The Jets want Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers wants the Jets. The Packers don’t want Aaron Rodgers. This should be easy to resolve, right?
It’s not. The Packers want a lot for Rodgers. They want more than they should, frankly. The Jets believe the Packers are being unreasonable.
Per multiple sources, the Packers want a first-round pick and more from the Jets for Rodgers.
The Packers want more than a first-round pick as part of the base deal. They want protection in 2025, in the event Rodgers plays in 2024. And that’s more than the Jets believe they should surrender for a player the Packers no longer want.
If the Jets are willing to offer something like a conditional package that would entail as much as a second-round pick this year and up to a second-round pick next year, the Packers would be nuts to not take it.
Frankly, it feels personal at this point, and that’s no surprise. Rodgers reportedly wanted Packers G.M. Brian Gutekunst to be fired a couple of years ago, something Rodgers never really tried to refute. Now, two years later, Gutekunst has a chance to exact a little revenge — and so he is.
The problem for the Packers is that, the longer they drag their feet, the more pissed off (and in turn motivated) Rodgers will be to have a great season in 2023. He already has sold himself on the narrative that the Packers wanted him back after the season before something changed, even though he later contradicted himself on the notion that he believed the Packers wanted him back when 2022 concluded.
The NFL, like many businesses, is driven by deadlines. The challenge becomes determining a deadline for this trade. As previously mentioned, the Packers are willing to wait until the draft. The ultimate deadline, if we take it to the extreme, is Week One, at which point his $58.3 million option bonus becomes guaranteed base salary if not exercised.
For the Jets, what’s the deadline? There’s a desire to get it done now. But do they need Rodgers now? Do they need him for the start of the offseason program? He knows the system, given his connection to offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Given Rodgers’s recent habit of skipping OTAs, maybe the Jets should take the position that the real deadline is the opening of training camp.
Regardless, unless someone blinks, the deal isn’t happening now. Given what the Packers currently want, it’s definitely not happening. They’ll need to move toward New York’s position.
And here’s the question. With no owner in Green Bay, who’s in position to tell the front office to give a little in order to get rid of a guy they no longer want?