If Jets don’t get Aaron Rodgers, would they turn to Matthew Stafford?


The waiting game continues for Aaron Rodgers. He says a decision is coming soon, but who knows how he defines the term?

Assuming that the Jets find out by Wednesday whether Rodgers will accept a trade to New York, and in the event Rodgers decides not to change teams, the question becomes what will the Jets do?

There aren’t many obvious options. Jimmy Garoppolo becomes an instant short-list candidate. Baker Mayfield could be an option, too. They surely wouldn’t bring back Sam Darnold, and Tom Brady is retired. (At least for now.)

It’s possible that the Jets would become sufficiently desperate post-Rodgers to offer Lamar Jackson the five-year, fully-guaranteed contract he has yet to get from Baltimore and may not realize from any other team.

There’s another name that’s been rattling around, even though his current team has said he won’t be traded. (Then again, if they ever say they have “no intention” to trade him, that’s when the trade will happen.)

Matthew Stafford.

Would it be crazy for the Rams to trade Stafford only two seasons after giving up Jared Goff, two first-round picks, and a third-round pick to get Stafford? Absolutely. But trading him before Friday would be the only way to avoid having another $57 million in future compensation to become fully guaranteed.

The Jets currently are prepared to pay Aaron Rodgers nearly $60 million for what could be only one year of employment. Stafford’s $57 million covers 2023 and 2024. That makes it easy for the Jets to justify the move, financially.

Still, it wouldn’t be easy for the Rams to justify making the move. As recently noted, the Rams would take a $48 million cap charge by trading Stafford this week.

So what’s worse for the Rams? Allowing another $57 million in guarantees to vest for a quarterback who might not have the supporting cast to play well and stay healthy, or removing the Band-Aid, taking the $48 million cap charge, collecting extra draft picks, and moving on?

Like many teams, the Rams will not give any credence to a possible trade of such an important player until the moment it happens. Also, Stafford would have to be willing to uproot his family from L.A. and take them all the way to the other side of the country.

It’s currently hard to imagine a Stafford trade happening. It’s also not exactly easy to imagine the Rams pouring another $58.5 million onto the $61.5 million the team paid Stafford a year ago.

He turned 35 last month. It feels like an old 35 — partially because it feels like he’s been in the NFL forever and partially because he’s taken plenty of hits and endured plenty of injuries.

It’s actually kind of amazing to think Stafford is days away from having $120 million vest in the aftermath of winning a Super Bowl. If the Rams truly hope to “remodel” (as G.M. Les Snead recently put it), they need to quit giving such gigantic contracts to quarterbacks that end up not being the long-term answers at the position.

It started with Goff and the ill-advised second deal he received after only three NFL seasons, and who lasted only two seasons after signing it. It’s continuing with Stafford, who may have only two more years at most in L.A.

There’s a chance, albeit slim, that he may have only two more days in L.A. Especially if there ends up being no chance of Rodgers joining the Jets.

29 responses to “If Jets don’t get Aaron Rodgers, would they turn to Matthew Stafford?

  1. Stafford was injured in nowhere near as good as Aaron Rodgers.

    If the Jets can’t get a good quarterback like Rodgers then they should draft one.

    Paying all that money to Stafford and going 9 and 8 accomplishes nothing

  2. Would 3 first and 3 seconds get you Mahomes? If so than any QB in the league could be had for the right price .

  3. I trust the Jets to totally bungle this so Wilson will be their QB on opening day

  4. Zero chance this happens. Stafford doesn’t have much tread left on his tires. He plays in ’23 and retires. Mayfield would be smart to stay in LA and become their starter in ’24.

  5. Rodgers, Carr, Stafford, Jimmy G, Tannehill, Mike White, Zach Wilson – does not matter. The Jets are the Jets.

  6. The jets should not get desperate, just do a better job of drafting and grooming QBs. Geno’s success in Seattle should be an eye opener for what they need to change. Not going out to get the world’s most nauseating QB as a 1 year rental.

    We are in the greatest era of college QBs. They have talented and experienced QBs every year.

  7. Philip Rivers and Jeff George did not rule out playing either. word on the street is even though they are retired, they are in good enough fitness to play QB in today’s non-contact NFL.

  8. Watching Rodgers for 2 years would be great for Wilson . I mean kid beats Buffalo then they get schemed out of building v Pats and it’s over? Remember what we all thought of Geno Smith. Get Wilson out of pressure cooker he never should have been day One starter after one healthy year at BYU. But Jet fans are insanely inpatient are with need for ticket sales Woody obliges. Return of now cut and healthy Becton(he had a great year 1 everybody likes to forget) , AVT, Hall and new safeties and playoffs very likely. Still have deal with Mahomes, Burrow et al.

  9. Rodgers is playing the Jets for fools. He has no intention of leaving the Packers. He just loves the attention and the chaos he causes for others.

  10. No way Jets take on the money & uncertainty of 35yoa Stafford’s recovery/long term future. The Rams are hamstrung with the Cap hit, either way. They will opt to try and compete with him as they rebuild the team. They sold the short term future for their SB win. This next phase will be tough, but it’s what they knew they were getting.

  11. Stafford is a better quarterback than Rodgers is now. I do want to see Rodgers go to NY though.

  12. The Jets said Rodgers or bust and compared to me, Staffie would be a bust.

  13. Why would one of the top ten QBs of all time want to play for the Jet’s? This is the New York media getting played by Rodgers!

  14. roughingthepasser says:
    March 12, 2023 at 10:48 am
    Stafford was injured in nowhere near as good as Aaron Rodgers.

    If the Jets can’t get a good quarterback like Rodgers then they should draft one.

    Paying all that money to Stafford and going 9 and 8 accomplishes nothing
    If they can’t get Rodgers then they should draft one? Didn’t the Jets already try that with Zach Wilson and also see Trey Lance and the draft capital wasted in Santa Clara. Elite QB’s are not easily found and finding one in the draft is hit or miss at best. The Jets have drafted well and the missing piece is a franchise QB. You play to win the game.

  15. Probably never happen, but it would be hilarious if the Jets got sick of waiting on Rodgers and traded for Stafford.

  16. Not going to happen. Snead and McVay shut down rumors about trading, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, or Matthew Stafford. This is like saying the Lions would trade for Baker Mayfield.

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