If the Packers decide to do what they haven’t been inclined to do, will they find someone with whom to do it?
That’s a very real question as training camps open and rosters become set. Even if it’s Aaron Freaking Rodgers, which team will be ready not only to disrupt its current plans but also to incur the various costs associated with acquiring his contract?
The Broncos continue to be the primary candidate to make a deal, in part because of need and in part because his three-team wish list consists of the 49ers, Broncos, and Raiders. Many think the Broncos would pounce at the chance to get Rodgers if/when the Packers make him available.
That may not be the case. Per a league source, the Broncos are leery about the total cost of trading for Rodgers, between his expected compensation and the general belief that the Packers would want three first-round picks and a second-round pick for him.
The price paid in draft picks and/or players to accomplish the trade necessarily reduces the team’s willingness to pay Rodgers, since the combined price becomes a sliding scale of cash to the player and stuff to his former team. The more a new team would have to give the Packers to get Rodgers, the less it would want to give Rodgers. In turn, the more the new team has to give Rodgers, the less it would want to give the Packers to make it happen.
For that reason, the Broncos may not have the zeal to do the deal that most have presumed they’d possess. Especially since the Broncos roster may not otherwise be an Aaron Rodgers away from a run at a Super Bowl. The AFC has many contenders for the 2021 season. If Denver adds Rodgers, expectations for the Broncos would skyrocket, perhaps unreasonably. There’s a good chance Rodgers may not instantly make the Broncos dramatically better than they’ll otherwise be.
Broncos G.M. George Paton worked in Minnesota when the Vikings sold their souls for a dalliance with Brett Favre. Although the Vikings nearly got to the Super Bowl in 2009, they already had a solid team, one that made it to the playoffs in 2008. The Broncos haven’t been to the postseason since winning Super Bowl L. Besides, the AFC has gotten very top-heavy, with plenty of great teams. And in the AFC West, the Broncos still have to contend with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Thus, even if the Packers choose to move Rodgers now, there’s no guarantee that the Broncos will do it — especially with training camp starting soon and the clocking ticking toward Week One.