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It appears that the four-time NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers, may have played his final game with the Green Bay Packers. Despite a subpar season, Rodgers is owed approximately $59 million in salary for the 2023 campaign and is unlikely to retire. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the franchise is seeking to move on from Rodgers and would only trade him to an AFC team.
Despite Rodgers’ outstanding career and achievements, the Packers have Jordan Love waiting in the wings since his first-round pick in 2020. Rodgers failed to reach 4,000 passing yards for the first time since 2017 and had a career-worst TD:INT ratio of 26:12. He also threw the most interceptions (12) since 2008.
In a recent interview, Rodgers stated that he is open to honest and direct conversations with the Packers and a possible trade wouldn’t offend or make him feel like a victim. He also noted that a trade is currently only conjecture until he decides on his future.
Rodgers’ $150 million contract extension, signed in March, includes a guaranteed $59.465 million if he plays in 2023, with a salary-cap charge of $31,623,570 for next season. The contract makes it difficult, but not impossible, for Rodgers to be traded, as it would result in significant dead money on the Packers’ salary cap.
The Packers are projected to be approximately $16 million over the salary cap, with a cap hit of $31.6 million in 2023 after Rodgers’ option bonus is exercised. The deadline for this option is March 15, which marks the start of the new league year.
According to Rodgers, several teams, due to COVID, are facing salary-cap constraints and pushing more money into deals with void years for easier cap hits.
The New York Jets are considered the leading candidate to trade for Rodgers, with a Super Bowl-caliber defense and young skill position talent led by running back Breece Hall and receiver Garrett Wilson. The Jets have also hired Nathaniel Hackett as their new offensive coordinator, who has a good relationship with Rodgers and previously worked as the OC in Green Bay.
Rodgers, who is 39 years old and has a career record of 139-66-1, would be a significant acquisition for the Jets, who are committed to acquiring a veteran quarterback. He would also have significant box-office appeal. However, there will be other veteran quarterback options available, such as Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Packers and Jets do not play each other in the 2023 regular season. Green Bay is currently +3000 to win Super Bowl 58 in February 2024 and the Jets +4000, which would change dramatically with a Rodgers trade.
The future of Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers remains uncertain, but one thing is for sure, the NFL world will be closely monitoring this developing story.