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Denver Broncos GM reportedly targeted Aaron Rodgers trade for over a year

Matt Johnson
Aaron Rodgers, Denver Broncos
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos quarterback search is underway and while there is plenty of focus on the 2022 NFL Draft, general manager George Paton is reportedly still focused on landing Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers.

When reports first surfaced before the 2021 NFL Draft that Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay, the Broncos immediately jumped out as a landing spot. The future Hall of Fame quarterback liked what the Broncos built and there was mutual interest in a pairing. But Green Bay prevented a trade and resolved its differences with Rodgers.

Related: Aaron Rodgers wants to play with two current teammates with his next team

The reigning NFL MVP is now contemplating his future. Deciding between retirement, returning to the Packers and requesting a trade, it’s still too early to tell what he will decide. But if he asks to be moved this offseason, expect Paton and the Broncos to be at the front of the line to call Green Bay.

According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, Paton has told those close to him for more than a year that Rodgers remains the quarterback he wants the most. He’s also not the only Broncos’ executive who strongly covets a Rodgers trade.

Related: Best Aaron Rodgers trade landing spots

“Recently, while golfing, John Elway confided to friends that he would personally part with two first-round picks to acquire Rodgers. It is important to note that Elway isn’t the one making the decisions, but he likely has a voice in the process. However, at the end of the day, this is Paton’s show.”

Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline on Denver Broncos’ interest in Aaron Rodgers

If Denver wants Rodgers, it has all the pieces to land him. The Broncos can package a top-10 pick this year along with wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and additional draft compensation. Furthermore, the franchise also boasts the cap room to make a play for both Rodgers and Davante Adams.

It’s easy to understand why Rodgers is atop the Broncos’ wishlist. Despite his playoff struggles, he is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He could thrive in Denver, reuniting with Nathaniel Hackett and maintaining an elite level of play with top skill players around him.

For now, the likeliest outcome is Aaron Rodgers playing for the Packers in 2022. But if he decides a change of scenery is necessary, the Broncos are the overwhelming favorite to land him.