The NY Jets are willing to wait for Aaron Rodgers, while the Packers’ GM just made a key concession about a possible trade package
Good things come to those who wait.
The New York Jets appear to be following this mindset. Joe Douglas made that clear on Monday when he said that there was no deadline on a possible deal (although he said that about pretty much everything). Robert Saleh said the same, indicating that having Aaron Rodgers around isn’t critical considering his familiarity with Nathaniel Hackett’s offensive system.
The Jets’ head staff appear cool, calm, and collected—nothing like a pair who are being pushed around by their owner.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the trade, the Green Bay Packers are trying to play hardball. They insist that Douglas is lowballing them. They tell Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that they want “a first-round pick and more” for Rodgers.
But at the owners’ meetings, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst blinked first.
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said at the NFL annual meeting Monday he wants “fair value” in a potential trade sending four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets but added that's not necessarily a first-round pick.https://t.co/XWpwrMGbI2
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) March 28, 2023
When a GM admits that a first-round pick won’t necessarily be part of the trade, that’s not a qualifier. That’s an absolute: a first-round pick will not be part of the Aaron Rodgers trade.
Otherwise, why would he admit that “fair value” is not necessarily a first-rounder?
This is what people around the NFL have been saying for at least a month. Multiple executives told SI’s Albert Breer that there should be no first-rounder involved.
Gutekunst tried to keep his leverage play by claiming that Rodgers could conceivably come back.
Brian Gutekunst when asked if Aaron Rodgers has played his last game as a Packer:
"Right now, all options are on the table. It's not trending that way, but he's come back under certain circumstances before when he wasn't the happiest with everything going on" pic.twitter.com/Sc2b6WtGon
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) March 28, 2023
The last time this happened, though, Rodgers had not gone on The Pat McAfee Show and told the world about how poorly the Packers treated him. Neither had he publicly stated that he wants to play for a different team. The team president hadn’t spoken about him as a past-tense Packer, either.
Whenever the Rodgers deal happens, pick No. 13 won’t be involved. Hurdle No. 1 is seemingly out of the way, even if Gutekunst wouldn’t outright admit it.