With Anthony Davis being traded to the LA Lakers this past week and becoming the “Robin” to Lebron James “Batman” what realistic trades could the Pack pull off to land Aaron Rodgers a partner in crime?
Any trade for a superstar will almost certainly involve the Packers giving up multiple assets. Using the precedent set by the recent Anthony Davis and Odell Beckham Jr trades the Packers would be forced to surrender at least one young prospect and multiple draft picks. So who could the Packers target?
Von Miller: Is Joe Flacco elite? The perpetual question may be going through a number of Broncos veterans’ heads this off-season. Will a solid season from Flacco be enough to push the Broncos over the Chargers and Chiefs in the AFC West? It seems highly unlikely that Miller, elite as he is, has three years left to wait for Drew Lock to develop. The allure of playing with a true game changer at quarterback and a chance for more rings could cause the sack specialist to welcome a change of scenery.
Possible trade package: Kyler Fackrell, 2020 2nd round pick, 2021 4th round pick.
Luke Kuechly: Green Bay’s significant investment in their defensive line this off-season signals their desire to flip their much maligned defense into an elite unit. By signing Preston and Za’Darius Smith, and using their highest draft pick in a decade on edge rusher Rashaun Gary, the Packers sent a message to the rest of the NFL. Their defense will be the crutch of the team no longer. Nonetheless, questions remain on the second level. Blake Martinez has developed into a solid player in the middle, but he does not provide the football IQ and game changing ability to hault offensive sets Kuechly employs. Bringing in the 5-time First Team All-Pro would vault Mike Pettine’s unit into the next stratosphere.
Possible trade package: Blake Martinez, 2020 3rd round pick, 2021 2nd round pick.
Deandre Hopkins: The Houston Texans selected a true receiving force with the 27th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. With the 26th pick the Packers chose…Datone Jones. Imagine the jump ball specialist snagging passes from Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau! The All-World pass-catcher just completed a season where he recorded 115 catches, for 1572 yards, and 11 TDs, with zero drops. Those are outrageous numbers in any era. Hopkins won’t come cheap as he is one of the elite players in the NFL in his prime. Nonetheless, the Packers should consider offering Hopkins a path to play meaningful football into late January. Rescuing the former Clemson receiver from Houston won’t come cheap, nevertheless the idea of Davante Adams on one side of Aaron Rodgers, and Hopkins on the other has mouth-watering potential.
Possible trade package: Josh Jackson, 2020 1st round pick, 2021 2nd round pick, 2021 4th round pick.
Jalen Ramsey: Green Bay needs to fix their secondary issues once and for all. Even on a one year rental, Ramsey is a worthy investment for the Packers. Remember the deal the Patriots signed Darrelle Revis to? Bill Belichick gave his All-Pro corner a high yearly salary with year to year opt-out options. A similar contract would be a fantastic idea for the team to look into should it look to acquire Ramsey. True shutdown corners significantly aid star QBs in their quests for Super Bowls. Remember Charles Woodson? Tom Brady first had recent Hall of Fame inductee Ty Law, then Revis and now Stephon Gilmore. Peyton Manning had Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib. The Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman pairing in Seattle, while tumultuous, helped to establish the franchises’ long run of recent success. A trade for Jalen Ramsey could take the Packers defense to historic levels.
Possible trade package: Kevin King, 2020 1st round pick, 2021 2nd round pick.
AJ Green: The departure of Green from Cincinnati has been widely speculated since the team fired long time coach Marvin Lewis. A new coaching staff would seemingly wish to install their own players to run the offense, leading to the credence that the team will select a quarterback with a high round draft pick to replace Andy Dalton. A full strip and rebuild has been sorely needed in Cincy for years, but this hardly fits with Green’s timeline. The silky smooth receiver will turn 31 this off-season, and one would think he would at least like the chance to compete for a Superbowl. The 7-time Pro Bowler is going into the last year of his contract, and carries just a $3 million dead cap hit for the Bengals should they choose to move on. The Packers could boost their offense in an instant by trading for Green. Magnifying the Superbowl window in Aaron Rodgers latter years on the cheap should be a top priority. If the route running savant from Georgia can remain healthy, this could be an intelligent piece of business by Brian Gutekunst.
Possible trade package: 2020 3rd round pick
Patrick Peterson: The Cardinals reportedly shopped the former LSU standout early this off-season, as it was hypothesized he had asked for a trade from the floundering desert franchise. As the pillar of the Cardinals defense since entering the league, the 4-time First Team All-Pro has done nothing but produce. Peterson maintains the top notch speed, length, and intelligence needed to shadow any receiver in the NFL. Pro Football Focus’ number five corner in 2018 took home a grade of 82.5 from the analytics website, and now enters his age-29 season in the second last year of his contract. Even if 2019 number one pick Kyler Murray is truly the franchise saviour, the Cardinals have a long road to contention. The NFC West may be the league’s most competitive division, as the Rams come off a Superbowl appearance, the Seahawks remain a playoff contender with Russell Wilson at the helm, and the 49ers enter year 2 of the Jimmy Garappolo-Kyle Shanahan project. A trade of Peterson would cost the Cardinals just 1.269 million of dead cap. Will the 8-time Pro Bowler wish to continue along the Larry Fitzgerald path and remain loyal to the franchise that drafted him?
Possible trade package: Lane Taylor, Josh Jones, 2020 2nd round pick, 2021 4th round pick
While some of these scenarios may seem far-fetched, the real question to ask is do you believe any of the above players’ current teams will be Superbowl contenders in the near future? The Packers, with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, will at least remain in the conversation. Many of these veterans have yet to taste even an iota of real team success in their careers. Only Miller has basked in the glow of the Lombardi trophy, and his Broncos have suffered mightily since Peyton Manning’s retirement. The agony of being a superstar while watching your team collapse around you year after year has to be taxing for any athlete. Thus, especially after the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, more star NFL players could follow the same route, and look to find their way to greener pastures.Nick is a lifelong Packers fan. 4th and 26 was on his 13th birthday, unlucky. Follow him @CANDRAFTGEEK647 on Twitter for all your Packers draft needs and questions.