Aaron Rodgers has been coy with the media of late, dropping cryptic hints on Pat McAfee while debating between retirement, running it back with Green Bay or the nuclear option—facilitating a trade elsewhere. It’s the latter option that has fans most intrigued, daydreaming of Rodgers on another team, reinventing himself as the face of a new franchise.
Even after signing a mammoth three-year extension last offseason, all signs point to a split between Rodgers and the only team he's ever played for. In fact, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Packers would “prefer” if Rodgers moved on, suggesting Green Bay is eager to map out its future with former first-round pick Jordan Love, needing to make a decision on whether to exercise his fifth-year option by May 1.
Coming off a frustrating 8-9 season, the Packers find themselves at a financial “crossroads,” with Rodgers’ contract representing a significant cap burden, costing them $110 million over the next two seasons. With their championship window all but closed, the Packers may feel it’s best to rebuild, an undertaking that will inevitably begin whenever they turn the page on Rodgers.
“At no time during his comments on The Pat McAfee Show or to reporters at the end of the season did Rodgers declare he would be back in Green Bay. In fact, his words and actions have demonstrated otherwise,” writes Schefter, noting that many of Rodgers’ closest friends on the team (Robert Tonyan, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb among them) are headed for free agency. “League sources believe the franchise prefers to move on from Rodgers, just as it once did with Brett Favre. Those sources also believe that Rodgers is well aware of the Packers' feelings on the situation.”
Even coming off what was admittedly one of his worst statistical seasons, Schefter believes the Packers veteran will command “substantial” trade interest, including from the Jets, who may have hired their new offensive coordinator, former Green Bay assistant Nathaniel Hackett, with Rodgers in mind. Rodgers is owed a $58.3-million option bonus in 2023, though whatever team he plays for will have until the day before the regular season to pay him, affording the Packers plenty of time to hash out a trade. Once the option is picked up, Rodgers’ cap hit will be $31.62 million, a significant but not unreasonable figure for a four-time MVP on the fast track to Canton as a future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.
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