Aaron Rodgers is done being a Green Bay Packer. The Green Bay Packers are seemingly done with Aaron Rodgers. The New York Jets seem to be all-in on obtaining Rodgers’ services. Match made in heaven, right? Pull the trigger and let’s get this over with huh? Not exactly. With a trade still not done, we’re left debating now, who has the leverage?
We’re hearing it from all over. That the Packers are the ones delaying this trade because they’re trying to get all that they can. Some people have called it “bush league.” They say that this trade was agreed upon and the Packers should just take what they can get. That’s laughable. Whether the Packers are ready to move on or not, they’re being asked to trade away the key player of one of their greatest eras. He can still play. So, they’re not going to do it for cheap.
Imagine the news coming out that the Packers traded Aaron Rodgers to the Jets for 5th round pick.
Trade Rodgers for Pennies
I asked AI to generate a picture of Packer fans coming down Lombardi Ave if the Packers traded Rodgers for say a 5th round pick. The above picture is what I got.
Okay, I lied, that’s actually all of Springfield coming for Homer Simpson in the Simpsons Movie after he doomed the entire town.
However, if Brian Gutekunst decided to just “take what he can get” you could probably swap Homer’s name with his. And Springfield with Packers Nation.
So, there is definitely no chance Gutekunst just caves to whatever he can get.
There’s another comment I’ve seen that the Jets have all the leverage.
I simply don’t understand this one. We’re talking about a Jets team that clearly has zero confidence in their young Quarterback, Zach Wilson. That much is obvious if they’re courting a 39-year-old former MVP Quarterback who’s been mulling retirement. After Wilson, they have zero options unless they hit free agency and go after someone like Teddy Bridgewater, but that’s hard to imagine.
The Jets have a great roster, but they’re missing one thing. That’s a Quarterback. They know darn well, that Aaron Rodgers makes them a contender. If they don’t get him, they keep themselves in purgatory for another few years.
The Packers have the leverage.
Leverage Favors the Packers
Why are the Packers ready to move on? Because they have Jordan Love waiting to show what he can do. Unlike the Jets, the Packers have confidence in their Quarterback position without Aaron Rodgers on the roster. It might take a year or two, but they believe Jordan Love is their guy.
A slice of personal philosophy, I question whether or not the Packers have been able to run their offense the way Matt LaFleur wants, with Aaron Rodgers. I’ve always felt that the offense is Matt LaFleur taking his playbook to Aaron Rodgers, and Rodgers nixing 60% of the ideas. The want to move on could also be to finally run their offense the way they want.
Back to the leverage.
It’s become very obvious that the majority of Packers fans are ready to move on from Aaron Rodgers. We’re sorry to see him go, but we get it, and we’re ready to move on. Look across the trade to the New York Jets, and their fanbase is on the bandwagon and believes Rodgers is their key to their first Super Bowl win since 1969. Even Broadway Joe is ready to pull his retired number 12 from the rafters and place it on Aaron Rodgers as the new king of the Jets.
So that leaves Brian Gutekunst sitting back on his easy chair waiting for the Jets to cave just a little more. Meanwhile, Jets GM Joe Douglas possibly has his fanbase and owner breathing down his neck just a little bit more, eager to insure this trade is made and they can get ready for a Super Bowl run.
Oh, and did I mention new Jet, Allen Lazard, has talked about playing with Rodgers again too? Yeah, that doesn’t help their case either.
Is the salary cap price right though?
The Salary Cap
Another fun comment that has been raised from our friends in the big apple, is that we can’t afford Rodgers so we need to trade him.
Apparently, they’ve never heard of Russ Ball.
Actually, my gang green friends, the longer we wait, the smaller Rodgers’ cap number is for us in 2023. As of this moment, Aaron Rodgers hits the cap at $31.6M. If we trade him, that moves to $40.3M. But if the Packers wait until after June 1st to trade him, $15.8M would hit 2023, and $24.5M hits 2024. So, if the Packers wait until after the draft to deal Rodgers, they could save $25M in 2023.
That basically puts the Packers in the driver seat. There are benefits to the Packers waiting. Sure, most fans would love that #13 pick in the draft. But if we can use some money to front-load agreements for guys that will actually be on our roster, I’m all for it.
It’s strange to think that when the Packers extended Aaron Rodgers, they prepared for this moment, but it almost seems like it.
The Jets will surely be on the hot seat if they go through the draft unsure of Rodgers’ status still.
Of course, there’s the argument to come back to the Packers
Rodgers could still return?
I’ll make this brief. Some Jets fans argue that we don’t want him on our roster come camp cause he’ll be a distraction. So that gives them leverage. I will argue that the Packers don’t care. The Jets do. If they don’t have their QB to start camp, that puts them in a bad position. The Packers likely could care less if he’s still on their roster up until 2023 kickoff, they’ll probably have him there on paper only and tell him to stay home.
All in all, as I’ve said, the Packers have the leverage. We need this done far less than the Jets do. It could be another week or two as the two sides continue to play chicken, but eventually I believe the Jets could cave.
Greg Meinholz is a 24/7/365 Packers fan. When he’s not spending time with his family, he can be found meditating in his Packers shrine with a good beer. You can follow him on twitter at @gmeinholz.
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