“The Kansas City Chiefs have traded the first pick in the 2013 draft to the Green Bay Packers for… Aaron Rodgers.”
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org