So, About that Aaron Rodgers Trade

For a little while, we’ve seen various football writers and commentators suggest that Aaron Rodgers is holding the Packers hostage (he did say he wouldn’t hold the team hostage).

Without being privy to the behind-the-scenes facts, it’s difficult to know what’s actually happening. What we can say, though, is that the Packers have been startlingly inactive.

An Aaron Rodgers Trade Could Be Coming to Fruition
Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Rodgers has tortured Vikings fans for a little while now, so there has been some widespread hope that he’d be shipped to the AFC. So far, that hasn’t happened.

The Packers, Aaron Rodgers, & an Improving NFC North

The Lions have made some wonderful additions during the offseason. Cameron Sutton – who Vikings writers far and wide were connecting to Minnesota – ended up going to the Michigan rival. C.J. Gardner-Johnson has similarly hopped over to Detroit, and so too have David Montgomery and Emmanuel Moseley. The fine folks at PFF give the Lions an A- for their work.

Meanwhile, Ryan Poles has been hard at work trying to ensure his Bears don’t continue living in the NFL’s basement.

The haul for the #1 pick, to my mind, was brilliant. Adding on all of that extra draft capital while also getting a WR1 for Justin Fields is a wonderful move for Chicago. They’ve since gone on to supercharge their LB position by adding Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards, which is to say nothing of beefing up their OL with the Nate Davis add and their defensive front with the DeMarcus Walker add.

Overall, some nice work from Poles. That Chicago team is going to get better.

And, of course, we all know by this point how the Vikings have done. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has attacked the team’s preeminent needs, bringing in Byron Murphy and Marcus Davenport to add youthful defensive talent who have a high ceiling. Dean Lowry and Josh Oliver are the other two external free agents to be added, which is to say nothing of the various internal FAs to remain in The Gopher State.

The Packers? Well, it’s been mostly crickets.

The aforementioned free agency grade article on PFF indicates that Green Bay has been shutout when it comes to adding external talent. They retained Keisean Nixon – a remarkable special teams player – and depth TE Tyler Davis. Otherwise, they’ve lost Allen Lazard and Jarran Reed. The slot reserved for additions? Goose egg. PFF offers up a very generous C- grade for the cheeseheads.

Jan 8, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleuer signals for the crowd to quiet down as quarterback Jordan Love (10) looks on during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

The above tweet from Over the Cap‘s Jason Fitzgerald suggests that the finances in an Aaron Rodgers deal are tricky to navigate. Previously, he has expanded on how it could all work. The basic tool on the OTC page for the Packers suggests that a standard trade will involve GB taking on more than $40 million in dead money. Pushing things back to a post-June 1 trade would lessen the number to just under $16 million in dead money.

Thankfully, I’m not in charge of sorting out Green Bay’s budget.

In the end, the Packers could still come out on top. Jordan Love is ready to take over as the QB1 in Green Bay and it’s very plausible that he thrives. There’s a ton of merit in drafting a QB and then letting him marinate for a few years behind a top-tier starter. The pressure is off in those early moments, allowing the young fella to fully grasp the mental component of the game while continuing to refine the physical skills necessary for on-field success.

Alas, we’ll need to wait and see. By and large, Vikings fans are enthused about shifting to Love since we all know how dangerous Rodgers can be.

At present, the Packers have just under $23.5 million in cap space. Their current QB1 – Mr. Rodgers – led his team to a humdrum 8-9 record last season. He threw for 3695 yards, 26 TDs, and 12 INTs.

His 77.5 PFF grade was among the lowest of his career.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference, PFF, and Over the Cap helped with this piece.