The Jets and Packers are reportedly haggling over what exactly Green Bay would receive in an anticipated trade that will send future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers to New York.
With both sides apparently willing to play the slow game, fans and journalists have been left to speculate on which party is responsible for the holdup, and which one holds the proverbial cards in negotiations.
And according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Jets hold a greater degree of leverage in trade talks "than many realize."
While the matter of draft pick compensation is reportedly at the heart of the apparent trade impasse, the Packers are also thought to be keen on unloading Rodgers after June 1 because of salary cap considerations.
The assumption has been that the Jets would prefer to get a deal done sooner -- and therefore they should pay a higher price to balance out the higher dead-cap salary hit incurred by the Packers in the event of a pre-June 1 trade -- but Florio thinks the Jets would ultimately be fine completing a deal later:
Rodgers doesn’t need to be present for the early weeks of the offseason program. He’d probably prefer not to. This gives him the perfect excuse — he’s not on the team yet.
He already knows the offense, given that his former coordinator in Green Bay will simply dust it off and install it. The challenge isn’t to teach it to Rodgers but to the rest of the team.
So if Green Bay’s play is to slow play this thing, the Jets should say, “Fine. We’ll wait until the draft. Hell, we’ll wait until after the draft. We’ll even wait until after June 1, so that you’ll be able to spread the cap charge over two years.”
Florio also adds that Rodgers could work out with his soon-to-be new teammates in an unofficial capacity, if he really needed or wanted to.
Additionally, if talks drag out long enough, the Packers will eventually have to decide whether to have Rodgers on-hand for offseason workouts, which could become a much-dreaded "distraction," per Florio.
So hold firm, Woody. Don’t blink. Bide your time. Show the Packers you’re not desperate. If you wait just long enough, it’s the Packers who may be.
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