We're due for another offseason of wondering what the hell Aaron Rodgers is going to do. I know you're all very excited about that. However, we may actually get what Rodgers initially wanted a copule years ago when the cracks began to show in his relationship with the Green Bay Packers-- a trade!
Last week, Rodgers laid some early groundwork on the possibility of a trade during his weekly Pat McAfee Show appearance. On Saturday, Adam Schefter appeared on ESPN's Postseason NFL Countdown and said both parties involved are aware that a trade is a possibility.
"This will be the third straight offseason in which Aaron Rodgers' future is the subject of much speculation. But make no mistake: both sides are fully aware that a trade is a very real scenario this offseason for Aaron Rodgers. The Packers are expected to move on from certain players, which Aaron Rodgers probably will not like.
The issue here would be the $110 million left on his contract and which team could afford it. But there is a real possibility that at some point this offseason Aaron Rodgers is going to be traded."
This is the strongest language we've heard yet regarding the Packers' willingness to trade Rodgers. A once-unthinkable outcome is now very much thinkable and is on the path to becoming likely.
Should the Packers decide to trade Rodgers and his massive deal, who would be motivated to make a deal? Here are a few possibilities.
New York Jets
The Jets appear to be everybody's favorite Rodgers destination for reasons beyond the Brett Favre connection. It does make sense. New York has everything a Rodgers suitor would need. They have a relatively easy path towards clearing up all the cap space needed to absorb his contract. They have all their picks. And they have a team that seems as ready as it'll ever be to take the next step, with an elite defense boasting young cornerstone talents and an offense budding with potential. The means and motivation is certainly there. If the Jets want to sign up for the Rodgers experience, then they will definitely a top destination.
Las Vegas Raiders
Reuniting Rodgers and Davante Adams would be awfully expensive but doable on one condition-- if the Packers want Derek Carr. Green Bay may not want to take the leap of faith with Jordan Love. Trading for Carr would keep the team's floor at a reasonable level. The Packers have not finished with a top-20 draft pick since 2009 or a top-5 pick since 2006. Fans and management are not used to non-competitive seasons. Getting a veteran QB to avoid that fate seems very Green Bay. The Raiders would obviously be ecstatic even if their cap sheet would be in shambles. The two teams know they can work together after the Adams trade. This makes sense for both sides.
New York Giants
The Giants made a surprising playoff run this year that ended with a brutal execution on national television by the Philadelphia Eagles. New York should be very pleased with their season despite the 38-7 loss. However, it is clear that Daniel Jones still has a ways to go before he is a quarterback who can be relied upon for a deep postseason run. He is also an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Giants will be very tempted to skip a few steps by trading for Rodgers and retaining other key contributors to run it back again next year. There is a decent argument to be made that they should do that because there is no other clear path to replacing Jones with a definitively better quarterback. If the Packers are fine trading him in-conference then Big Blue will be a top contender for Rodgers' talents.