NFL free agency did not slow down just because Aaron Rodgers remained with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers opined in mid-March about both his past and his future, declaring his desire to join the New York Jets in 2023. The team is currently at 12-1, or +1200, to win the title, according to Super Bowl odds.
However, rerouting Rodgers to the Meadowlands and Gang Green requires the two franchises coming to an agreement on compensation.
Rodgers did raise the issue of how he was treated by Packers’ general manager Brian Gutekunst and team president/CEO Mark Murphy.
Rodgers had a four-day darkness retreat to meditate on his next move, saying that the Green Bay messaging before and after the retreat were different.
According to Rodgers, the team at first told him to take his time on a decision. When he stepped out of the darkness, Rodgers had learned he wasn’t wanted. Also, as per Rodgers, that wasn’t the sentiment at the outset.
As was reported by multiple outlets, Rodgers then met with the Jets in California, but hadn’t made a decision at that point. It wasn’t until March 10 that he decided he wanted to join the Jets. The team hoped to grease the skids, signing a top Rodgers target in Allen Lazard (four years, $44 million).
Rodgers also said he loves the fans of the Packers. His qualms with the Packer brass is because they weren’t the ones who drafted him back in 2005, but that drafting Jordan Love in the first round (2020) as Rodgers’ heir apparent sent a message to him.
Jets With The Juice?
It’s been suggested that the New York Jets, who haven’t won a title since Super Bowl III, have the hammer when negotiating a trade, but is that correct? There’s nothing saying the Packers have to a disgruntled Rodgers, who’s under contract.
So, what’s it worth to the Jets? They won’t trade two first-round picks, but that leaves Zach Wilson, who had a toxic 2022, or perhaps signing Lamar Jackson (with the Baltimore Ravens having a chance to match).
Rodgers is Plan A, thus the Jets need to get the deal done now. Does team owner Woody Johnson want to face the media and the fan base without Rodgers?
Remember that the Jets were fourth in scoring defense last season, holding opponents to just 18.6 points per game. Such a defense teamed with Rodgers (and his former offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett) could mean a title run over the next number of the seasons.
Packers With The Position?
Rodgers’ heir apparent
As the Jets have plenty of reasons to acquire Rodgers, the Packers want to hand Love the keys to the offense.
Gutekunst is risking his job in any trade involving Rodgers. Getting the 13th (Jets’) pick while also holding the 15th selection would allow the Packers to address several of their needs, including wide receiver and tight end, giving unproven Love weapons Rodgers never had.
Love did play well when Rodgers was injured in a November game at the Philadelphia Eagles. Many among the fans/team shareholders are ready to Love.
However, Gutekunst is in a weird catch-22 because he doesn’t have to make this trade. Keeping Rodgers and Love (via fifth-year option) solidifies the position. (Rodgers, a four-time
honoree as best player in the league, is 14-1 [+1400] to win it again, as per NFL MVP odds).
Which team, if either, does the blinking?
As of this writing, there’s no writing on the wall.