An Aaron Rodgers Trade to the Raiders Makes a Ton of Sense

Ryan Phillips
Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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The Green Bay Packers are set to explore trading Aaron Rodgers this offseason but won't send him to a fellow NFC team. With only AFC teams in contention for his services, one franchise makes a lot of sense for a trade. While one of my colleagues looked at posible destinations for the four-time MVP, he neglected to mention the Las Vegas Raiders. The Silver and Black squad has a lot of the elements that would entice Rodgers, including the best receiver he's ever worked with.

Rodgers and Davante Adams forged an outstanding working relationship over the eight seasons they were paired together in Green Bay. Rodgers won three MVPs in that time, and Adams established himself as one of the best receivers in the NFL. The Raiders traded for Adams before the 2022 NFL Draft, surrendering a first- and a second-round pick to land him before agreeing to a five-year, $141.25 million deal. Rodgers was not happy his top target was gone, though he seemed to know the move was inevitable. I guarantee both players would love to reunite.

As of now, the Raiders are $21.8 million under the salary cap for 2023 and can save $29.25 million by cutting Derek Carr. That will absolutely happen. Rodgers carries a $31.6 cap number, so Las Vegas would have plenty of room to bring him in. There could be a few restructured deals to create more cap space, as Adams, fellow receiver Hunter Renfrow and left tackle Kolton Miller could potentially rework things to help the team create space. That could be used to re-sign running back Josh Jacobs, which would also be a selling point. A solid ground game would help keep the pressure off Rodgers.

Miller is likely to be a big help in landing Rodgers as well. The former first-round pick has developed into an elite left tackle. Pro Football Focus graded him out at 84.1 for the 2022 season and he only allowed four sacks all year, while committing just five penalties. Rodgers' blindside protector in Green Bay, David Bakhtiari, has battled injuries over the past three seasons. Having an elite, healthy left tackle will be a big pull.

Las Vegas also has supplementary weapons in Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller. While both of those guys could be traded this offseason, if they remain it would give Rodgers a far better group of weapons than he had in Green Bay during the 2022 season.

Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels should also be a draw for Rodgers. The jury is still out on him as a head coach, but McDaniels is a respected offensive mind who helped the Patriots win six Super Bowls. Working together with those weapons at their disposale, the two men could develop one hell of an offense.

A big drawback here will be the Raiders' defense, which needs work. Las Vegas was awful against the pass in 2022 and needs to use its picks in the 2023 draft to address a number of glaring weaknesses. I'm not sure what it will take to trade for Rodgers, but I doubt any team will be giving up two first-round picks for a 39-year-old coming off arguably his worst NFL season. It will take at least one first-rounder and possibly a number of other early round picks (a second and a third, perhaps?). It would be worth it for the Raiders to seriously consider meeting that price.

Las Vegas shares a division with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Russell Wilson. With Carr under center, the Raiders were hopelessly outgunned against the first two and there's a chance Wilson bounces back and finds his mojo again. If they are to have any chance in the AFC West, the Las Vegas needs to find a top-tier quarterback. Rodgers is likely the best option available.

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