The Aaron Rodgers trade could be close.
Few expected negotiations between the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets to drag on for this long. Over a month since Rodgers revealed his intention to play for the Jets on the Pat McAfee Show, a deal is yet to be agreed.
Deadlines spur action.
Said deadline arrives next week with the start of the 2023 NFL Draft. For the Aaron Rodgers trade to include this year's draft picks, an agreement needs to be in place by then.
With the Jets parting ways with the 13th overall pick unlikely, the focus shifts to Day 2 of the draft next Friday night. The Packers could receive one of the Jets' second-round selections, giving both teams a hard deadline to get the trade over the line.
There's a good chance the Packers and Jets will come to an agreement by then, according to one NFL insider.
Aaron Rodgers rumors: NFL insider drops big hint about draft night trade
Albert Breer of The MMQB answered a question in his mailbag about the possibility of Aaron Rodgers getting traded during the draft.
"I'd say because a foundational piece of the trade will be the 42nd or 43rd pick, chances are very high that Rodgers will become a Jet between now and early Friday night," Breer wrote.
He added that the deal "has been close for a few weeks now."
It's a notable update from Breer. Indeed, if a 2023 second-round draft choice is a "foundational piece", then a deal has to be done before the Jets are scheduled to hit the clock early on Day 2 of the draft.
Breer reports that the Jets want some protection in the deal to prevent themselves from ending up in a similar position to the Denver Broncos after making the Russell Wilson trade. The Packers, meanwhile, want to get the best deal they can for Rodgers.
Breer added: "There are smart solutions that the GMs have discussed here, too. One would be making the 2024 pick conditional on the Jets' making the playoffs, the conference title game or Super Bowl—ensuring that pick would be a first-rounder if the trade works for them and a high second if it doesn't."
In the end, it seems a compromise will be made. The Packers want a first-round pick, which they could still get, but the Jets likely only want to make that agreement if they are covered for the worst-case scenario.
A guaranteed 2024 second that becomes a first if the Jets reach their goals seems like a reasonable middle ground the two teams should meet at.
With little over a week to go until the 2023 NFL Draft, a decision has to come soon. Signs are pointing toward a potential draft-day trade.