouldn’t hold the Packers hostage, wanting to have a final ruling on his future before NFL free agency.
- Aaron Rodgers stats (2022): 91.1 QB rating, 26-12 TD-INT, 3,695 pass yards, 6.8 ypa
The 2023 NFL league year begins on Wednesday, March 15 with trades and free-agent signings officially beginning. New York passed on signing Derek Carr, who landed with the New Orleans Saints, in favor of waiting on Rodgers’ decision.
Just over a week after Rodgers returned to California following the darkness retreat, Jets’ officials flew to meet with him. The one-time Super Bowl champion sat down with owner Woody Johnson, head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to discuss his future and the possibility of playing in New York next season.
In order for that meeting to happen, the Jets needed to receive permission from the Packers. Green Bay is ready to move in a different direction, with the front office and coaching staff on the same page for making a change.
New York is the only NFL team pursuing Rodgers and it already engaged in negotiations with the Packers regarding trade compensation and the quarterback’s contract. Now, things have reportedly progressed even further.
According to Connor Hughes of SNY TV, the Jets and Packers have worked out everything that needs to be done for a trade to happen. While details weren’t disclosed, it does mean New York and Green Bay know the trade package that would be exchanged and what portion of the All-Pro’s contract the Packers are responsible for paying.
- Aaron Rodgers contract: $31.62 million cap hit (2023), $40.7 million cap hit (’24), $59.3 million cap hit (’25), $53.45 million cap hit (’26)
Notably, New York restructured the contracts of cornerback DJ Reed, tight end Tyler Conklin and offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson on Saturday. It’s a trio of moves that creates $15.2 million in cap space and Rodgers carries a $15.74 million cap hit if he is traded.
Everything is now entirely in Rodgers’ hands. If he decides he wants to play another season, Green Bay and New York will notify the league office of the trade and it will be announced this week. The Packers have targeted the 13th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, viewing it as a necessary return to trade the face of their franchise.
If Rodgers declines the opportunity to play for the Jets, then the NFL offseason gets more complicated with both teams involved in the negotiations taking a hit. From the Jets’ perspective, they will be looking at a free-agent market at quarterback that is headlined by Jimmy Garoppolo, who was a distant third on the team’s list of preferred options behind Rodgers and Carr.
As for the Packers, the front office made it clear to Rodgers that he isn’t wanted back. The organization wants to start Jordan Love, evaluating him as the starter for the next two seasons. If Rodgers doesn’t want to retire, though, Green Bay will face a difficult decision with long-term ramifications for their future and salary cap.