The Green Bay Packers are currently waiting to hear from longtime franchise QB Aaron Rodgers, in the midst of a four-day darkness retreat, on his decision regarding his playing future.
Meanwhile, the Packers’ future at quarterback hinges on whether Rodgers wants to continue playing, and whether both he and the team feel that it is the right time to move on to pave the way for Jordan Love to start.
As speculation continues to circulate on whether the Packers would be willing to move on from Aaron Rodgers, the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders have both been heavily linked to trading for Rodgers.
Conflicting reports about Aaron Rodgers
Although longtime Packers beat writer Bob McGinn recently said on a podcast that the team was “disgusted by Rodgers” and “ready to move on from him,” ESPN’s Jeff Darlington had a conflicting report on Wednesday’s Get Up.
When discussing whether the Jets should await a decision from Rodgers or focus their pursuits on free-agent QB Derek Carr, who visited the team on Monday, Darlington said the team should proceed with the latter.
Darlington based this reasoning on a conversation he had with an important Packers source, who believes that “Rodgers will be back with the Packers,” and that much of this speculation is overhyped. He cites the contract and commitment Aaron Rodgers made to the team and ultimately believes that, at end of the day, Rodgers will be back with the Packers in 2023.
What does this really mean?
In my opinion, this feels like the Packers are gesturing to help bolster Rodgers’ trade value. If Green Bay truly believes that Jordan Love can succeed as the starter in 2023, the team’s history and organizational mindset indicates that an Aaron Rodgers trade feels inevitable.
However, the Jets appear to be in a stronger negotiation position than the Packers in this situation for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, with their strong defensive and skill position players, they are in a prime position to attract a serviceable veteran quarterback, such as Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo.
These deals would also likely cost significantly less than what would be required to acquire Aaron Rodgers. Moreover, Green Bay is likely asking for a lofty package of draft capital that very few teams would be willing to give up for Rodgers considering the questions facing him at this late stage of his career.
As such, this places the Jets at a relative advantage given that there would be few other legitimate suitors for Rodgers.
Darlington’s nugget from his TV appearance may have ultimately been a way for the Packers to attempt to improve their positioning in any potential trade negotiations.
By publicizing the idea that Aaron Rodgers returning to the Packers is significantly more likely than what has been previously reported, the Packers are hoping to instill some urgency in the Jets to make a move.
Uncertain future ahead for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers
As Aaron Rodgers continues to privately ponder about both his playing future along with his future with the only team he has ever played for, the Packers seem to be positioning themselves for whatever may come next.
Although there have been numerous conflicting reports about what the team actually wants to do with Rodgers, Darlington’s latest report makes it seems as though a reunion between the two parties is more likely than not.
However, as no decision has publicly been made, the team may have publicly floated out this idea in order to improve their stance in any ongoing negotiations for the framework of an Aaron Rodgers trade.
With the likelihood of Rodgers returning seemingly increased, this ultimately helps the Packers in raising their asking price for him in any trade talks with interested teams.