Rationalizing the Trade Aaron Rodgers Crazy Talk

Football Friday: The Packers home opener is against the Washington Redskins. Both teams are 0-1 coming off of losses to good NFC teams.

“The Kansas City Chiefs have traded the first pick in the 2013 draft to the Green Bay Packers for… Aaron Rodgers.”

Huh?

Seems about as unlikely as discovering that the Earth is actually flat or the moon is made out of cheese. Yet a recent thread over at GBPackerAddicts.com suggested this is an idea which should be explored.

My immediate response after seeing this topic come across on Twitter was a quick and resounding no. Why would this even be considered as a possibility was my first thought? Trade away the best player in the NFL for draft picks?

Crazy talk.

After my initial mix of shock and anger that this was even being discussed had passed, I began to wonder what it would take to actually make this Madden-esque move a reality. How heavy of a price would it cost the Chiefs, or any other team, to acquire a player of Aaron Rodgers caliber?

Now, before continuing, let me state the following: I COMPLETELY disagree with the premise of even considering trading Aaron Rodgers. Completely. Topics like this are what the offseason is made for, when the time passes very slowly. It’s just talk, nothing else. And I’ll safely assume if any negative comments are left about my suggesting this become a reality means only the title was read, and not the post.

Before going on, I repeat: I COMPLETELY disagree with the premise of even considering trading Aaron Rodgers.

Now on to the topic at hand.

Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the NFL. Without question. His statistics speak for themselves. He is the most important player at the most important position on the field. Removing Rodgers from the Packers would be catastrophic. His backup, Graham Harrell, is totally unproven at this point, and to think he would have to lead the Packers for an extended period of time is a frightening concept.

The Chiefs ranked 24th in total offense in 2012, including dead last in passing offense. 211 points scored over a 16 game schedule is downright pitiful, and their total of 2 wins in 2012 reflects the dreadfulness of their offense. But the Chiefs do have a few things working in their favor this off season. They hired Andy Reid as their new head coach, a proven successful offensive coach. They have Jamal Charles, a three time 1,000 yard running back, something Rodgers has not had since 2009. And they have Dwayne Bowe, a three time 1,000 yard receiver who would benefit greatly from anything resembling quality QB play.

The Chiefs own the first pick in the 2013 draft. If this draft day trade were to happen, the Packers would most likely select Geno Smith to become the next Packers quarterback. Whether they would choose to go with Smith from day one, or stick with Harrell, who has been on the roster since 2010, does not matter. The fact is the Packers would suffer greatly without having Rodgers under center. Top notch wide receivers and skilled tight ends don’t mean anything if they have no one to throw them the ball. Not having a proven running game does not make matters any better. The reality is the Packers would fall into the lower third of the NFL for at least a few years.

So in addition to this years’ number one selection, what else would it cost the Chiefs to make this fantasy deal a reality?

Adding Rodgers would immediately make the Chiefs better. If they were fortunate enough to have two victories under the stellar play of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn last year, what would Rodgers in year one bring? Five, maybe six? Whatever it would be, it would almost certainly not equal two victories in 2013. It would move the Chiefs much further down the draft board for 2014, and this is something that the Packers know. Would the Chiefs’ two third round selections in 2013 and their first round pick in 2014 be enough for the Packers to make up for this substantial loss? Maybe. Throwing in recently acquired Alex Smith as a little insurance might not be a bad idea either for this completely fictional trade to come to fruition.

The first pick in the 2013 draft, the Chiefs’ two third round picks in the 2013 draft, their 2014 first round selection, and QB Alex Smith. That is what it would take for me to even consider trading Rodgers in this completely fictionalized scenario, and that probably isn’t close to enough considering the price to pay in the locker room as well as with the fan base.

Trading Aaron Rodgers is crazy talk. You just do not trade away the best player in the game, even if his next salary will likely occupy 20-40% of the salary cap. Hopefully this exercise shows the extremely heavy price it would cost the Chiefs, or any team, to enter into a dialogue with the Packers about making this a reality.

Finally, in case you missed it earlier: I COMPLETELY disagree with the premise of even considering trading Aaron Rodgers.

John Rehor is a  staff writer at PackersTalk.com and co-host of Cheesehead Radio. To contact John follow him on Twitter @jrehor or email johnrehor@yahoo.com

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  • Crefan

    It better be a 1st 2nd and 3rd in 2013,2014,2015 and even then I don’t think I would do something that stupid.

    • Kind of my thinking too-my even answering the phone was for the 2 firsts, 2 thirds, and Alex Smith. And even then it probably wouldn’t be that long of a conversation

  • CD Angeli

    Immediately after the 1999 season, I began a full-throated campaign to trade Brett Favre away. He was still revered in the league, was only 30 (like Rodgers), and would have commanded a ransom in trade. Of course, there was no Packerverse in those days, so my campaign was limited to whomever could hear me outside my apartment.

    The idea was to get a Herschel Walker deal in return, set up a dynasty, and all live happily ever after. In retrospect, It was a great theory. But, seriously, would you trust Mike Sherman with all those draft picks? In order for Dallas to have turned Walker into three straight Lombardi Trophies, they had to hit on all of those picks and make sure they got the right players in return. I don’t know if outgoing Ron Wolf would have been able to do it, and I know Sherman would have screwed it up.

    My point is discussions like this are best left to the guys who don’t believe Madden is real life. There’s a surreal aura around Aaron Rodgers that makes everyone handle him just a little differently, and to a degree, its justified. No player suffered the indignities that he has in his career, and still come out to be the NFL’s best player. I also believe strongly in karma, and don’t think it would be in THompson or McCarthy’s best interest to be known as the GM/coach that dismissed all their HOF quarterbacks.

    The beautiful thing about the Walker trade is that the Cowboys traded away an aging running back and got Emmitt Smith in return, along with umpteen Pro Bowl players to boot. Who would you possibly get that would replace Aaron Rodgers?

    • The only reason-and I mean the only logical reason-that this would even be considered is because Rodgers’ trade value will never be any higher than it is right now. He’s the best player in the league, and the amount of compensation that the Packers would receive in return would be unprecedented.

      But trading Rodgers would also be giving up a minimum 1-3 years of Super Bowl competitive teams. Sure draft picks are nice, and we all know Ted loves his draft picks. But if he were to ever pull this deal off, he better have one hell of a quick exit from Green Bay, because fans would be out with torches and pitchforks looking for him. And what if those draft picks acquired in exchange for Rodgers never amounted to anything?

      Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about this trade ever taking place. Or do we? Never know with Ted Thompson

  • Mark

    This is a silly post. Even for Smith, two #1s and two #3s, you still–in my mind–haven’t even approached a deal worth considering. The Rams gave up almost as much for RG3, who at the time, was something of an unknown commodity, not an NFL MVP, Super Bowl Champion, greatest player in the game. John, I know you pointed out–many times–that trading Rodgers would be utterly foolish. I think that’s kind of where this conversation ends. But if we must…give me Smith and the Chiefs’ #1 pick for the next 10 years, and maybe I consider the trade for a moment or two (but then I quickly come to my senses and reject it).

    You don’t trade the (maybe) greatest player of all-time. Stop being stupid, Packer fans (not you John).

    Here’s how it goes down…

    Step 1: Pay the man.
    Step 2: Celebrate.
    Step 3: Win more Super Bowls.
    Step 4: Celebrate some more.

    • The post isn’t silly-and I’m not just saying that because I wrote it. The fact that someone would even consider this is the silly part.

      Actually, its downright stupid-which you pointed out.

      Although, his trade value would never be higher than it is at this moment…

  • DrewTheDraftGuru

    I’d look for three 1st round picks and QB Alex Smith. I feel like Alex Smith could basically be a throw in, much like Kyle Orton seemed to be in the Denver-Chicago trade for Cutler.

    • Three firsts and Alex Smith: if you were the GM of the Packers, and that trade offer came across your desk, are you saying you would pull the trigger on it?

  • Mark

    3 first round picks and Alex Smith, eh?

    Ok, I have a follow up question: the enclosed garage where you typed that post…among the thousands of open paint containers, tubes of airplane glue, and heavy duty markers, where do you put the computer? Does it go on top of the glue and underneath the paint? Or is it beneath the glue and above the paint?

    • My set up is my computer sits on top of open kerosene containers. The open paint cans are on shelves up above me, with a high powered ceiling fan circulating the fumes downward so I get the full effect. Paint chips will occasionally fall from the ceiling into my coffee cup-sometimes they dissolve, other times I’m able to get them before they sink to the bottom.

      And I always have the garage door shut with the car running. I sure do love the fumes.

  • Can’t we at least get some burnt ends out of the deal? Somebody likes BBQ!

    • You read AND left a comment?

      My year is a success 🙂

  • pkrjones

    JRehor,
    First- Don’t reference a thread from GBPackerAddicts if you didn’t even bother to READ the thread, or the premise. The thread began because of a “what if” from a radio sports-talk show asking: “what if Kansas City offered to trade this year’s #1 draft pick, and ’14 & ’15’s first and 2nd round picks for AR.”
    Second – Strongly Disagreeing (three times) is a bit redundant, and doesn’t add any supporting facts why you believe this trade idea to be so insane, stupid, or “crazy talk”.

    You made A LOT of assumptions in outlining this premise… that AR would be traded for (2) 1st round picks and (2) 3rd round picks; that Alex Smith was part of this deal (he wasn’t…a serviceable QB was the correct verbage used); and that Geno Smith would be the #1 ’13 pick to “replace” Rodgers ~ what a waste of a pick, which is why Ted Thompson would never do that.

    (3) 1st round picks and (2) second rounders, in addition to the currently held Packer picks, would be GOLD in Thompson’s hands. THAT is why I and a few others would take that trade.

    • PKRJones:

      Thanks for reading the post. I appreciate it very much. But please allow me to clear up a few things you point out in your comment:

      1-I did read the thread over at Addicts, and am well aware that it was started as a result of talk radio in KC.

      2-Appreciate the concern over my using the “I strongly disagree” statement three times. I’ll remember that the next time I decide to write a post on my website. It was done so to clarify that while some may think this is a good idea, I think even discussing trading Rodgers is foolish beyond belief.

      3-Assumptions were made-you got me there. Much the same as anyone who had a thought about this fantasy trade taking place made assumptions about what they would or would not do in the same case. I said the Packers would draft Smith-so what? Does it matter? I said the Chiefs should throw in Alex Smith-who cares? It’s discussing a trade that will never happen.

      You agree with making the trade, I do not. It’s done and over. And if in the event this trade ever did take place, I will say, in public, that you were right and I was wrong. OK?

      Thanks for reading.

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  • Jack

    Chiefs #1,3, and 4 picks in 2013. Chiefs #1,2,3 picks in 2014. Chiefs 2015 1st and 4th picks. I would also need Jamaal Charles and Alex Smith. The Packers would have enough 1st round picks to take a LT this year, a QB (Manziel, Bridgewater, Mariotta) next year in the 1st or draft BPA. In 2014 we can draft for depth and possibly a QB if we didn’t get one the year before (Braxton Miller).

    Only then would I even consider it, though if I were TT, I would need more.

    • Now those are some serious demands. And the type of demands that GB should absolutely ask for if this idea were to ever go through the mind of Ted Thompson.