NFL rumors: Packers had ridiculous Aaron Rodgers trade demands
The Green Bay Packers got a great deal in the Aaron Rodgers trade.
Along with a swap of first-rounders that helped the Packers land Iowa pass rusher Lukas Van Ness, they also received the New York Jets' second-rounder and a guaranteed 2024 second that becomes a first if Rodgers plays 65 percent of the snaps.
The swap of first-rounders this year may have cost the Jets Georgia tackle Broderick Jones. The Pittsburgh Steelers traded ahead of the Jets to get him at No. 14 overall. It may also have helped Green Bay get Van Ness. The New England Patriots, who held the pick immediately after Green Bay, traded down after Van Ness was selected.
Barring injury, the Packers will go into next April's draft with two first-round selections. That's not bad at all, especially as Rodgers likely wasn't coming back to Green Bay.
However, if Packers GM Brian Gutekunst had his way, they would've got far more from the Jets in the Rodgers trade.
NFL rumors: Packers set ridiculous asking price in Aaron Rodgers trade demands
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Packers wanted a deal similar to the Matthew Stafford trade.
Breer wrote: "The Packers initially wanted a return in the neighborhood of what Detroit got for Matthew Stafford in 2021 (two firsts and a third). The Jets didn't want to give up a single first-round pick, let alone two, given that they had no assurances Rodgers would play more than a year."
A deal like Stafford's would've been a huge risk for the Jets, especially if Rodgers only played another season.
It worked out for the Los Angeles Rams as they won a Super Bowl. However, they were one dropped interception away from losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game. Last season, Stafford got hurt and the Rams ended up sending the sixth overall pick to the Detroit Lions.
Had Rodgers been younger and coming off an MVP season, the Packers likely could've demanded more than two first-rounders. But considering he is entering his age-40 season and told the Pat McAfee Show he was 90 percent retired this offseason, anywhere close to the Stafford deal would've been unrealistic.
Still, credit to Gutekunst. As Breer reports in the article, Gutey held firm on a lot of his trade demands, and it ended up as a compromise the Packers should be pleased with.
The Jets didn't want to give up a first-rounder. While a 2024 first isn't guaranteed, the terms work heavily in the Packers' favor.
If Rodgers plays 65 percent of the snaps, it becomes a first-rounder. If he doesn't play that many, the Jets probably won't win many games, meaning the Packers would net an early second-rounder.
And there's always the possibility that Rodgers plays enough snaps and the Jets don't make the playoffs. After all, Rodgers played every game for the Packers last season but they still only finished 8-9, good for the 15th pick.
Russell Wilson played 84.6 percent of the Denver Broncos' snaps last season, but they finished 5-12 and sent the fifth overall pick to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Packers got a great deal, but only after they lowered their ridiculous asking price.