Why isn’t Aaron Rodgers a New York Jet yet? We may have some answers
Charles Robinson, a senior NFL reporter for Yahoo Sports, joined the Wisconsin-based “Wilde & Tausch” show on Wednesday to report what he’s been hearing from league sources about the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers trade discussions regarding Aaron Rodgers. According to Robinson’s sources, these are the proposed terms Green Bay is stuck on:
- Packers Receive: 2023 second-round pick, 2024 first-round pick
- Jets Receive: QB Aaron Rodgers, conditional 2025 draft pick
*The conditional 2025 draft pick is sent if Aaron Rodgers retires following the 2023 season.
Robinson says the Packers are willing to give New York the protection of a conditional 2025 pick in case Rodgers retires after one year, but the hold-up is that the Jets – and “specifically Jets ownership” – want the first-round pick to be conditional.
What caused the change?
It all started with Aaron Rodgers’ interview on the Pat McAfee Show.
“From my understanding, a 3 and a 1. The 3 [is] this year and the 1 [is] next year,” Robinson said of the Jets’ initial offer for Rodgers. “At that time, the Jets were looking at this as a two-year window… It wasn’t until the McAfee Show and the darkness retreat statement, the 90%, Woody [Johnson] got spooked.”
To paraphrase, the Jets expected Rodgers to play for two seasons and were willing to trade this year’s third and next year’s first-round pick. When Rodgers said that he was “90% going to retire” heading into the darkness retreat, Woody Johnson got cold feet.
Two specific events increased his fear. Most recently, the Denver Broncos traded for quarterback Russell Wilson. Denver expected to be a Super Bowl contender, but Wilson struggled and left the Seahawks with the fifth overall pick.
Robinson also pointed to Johnson’s personal history. The Jets only gave up one conditional draft pick for Brett Farve in 2008. The Jets went on to start the year 8-3, looking like Super Bowl contenders with Favre. Then he tore his bicep and the Jets finished 9-7. Because of the results, they only gave up a fourth-round pick Favre. With their first- and second-round pick, they traded up to the fifth overall pick for Mark Sanchez in 2009.
If catastrophe struck and Rodgers regressed or got injured, the Jets would be left with no quarterback and no first-round pick in 2024. This problem is magnified with an incredibly talented quarterback class projected to come out in 2024.
Robinson reported that the Jets and Packers discussed swapping their first-round picks in 2023. However, the Packers are currently fixated on a first-round pick in 2024. Robinson also noted that no other team is actively pursuing Rodgers.
Where do things go from here?
Someone will have to give in eventually.
Ultimately, both teams have questions to answer.
Do they want picks in 2023 or are they willing to wait? If they’re willing to wait, then the possibility of the trade dragging out greatly increases. Rodgers’ cap hit will be spread out if they wait past June 1st but isn’t truly a deciding factor. However, the Packers need to pay Rodgers’ $58.3 million option bonus by the start of the season. Unless they decide to pay him to not play, they’ll need to trade him by then.
Are they all in on Aaron Rodgers? if they are truly confident they can win a Super Bowl with Rodgers, then they shouldn’t hesitate about making the trade. If they wait until after the draft, there is a greater risk of the trade falling through or another team making an offer. Could they really pivot to Lamar Jackson or settle for Ryan Tannehill?
With the draft only 14 days away, both teams will need to make those decisions. The teams have discussed several different versions of the trade.
For now, we can only believe in the words of general manager Joe Douglas: “He’s [Aaron Rodgers] gonna be here”.
This whole pursuit of a 40yo, checked out, Rodgers was flawed to begin with. We had a QB in-house that was universally loved and lobbied for by his own locker room, who by the way only cost $8M total for 2y. We could have sunk all that surplus money into a decent OL and kept those high draft picks for continued restocking of the talent pool. Just an idiotic move by JD and the Johnson regime, but not surprising.
Derek Carr shouldn’t have left the building without a contract. They love fest that coaching front office and Carr had for each other then throw in his talent and we wouldn’t be in this mess.
The Jets should stay firm. No#1 pick for maybe a 1 year rental. If the Packers want too much the Jets should pivot and sign a qb like Bridgewater and draft one this year to compete with Wilson for the #2 spot. Jets don`t be hijacked by the Packers demands for Rodgers who might play only one year.
I know I’m a Jets’ fan so I’m biased but, the Packers seem hell bent on a 1st round pick for Rogers and he’s not worth it. I think this gets done, I know the fans won’t like it but the Jets can pivot if need be at this point. I know the moves they made seem like “Rogers'” moves but in reality they help the team.
I kind of understand what this season’s situation looks like (not as well as I like, but I have an idea), but I wish someone would share a look at next year’s cap and contract situation. I know a first round pick is obviously valuable and you’d rather have it than not, but what I don’t know is what the plan would be if the Jets didn’t have it. This is a frightening sentence:
“If catastrophe struck and Rodgers regressed or got injured, the Jets would be left with no quarterback and no first-round pick in 2024.”
Add “or retires” to that sentence as well. So what is the plan in the likely event of that? Is it to just suck (which is a plan, albeit it a bad one)? Is it Aidan O’Connell or Max Duggan? Is there enough cap room that it can be another free agent?
And speaking of cap room, what contracts need to be replaced in 2024? Edge, LB, WRs 2, 4, & 5, maybe RG…what else? Is there cap room to address those in free agency, or do the Jets really need that first round pick for, say, a WR2?
I know you don’t want to give up the first round pick, but is it a situation where the idea is a non-starter?