The shock and dismay after Monday night’s season-ending injury to New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers also reverberates in Green Bay — and not because fans share the universal disappointment of one of the game’s great players being lost to injury.
The blockbuster trade that sent the 39-year-old future Hall of Fame signal caller to the Big Apple included a slew of draft picks that made the pot sweet for the Packers to part ways with a legend.
In addition to a first-round draft pick in last spring’s NFL Draft (and a second and sixth-round pick), the Packers also received a conditional second-round pick that would become a first-rounder if Aaron Rodgers played 65 percent of his snaps (almost a given sans an injury) for the Jets this season.
But the news of the Achilles injury and Rodgers being lost for the season means the Packers will now instead receive a second-round pick from New York as it’s almost unthinkable he could reach the 65 percent threshold outlined in the trade.
Aaron Rodgers trade details
Let’s look at the compensation that traded hands in the Rodgers trade:
- 2023 first-round pick (DE Lukas Van Ness/Iowa)
- 2023 second-round pick (TE Luke Musgrave/Oregon State)
- 2023 sixth-round pick (K Anders Carlson/Auburn)
- 2024 conditional second-round pick (becomes a first-round pick if Rodgers plays 65 percent of snaps)
- Aaron Rodgers
- 2023 first-round pick (DE Will McDonald IV/Iowa State)
- 2023 fifth-round pick (Traded down for 6th-round pick — CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse/LSU; 7th round — TE Zack Kuntz/Old Dominion)
With no real chance Rodgers returns this season, it certainly has a more significant impact on the Jets in the short term.
Considered by many to be in contention for the AFC East title, which was buoyed by the team’s come-from-behind win against rival Buffalo on Monday night, the New York finds itself counting on second-year quarterback Zach Wilson. Wilson finished 14-of-21 for 140 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Wilson’s inconsistency in 2022 is what prompted the Jets, who have one of the league’s best defenses, to trade for Rodgers.
Rodgers lasted just four plays in a Jets uniform this season and the extent of his injury is still unknown.
How Rodgers’ trade could impact future deals
The trade that sent Rodgers to the Jets and how it has worked out for the Packers could impact future deals in the NFL — especially teams acquiring an aging superstar.
While injuries can happen at any point in a player’s career, you might think it wouldn’t factor into negotiations to acquire players. But the Rodgers example could be on the minds of NFL general managers the next time they think of pulling the trigger on a similar deal.
The latest league data shows that, on average, 15 percent of players miss games each season due to injuries. Of that, lower extremity injuries account for 60 percent of all injuries in the NFL. Despite the depth of data collected, no breakdown of injuries and age is available from the NFL.
The Centers for Disease Control does keep overall data on football-related injuries by age, but men over 35 comprise just 4% of the population so it’s not conclusive.
Despite the lack of data, the perception around the NFL could be what rules the day for teams looking to acquire older players like Rodgers.
Was MetLife Stadium turf a possible cause?
After two consecutive seasons of problems and NFL-wide complaints related to player safety on the MetLife Stadium artificial turf, one of Rodgers’ former teammates in Green Bay was quick to blame it for the injury.
Green Bay Packers offensive lineman David Bakhtiari didn’t hold back after the injury occurred on Monday.
Congrats @nfl. How many more players have to get hurt on ARTIFICIAL TURF??! You care more about soccer players than us. You plan to remove all artificial turf for the World Cup coming up. So clearly it’s feasible.— David Bakhtiari (@DavidBakhtiari) September 12, 2023
I’m sick of this..Do better!
It should be noted that MetLife Stadium did install all-new artificial turf for the 2023 season to improve conditions but the on-going perception amongst players and some front offices aren’t satisfied.