Checking one of the perfunctory, quota-filling, boxes Sunday Splash! reports from the weekend of the division round were not really news at all. As is often the case.
There is a very real possibility of Aaron Rodgers being traded!
Yes. Yes there is. We knew that five days earlier, when Rodgers made it clear on Pat McAfee’s show that Rodgers believes he could be an MVP with another team — and when Rodgers basically read a ransom note of players he wants the team to keep, or else. It was more than enough to get us looking at every possible landing spot for Rodgers, which would obviously be done through trade.
The question then becomes finding a trading partner for Rodgers. It has to be a team he wants to play for. Even though he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, he made the 100 percent dead-on balls close observation with McAfee and company last week that no team he doesn’t want to play for will trade for him.
So what will Rodgers want? Where does he want to play?
Will he want to play for a team stacked at every position except quarterback? At first glance, why wouldn’t he? On a deeper level, that puts even more pressure on Rodgers to be the difference maker.
Maybe the game is to go to a team that has reasonable expectations, even if he’s on that team. Peter King suggested the Jets in his latest edition of Football morning in America, a fitting iteration of Brett Favre’s career arc. King also drove the Patriots and the Raiders.
The Packers want compensation for Rodgers. The Jets gave up a conditional fourth-round pick to Favre, who could have been (but did not become) a first-round pick. It’s hard to imagine Rodgers making much more than that; for the Green Bay front office, the value comes primarily from the unloading of its $58.3 million compensation package for 2023, and secondarily from, you know, ding dong! The witch is dead.
It’s also one thing to give up a few picks in the first round for a young player. It is quite another to give up great harvest rewards to a man who clearly has a year-to-year arrangement. Hell, there’s a chance (distant but still not unlikely) that Rodgers would decide after the offseason schedule that he made a mistake and shouldn’t continue his career at all.
Wherever he plays in 2023, he must be all-in. He must be fully involved. When he’s on a new team, it becomes even more important to be present and involved. He will have to get to know his new teammates. More importantly, they will have to get to know him.
So yes, it is a real possibility that he will be traded. That’s not news. It is obvious. He plays for the Packers, retires or plays for someone else.