The Green Bay Packers 2022 season comes to a bitter end with a heartbreaking loss to the Detroit Lions. After a drama filled season with plenty of hills and valleys, the Packers 2023 off-season begins, and just as the sun will rise in the morning, the off-season has already begun with the ultimate question pressing every Packers fan’s mind, “Where will Rodgers be next year?” Whether it be through cryptic tweets, Pat McAfee interviews or just good ole off-season speculation, the question remains. So let us dive into the thick of the annual Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers drama. And maybe a break-up might just help the Packers move into the next era of their franchise.
So where did this all start, well let us rewind the clocks back to 2020. The year the infamous COVID-19 induced “at home draft” ensued. The day of the draft, while on the Pat McAfee show, Rodgers expressed his desire for the Packers to invest in his talents by drafting a skill position offensive player with their first round pick. Considering the fact that Rodgers in his 15 year career has only one touchdown pass to a first round pick player, (yes you read that right) one can understand the frustration of Rodgers. So what does Green Bay Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst do? He trades up for an offensive skill position player, but maybe not the one Rodgers had in mind. Instead of drafting a receiving target for the former MVP, Gutekunst drafts Utah State Quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick. Instantly articles are written on the fire ready to spawn in Wisconsin. Does Rodgers request a trade? No, he has one of the most efficient quarterback seasons in NFL history and wins his 3rd MVP award.
In the off-season on next year’s draft night, ESPN insider Adam Schefter sends out a bombshell report, explaining Rodgers supposedly wants out of Green Bay. After an entire off-season worth of speculation does Rodgers request a trade? No, he has another one of the most efficient quarterback seasons in NFL History and wins his 4th MVP award. At this point however things begin to change. Pieces shift in Green Bay and Rodgers’ star receiver Davante Adams requests a trade out of Green Bay, Rodgers is signed to an extension and the drama sorts itself out for the third year in a row. Throughout this off-season Rodgers expresses his thoughts on the team and makes it abundantly known that he is not willing to ride out a rebuild.
After a disappointing 2022 season the drama has come back and the Packers find themselves to be at a crossroads.Now that the 2022 off-season is upon the Packers, the veterans hand chosen by Rodgers such as Randall Cobb and Mercedes Lewis are set to walk in free-agency. All signs point towards a potential rebuild in Green Bay, something Rodgers has explicitly noted he will not sit through. Reports suggest Jordan Love will request a trade if Rodgers returns as the team’s starter and several teams are scrambling for a quarterback. Teams such as the New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans appear to believe their rosters are set for contention with the right quarterback. Ian Rappaport of NFL Network suggests the Jets are putting together potential trade packages for the 39 year old veteran, many of which involve first round picks. Very rarely does an opportunity like this present itself, a chance to fetch draft capital and hit the reset button on a team that is not ready for contention.
A World Without Rodgers
Getting to the specifics, a post June 1st trade of Rodgers would only net the Packers $15.83 million in dead cap while adding $15.79 million in cap savings this year, while also getting the Packers an early out from the record breaking 3 year $150 million extension signed last year. The fact that the Packers would be taking on a portion of his contract would boost his trade value as well, potentially increasing the asking price by a few mid round picks. It is important to note that it is always better to trade a veteran a year too early than a year too late. Rodgers’ trade value will never be higher from this point on.
In a hypothetical Rodgers trade, the Packers would finally get a chance to evaluate Jordan Love’s abilities. With the additional draft capital and the salary cap savings, a trade would help hit the reset button for a team that appears to desperately need one. To quote rock band Kublai Khan TX, “this is the new beginning” a world separate from the annual off-season drama and an opportunity to move forward. While there is no denying what Rodgers has done for this city, this franchise and this fan base, not everything can last forever and a trade would maximize the assets gained from a breakup.
While there may be several reasons to move on from Rodgers, the jaw dropping plays, the otherworldly talent and the several unforgettable memories make conversations like this difficult. While Rodgers has done so much for the Packers fan base, a trade just might be the best way to help out both parties, allowing Rodgers to compete for a few more years, and for the Packers to begin their rebuild. So what do you think? Should the Packers trade Aaron Rodgers or run it back another season? For everything NFC North related keep it here on NFCNorthReport.com