It’s practically the anniversary of that point the Jets flew a legendary Packers quarterback to Cleveland and crammed him into a small interview room at the Browns’ stadium earlier than a preseason sport to introduce him as their subsequent quarterback.
“This is unique,” Brett Favre said on that day, Aug. 7, 2008.
That marriage labored till it didn’t. The Jets began the 2008 season 8-3, Favre suffered an damage (however performed by it), they misplaced 4 of their final 5 video games and coach Eric Mangini was fired. The Packers wished to trade Favre — the Jets solely had to surrender a conditional fourth-round choose for the 39-year-old — due to who that they had ready in the wings:
A 25-year-old Aaron Rodgers.
Fifteen years later, and right here we’re, a legendary 39-year-old Packers quarterback (Rodgers, 4 MVPs, a Super Bowl and 10 Pro Bowl picks later) presumably on his approach out to make approach for a younger quarterback waiting in the wings (Jordan Love) … with the Jets on line one.
Rodgers has mentioned he hasn’t made any decisions about whether or not he’ll even play in 2023 — or if he needs that to be in Green Bay — however as the Jets desperately search an improve at quarterback, anticipate them to be concerned in any trade discussions if the Packers do critically think about shifting him.
“All the trade stuff is conjecture until I decide what I want to do moving forward for myself,” Rodgers mentioned on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday.
But if Rodgers does maintain enjoying and turns into accessible? Expect the Jets to be in heavy pursuit. What would that seem like?
Here’s all the things to contemplate with Rodgers and the Jets.
Would the Packers really trade him?
The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman, who covers the Packers, wrote this about Rodgers on Tuesday: It appears as if the Packers nonetheless imagine Rodgers offers them the finest probability to win proper now. Whether that’s extra an endorsement of Rodgers or an indictment of Love stays unknown. Whatever cap hell the Packers discover themselves in down the highway can be price it in the event that they win a second Super Bowl with Rodgers.
Rodgers, although, sounded ready for the chance of enjoying for one other crew when he spoke to McAfee on Tuesday.
“If they feel like it was in the best interests of the team to move forward, so be it,” he mentioned. “Again, that wouldn’t offend me, and it wouldn’t make me feel like a victim. I wouldn’t have any animosity towards the team. I love the organization, I love the city, I love the region. … I have a lot of love for what’s gone on in Green Bay. And I’d love to finish there, I would. I might have finished there. Who knows?”
Even at 39, coming off his worst season in a whereas, Rodgers would probably nonetheless internet a vital trade return. Plus, the Packers might get out from sufficient of the $110 million remaining on the extension he signed final offseason to have some monetary respiration room whereas rolling with a quarterback (Love) nonetheless on his rookie contract.
Packers mailbag: Should they go with Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love? Why no coaching changes?
What would it not take to get Rodgers?
Here’s the return on some current notable quarterback trades:
• The Falcons traded Matt Ryan (37 years outdated) to the Colts for a third-round choose.
• The Seahawks traded Russell Wilson (34) and a fourth-round choose to the Broncos for two first-round and two second-round picks, a fifth-rounder and three gamers (QB Drew Lock, DL Shelby Harris, TE Noah Fant).
• The Texans traded Deshaun Watson (27) and a sixth-round choose to the Browns for three first-round, one third-round and two fourth-round picks.
• The Colts traded Carson Wentz (30) and a second-round choose to the Commanders for one second-round and two third-round picks.
• In 2021, the Lions traded Matthew Stafford (then 33) to the Rams for two first-round and one third-round choose, plus QB Jared Goff.
Based on that standards, it could be shocking if Rodgers have been traded for something lower than a number of first-round picks, and doubtless extra. Any buying crew can be sensible, although, to connect circumstances to the trade in the occasion that Rodgers retired after 2023.
Would the Jets be prepared to trade that a lot? By all accounts, proprietor Woody Johnson is prepared to do whatever it takes to improve at quarterback and get the Jets again to the playoffs. The thought of Rodgers in a Jets uniform — and what that might do for ticket gross sales — has to pique Johnson’s curiosity.
Salary cap implications
Rodgers has a difficult contract — Over the Cap has a helpful explainer on it — however the half that issues for the Jets is that any trade would probably come post-June 1 (to avoid wasting Green Bay cash) and that they’d probably be inheriting preliminary cap hits of $15.8 million in 2023 and $32.5 million in 2024.
OTC initiatives the Jets to be over the cap, although they will rapidly get underneath it by restructuring contracts (C.J. Mosley, John Franklin-Myers) and/or reducing gamers for financial savings (Corey Davis, Carl Lawson, Braxton Berrios, Jordan Whitehead).
How a lot does Rodgers even have left in the tank?
Rodgers’ expertise are on the decline, which is comprehensible at this level in his profession. He received MVP in 2020 and 2021, however in 2022 threw for his fewest yards (3,695) in any season by which he performed no less than 15 video games. He additionally threw his most interceptions (12) since his first yr as a starter in 2008.
In a win-and-in Week 18 sport towards the Lions, who had certainly one of the worst passing defenses this season, Rodgers mustered solely 205 yards and one landing. The Packers lost 20-16, ending the season 8-9.
Football Outsiders ranked Rodgers twenty first amongst QBs in DVOA (defense-adjusted worth over common). He additionally ranked twenty fifth in EPA (anticipated factors added) per dropback, per TruMedia, simply forward of Jets quarterback Mike White (twenty sixth).
He additionally handled a damaged thumb and accidents to his ribs and knee throughout the season.
Why Rodgers is smart for the Jets
The Jets really feel like they’re a quarterback — and revamped offensive line — away from competition. And Rodgers, even when he’s on the decline, can be higher than any quarterback the Jets have employed in a very long time. His star energy is nice sufficient for him to doubtlessly entice different gamers to join the Jets, too.
Rodgers additionally has a shut relationship with Zach Wilson. Wilson sitting again and studying from Rodgers for a yr or two — if the Jets don’t transfer on from him this offseason, that’s — wouldn’t be the worst factor.
Wilson is “super talented,” Rodgers informed McAfee. “I think a little humility is good for all of us at various times in our careers. … I hope that whoever they decide to go with at coordinator can work with him and break down a lot of fundamentals for him and get him playing on time. I think he’s talented enough to have a long career in the league.”
Would Rodgers really wish to come to the Jets?
If Rodgers turns into accessible, the Jets have each intention of getting concerned in these discussions. Rodgers doesn’t have a no-trade clause, however, to a diploma, he’ll probably be capable of dictate the place he finally ends up.
“You want to be part of a team that’s going to win a championship,” Rodgers mentioned Tuesday.
Does Rodgers view the Jets as Super Bowl contenders? There is definitely some enchantment. The Jets have a reliable No. 1 broad receiver (Garrett Wilson), certainly one of the NFL’s finest defenses and a powerful younger core of expertise — with an proprietor prepared to spend to improve the roster.
But there are additionally loads of cracks in the armor Rodgers might discover if he appears carefully.
The offensive line, which was a mess by the finish of 2022, might should be utterly reworked. The solely locks to return as starters are Laken Tomlinson and Alijah Vera-Tucker.
Rodgers highlighted Garrett Wilson and operating again Breece Hall when speaking about Zach Wilson — however Hall can be coming off an ACL damage in the fall and sure received’t seem like the similar participant instantly. The different broad receivers anticipated to return (Elijah Moore, Denzel Mims) simply had lackluster seasons. And on protection, the Jets have holes at linebacker and security, and might should half methods with Lawson or Mosley for cap causes.
On the plus aspect, although: Thursday, the Jets hired former Packers offensive coordinator (and 15-game Broncos head coach) Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator, changing Mike LaFleur. There is a perception round the league that the crew that employed Hackett would have a higher shot at getting Rodgers due to their shut relationship.
Jets hire former Broncos HC Hackett as OC
So the Jets’ finest hope for getting Rodgers includes placing collectively an interesting offensive workers, fixing the offensive line and cultivating a roster that provides Rodgers purpose to decide to the crew for no less than one yr, however ideally multiple.
It’s additionally potential the Jets will determine it’s too dangerous to attend out the Rodgers scenario. They might as a substitute pursue Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, whom they may purchase as quickly as the Super Bowl ends.
Other competitors for Rodgers
Another issue: The Jets probably wouldn’t be the solely crew with eyes for Rodgers. ESPN reported that the Packers wouldn’t be prepared to trade him inside the NFC.
If that’s true, these groups might make sense as candidates for Rodgers:
• Raiders: A reunion with broad receiver Davante Adams.
• Dolphins: The finest supporting forged on this record.
• Patriots: Not a higher general roster than the Jets, however they do have Bill Belichick, a top-level protection and higher offensive line.
• Titans: Derrick Henry, good teaching and a stable protection — although a extreme lack of pass-catchers.
• Colts: A crew in disarray, however they do have some items on offense and protection.
• Ravens: If they moved on from Lamar Jackson.
If the Packers did trade inside the NFC, the Giants, Buccaneers, Saints, Panthers and 49ers all make various levels of sense as potential locations.
(Top photograph: John Fisher / Getty Images)
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