The issues holding up Jets-Packers’ Aaron Rodgers deal
We have gone from the Aaron Rodgers Watch to the Aaron Rodgers Wait.
Rodgers told the world on Wednesday’s “The Pat McAfee Show” that he “intends” to play for the Jets.
The only issue now is whether and when the Jets and Packers can work out a trade that both sides agree to in order to get Rodgers in green and white.
The two sides are negotiating, but there appears to be a gulf in what they believe Rodgers should be traded for.
Pro Football Talk reported the Packers are seeking the Jets’ first-round pick this year (No. 13 overall) and also something in 2025 if Rodgers plays in 2024.
There is no deadline in sight to make this trade happen. Sometimes a player has a trigger date for bonuses in his contract that moves things along, but the way Rodgers’ contract is structured, the Packers can wait.
Most of Rodgers’ salary can convert to an option bonus for 2023, but it does not have to be executed until September.
If the Packers want any draft picks this year, then the April 27 draft becomes a deadline.
For the Jets, their offseason program begins April 17, and they surely want Rodgers to be able to get a playbook and start working with his new coaches and teammates.
All of this is the doomsday scenario. It is more likely the Jets and Packers reach a deal much sooner than that.
There have been conversations going on since Rodgers told the Jets he wanted to join the team last Friday. At some point, a compromise will be reached so both teams can move on.
Finding the right price for Rodgers is tricky because this is such an unusual trade.
We have seen teams like the Lions and Seahawks trade franchise quarterbacks for huge packages in recent years.
The Seahawks got two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick and three players in exchange for Russell Wilson and a fourth-round pick.
The Lions got two first-round picks, a third-round pick and Jared Goff in exchange for Matthew Stafford.
But Rodgers is 39 years old. Stafford and Wilson were just 33.
Rodgers is also due nearly $60 million this season, making the Jets less likely to give up more for him.
There is an interesting debate about which team has leverage.
The argument that the Packers have leverage is that the Jets have no other options at quarterback.
They are not going back to Zach Wilson, and there is nowhere else to turn at this point.
By Rodgers publicly declaring his desire to play for the Jets this week, there is a feeling that Jets owner Woody Johnson could get restless waiting for this to play out and tell general manager Joe Douglas to make a move.
On the flip side, the pressure on the Packers is that they have been clear about their desire to move on from Rodgers and turn things over to Jordan Love.
There are no other teams that have shown serious interest in acquiring Rodgers, and it’s not like the Packers can now say they want to take him back.
As this drags on, there also could be pressure on the Packers to do right by Rodgers, who delivered them a Super Bowl and is one of the greatest players in franchise history.
A prolonged public battle is not going to play well in Green Bay.
Right now, this is a staring contest between the Jets and the Packers.
Until someone blinks, all we can do is wait.