For the Green Bay Packers, the trade of Aaron Rodgers is a double edged sword. It will leave a huge void on the roster, but it will also create a ton of cap money to spend on other players. The Packers are not a particularly young team, so it is also unlikely that they will be able to win a Super Bowl for at least a decade.
The Green Bay Packers have been in existence for more than 100 years, and in nearly every season (with the exception of the 2011 season) they have managed to make the playoffs. They lost in the first round of the playoffs in 2014, but in the last five seasons they have made it to the NFC Championship game at least twice. If the Packers go another ten years without a Super Bowl, it will be their longest drought since the 1960s.
Aaron Rodgers’ performance in the 2018 NFL season was the best by any QB in the last 20 years—so far. After throwing for 4,300 yards, 46 TDs, and 13 INTs last year, his 2,436 passing yards, 34 TDs, and 7 INTs in 2019 have set the table for another MVP performance. And while we don’t know if the Packers have any intentions on making a deal for their starting QB this offseason, it’s always an option on the table if they have no plans to build around him.
To persuade quarterback Aaron Rodgers to come to training camp, the Green Bay Packers agreed to a number of conditions. According to Rodgers’ request, the team brought back Randall Cobb. Green Bay also agreed to renegotiate the deal of the three-time MVP.
More information regarding the two sides’ agreement has just emerged. If Rodgers still wants to leave Green Bay at the conclusion of the season, he may request — and be given — a trade.
Rodgers’ connection with the Packers seems to be irreversible, based on everything that transpired over the summer. If that’s the case, one of the greatest quarterbacks in history will be available for trade.
But, if the Packers were forced to trade their franchise quarterback, what could they reasonably expect in return?
If the Green Bay Packers do decide to deal Aaron Rodgers, they will need specific items in exchange.
During training camp, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers works out in front of head coach Matt LaFleur. | Getty Images/Stacy Revere
Green Bay would be giving up one of its greatest players in club history; the return components should be about equal. The problem is that if it became apparent that Rodgers would not return, the Packers would lose a huge amount of power.
The return demands would have been considerably greater if the club had chosen to trade their top quarterback before training camp. Multiple first-round selections and young talents still on rookie contracts, as well as a bridge quarterback to Jordan Love if one is available.
However, if Rodgers decides to depart at the conclusion of the season, the Packers’ chances of winning would be significantly reduced. He may also push the Packers’ hand in terms of where he goes, lowering the return even more.
First trade scenario: Aaron Rodgers finally lands in Denver.
Aaron Rodgers, a sixth-round selection in 2022, goes to Denver.
Green Bay gets CB Ronald Darby, a first-round selection in 2022, and a third-round pick in 2023.
The Denver Broncos have been the club with the most trade rumors around Rodgers. Denver’s offensive line presently consists of Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater. Since being selected in the second round in 2019, Lock has struggled, and Bridgewater has never been better than league average. Even if Lock doesn’t have a breakthrough season, the Broncos would still be in the lead in the Aaron Rodgers draft.
As clubs strive not to be outbid, the Packers should still receive a good return. Darby, a veteran outside cornerback who had 55 tackles and 16 pass breakups with Washington in 2020 before signing a three-year, $30 million deal with Denver, may help Green Bay solve some of its cornerback problems across from Jaire Alexander. The Packers receive a good return for a guy who is going anyhow, thanks to two selections, one of which is a first-rounder.
Aaron Rodgers is on his way to Washington.
Green Bay gets WR Dyami Brown, a first-round selection in 2022, and a second-round pick in 2023.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins this season. If he continues to play beyond 2021, Fitzpatrick and his magnificent beard will be 40 years old and starting his 17th season in the NFL. He signed a one-year contract with Washington and, unless he retires, will be a free agent in 2022. Even with Fitzmagic at quarterback, the Football Team has an underappreciated squad and may contend this season. In 2022, acquiring Rodgers would elevate them to NFC challenger status.
The Packers would get a first-round pick, a second-round pick, and Brown in exchange. The North Carolina product was selected in the third round of the April draft by Washington. He’s a little target, but he’s quick, which would allow Love to stretch the defense.
Jon Gruden finally gets his man in the third trade scenario.
Aaron Rodgers is on his way to Las Vegas.
LB LB LB LB LB LB LB LB LB LB 2022 first-round selection, 2022 fifth-round pick, 2023 second-round pick Cory Littleton
Rodgers would certainly rescue Gruden’s job with the Raiders, and Gruden wants him. And, for that matter, General Manager Mike Mayock’s, since things haven’t gone well in Vegas since the two took control. The company may be more prepared to pay a premium for a quarterback who can alter the franchise’s future, prompting Las Vegas to add three draft choices.
Littleton was a big free agency signing for the Raiders before to last season, but his performance was nothing near what it was with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018 and 2019. Last season, the Washington product recorded 82 tackles and 78 percent of the Raiders’ defensive snaps. In his last season with the Rams, he played 95 percent of the defensive plays, racking up 134 tackles, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. He recorded 125 tackles and three interceptions the year before. The Packers would hope that he might return to his previous form in Los Angeles and address their long-standing issue with a three-down linebacker.
Rodgers would be the most prolific quarterback in recent memory if he were to be moved. In 2020, he performed at an MVP level and shown that his abilities are not fading. No matter where he ends up in 2022, there’s a good chance he’ll be in the mix for another MVP, particularly with the 24th-pick chip still on his shoulder.
If Green Bay is forced to go that route, there are packages available that may help the Packers achieve some kind of success in the post-Rodgers era.
Pro-Football-Reference provided all statistics, while Spotrac provided contract information.
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