Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke with the Jets, is 'open' to playing in New York, report says
GREEN BAY – The first step in the Green Bay Packers trading quarterback Aaron Rodgers appears to have taken place Monday.
Rodgers, according to a Tweet from former ESPN host Trey Wingo, spoke with the New York Jets and “is open to the idea of playing in NY.”
The Packers would have had to give Rodgers permission to talk to the Jets, and Rodgers would have to give the Jets assurances that he was going to play this year before the trade process could heat up.
ESPN reported that owner Woody Johnson, general manager Joe Douglas, head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, are flying to California Tuesday to meet with Rodgers in person. The Jets are free to visit with Rodgers and undoubtedly will address how long he wants to play and what can be done to help the Jets take on his contract.
Sources have told PackersNews in recent weeks that the Packers were set on moving on from Rodgers and going with 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love as their starter. They were prepared to trade Rodgers if he decided he wanted to continue playing and apparently those discussions had taken place before Monday.
A source with connections to the Packers' front office confirmed the process of deciding where Rodgers would play has begun but that a lot was still up in the air. The meeting between the Jets contigent and Rodgers should help the Packers know whether a deal is a possibility.
The Jets have long been rumored to be the team most interested in Rodgers because owner Woody Johnson has made it known he wants to do what is necessary to win a Super Bowl and will spend the money to do it.
On Monday, a source connected with another team in the quarterback market, said he was told the Jets were the team going after Rodgers the hottest, which would seem to confirm many of the other reports that the Packers’ best opportunity to trade him would be with the Jets. The other team most often mentioned with Rodgers is the Las Vegas Raiders.
A big reason Rodgers might accept a trade to New York is that Hackett, the Packers' offensive coordinator from 2019-'21 was hired there after lasting less than one year as the Denver Broncos head coach.
It’s not known if Rodgers plans to entertain any other teams or visit any facilities before making his decision on whether he wants to play and, if he does, where.
Aaron Rodgers' contract situation and compensation are the next steps
If Rodgers agrees to play for the Jets, the next order of business would be figuring out the terms of the trade. There’s a $58.3 million option bonus that the Jets would have to pay if they trade for Rodgers and they may want the Packers to cover some of that.
The two sides also have to work out compensation, although that may have been done already. GM Brian Gutekunst has been free to talk to teams about a potential trade because Rodgers is under contract.
The Jets have six draft picks this year, including No. 13 overall. They also have one pick in rounds 2-6.
However, no trade is going to happen unless Rodgers is willing to go to the new team. If traded without his consent, he could just retire and the deal would be off.
The potential trade partners mentioned most often in league circles have been the Jets and Las Vegas Raiders. However, teams such as the Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans shouldn’t be ruled out.
Derek Carr's signing with New Orleans got the QB ball rolling
The quarterback market shifted Monday when former Raiders quarterback Derek Carr agreed to a four-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, taking him off the market as an option for teams like the Jets and Panthers, who met with Carr at the scouting combine last week.
Carr, Rodgers, Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and San Francisco's Jimmy Garoppolo were the quarterback position’s primary moving parts for teams seeking a veteran quarterback at the start of the offseason. With Carr off the market, Rodgers should be the most affordable option left.
Sources at the scouting combine said last week that they thought the compensation the Packers were going to receive was much lower than people were expecting because the $58.3 million roster bonus the team would have to assume wouldn’t make it worth giving up a lot.
If Rodgers is willing to restructure his deal or take less, it may make it easier for him to get traded to the team of his choice. Some have reported that the Packers may have to eat a portion of that $58.3 million if they want to get rid of him.
A trade would have big impact on Packers salary cap
The Packers are likely going to want to deal Rodgers as quickly as possible so that they can transition to backup Jordan Love and settle some of the salary cap ramifications of trading Rodgers. The trade will cause Rodgers’ salary cap to increase from $31.1 million to $40 million.
The team is $17 million under the cap but should get another $11-12 million once a restructure of left tackle David Bakhtiari’s deal is completed.
Sources have indicated the Packers wanted to move on from Rodgers as early as the latter part of the 2022 season.
In the past couple of weeks, sources have made it clear the Packers want to move on because they believe in Love and are tired of dealing with both the on-field and off-field drama that surrounds Rodgers and the lack of offseason commitment that began last year when he negotiated a provision that required him to attend only three days of offseason workouts.
The Packers are coming off an 8-9 season in which Rodgers failed to throw for 300 yards in a game and seemed unable to hit open receivers or throw with the authority he had in previous years. The broken thumb Rodgers suffered against the Giants affected his throwing but the times he didn’t see open receivers was more concerning.
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Love has started only one game in his three-year career, but he played well in the preseason and rallied the Packers in a 40-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles after Rodgers went out with a rib injury.
The Packers had just pulled within 11 points of the Eagles late in the third quarter when Love entered and led the team on two scoring drives. He completed 6 of 9 passes for 113 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown pass to rookie Christian Watson.
Gutekunst made it clear speaking to reporters last week at the combine that he felt Love was ready to be a starter in the NFL but that he need to play. He said he had been in constant contact with Love and his agent.
Gutekunst was non-committal when asked about Rodgers.