Aaron Rodgers could be on the trading block.
Adam Schefter raised eyebrows on ESPN Saturday morning when he used stronger words about the likelihood Rodgers’ time in Green Bay is over after 18 seasons.
“Make no mistake: Both sides are fully aware that a trade is a very real scenario this offseason for Aaron Rodgers,” Schefter said. “The Packers are expected to move on from certain players, which Aaron Rodgers probably will not like. The issue here will be the $110 million left on his contract, and which team could afford it. But there is a real possibility that at some point this offseason, Aaron Rodgers is going to be traded.”
With that in mind, these are five teams that would make the most sense as Rodgers’ next destination.
The Titans have an out in Ryan Tannehill’s contract and are plausibly a quarterback upgrade away from being Super Bowl contenders. A strong run game led by Derrick Henry would ease the burden of Rodgers having to shoulder the whole offense. Perhaps Rodgers could benefit from a healthy tension with an in-your-face coach like Mike Vrabel. Rodgers sparked TItans rumors last offseason when he purchased a home outside of Nashville.
New York Jets
Rodgers to the Jets was endorsed by none other than the franchise’s most famous former player, Joe Namath, earlier this week. Broadway Joe even offered Rodgers to wear his long-retired No. 12 jersey. The Jets are about as talented as any team in the NFL. All they are missing is a quarterback.
A Rodgers trade to the Jets would be a remarkable parallel to 2008 when Brett Favre was traded to the Jets and Rodgers became the Green Bay starter. Rodgers has been the subject of considerable national attention for the bulk of his career, but it’s an interesting question to ponder how he would respond to the added spotlight of New York.
Regardless of what the Dolphins say publicly about Tua Tagovailoa, how could they not be concerned with his durability? The QB sustained three concussions and missed four regular season games, plus the team’s playoff game this past season. With Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, a cerebral head coach in Mike McDaniel and a city that attracts celebrities, the Dolphins could be a real dark horse in the Rodgers race.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders make sense here because of the chemistry Rodgers developed over eight years in Green Bay with star wideout Davante Adams. The team has already signaled its intentions to move on from Derek Carr, who was their primary starter for the last nine years.
The Raiders have also been speculated about as a potential destination for Tom Brady, as it would mark a reunion with his longtime former Patriots offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels.
Jim Irsay’s patience is visibly wearing thin with patchwork quarterbacks like Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan since Andrew Luck’s stunning retirement following the 2018 season. If a solid quarterback was paired with elite running back Jonathan Taylor, the offense could flourish. Jeff Saturday, who was the Colts’ interim coach this year and is a candidate for the permanent job, was teammates with Rodgers in 2012.
These were all AFC teams, as the Packers may be hesitant to trade Rodgers within the NFC. However, if they were willing to do that, the Falcons, Saints and Panthers could all enter the fray.
Earlier this offseason, Packers salary cap expert Ken Ingalls wrote a Twitter thread explaining the salary cap situation with Rodgers. The Packers would incur about $40 million in dead cap if they part with him this offseason. They would face a decision whether to eat it all in 2023 or smooth it between 2023 and 2024 if Rodgers is officially traded after June 1. The rub is that the dead cap situation only gets direr for the Packers if he is traded or released or decides to retire in the next two years.
Regarding what Schefter said about teammates Rodgers would want to remain in Green Bay, he was vocal in an interview with Pat McAfee earlier this week about playing with tight ends Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan, plus wideouts Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard.
Rodgers turned 39 in December. He won the MVP in 2020 and 2021, but battled a broken thumb and did not play nearly as well in 2022. The Packers went 8-9 this past season, missing the playoffs after failing to win a do-or-die Week 18 game against the Lions at Lambeau Field.