Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is evaluating his future in the NFL, deciding whether or not he will return for the 2023 NFL season. With many around the league expecting the four-time NFL MVP to come back, a trade becomes more likely.
The Packers were open to trading Rodgers last offseason, if he requested it, before the two sides agreed to a contract extension. Now, the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL is evaluating his options once again after Green Bay missed the playoffs for only the third time since 2009.
While general manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur made it clear they want Rodgers to return, their approach to the 2023 offseason may heavily influence his decision. The future Hall of Fame quarterback wants the Packers to bring back Marcedes Lewis, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, otherwise asking for a trade becomes a viable possibility.
Already tight against the 2023 NFL salary cap, the Packers don’t have the financial flexibility to re-sign the veteran weapons who would become secondary targets in their passing offense. As a result, there is an increasing belief that Rodgers will announce he wants to play for another franchise next season.
Green Bay will accommodate Rodgers’ trade request if it’s made and the franchise is prepared to turn the offense over to quarterback Jordan Love in 2023. If that happens, the Packers’ asking price for the 39-year-old passer will reportedly be significant.
Peter King wrote in Football Morning in America that his early guess would be Green Bay wants at least two first-round picks in exchange for Rodgers. He also points to the New York Jets as a viable trade partner.
There are several factors that NFL teams interested in Rodgers could use to negotiate the Packers’ initial price. Among them, the 10-time Pro Bowl selection has contemplated retiring in each of the past three offseasons. It means any club that acquires him takes on a risk that he will only play one more season before walking away from the NFL.
- Aaron Rodgers career stats: 103.6 QB rating, 59,055 pass yards, 475 passing touchdowns
Rodgers also carries a $31.6 million cap hit in 2023 and that figure climbs significantly in 2024 ($40.7 million). Even if he retires after the 2024 season, there would still be a $59.3 million cap charge the following year.
It limits the number of suitors considerably, but the Jets, Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders could still be viable landing spots. While trading a franchise icon is a path the Packers wanted to avoid, the draft capital acquired by trading Rodgers and the opportunity to start Love could entice the franchise.