AFC Contender Emerges as Favorite to Trade For Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Getty Quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after a successful two-point conversion against the Chicago Bears during a game at Soldier Field on December 4, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

An ideal trade partner for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has emerged above the rest of the suitors.

The New York Jets began the season with a top-end NFL defense, an upstart rookie running back in Breece Hall and a former No. 2 overall pick in Zach Wilson under center — a formula that netted them a 7-4 start and legitimate playoff hopes. But the team’s final six games of the year all ended in losses and saw three quarterbacks take meaningful snaps, despite Wilson never suffering a serious injury.

The Jets’ young defense and a healthy Hall are ready to challenge in the AFC East Division in 2023, but they need a signal caller capable of matching the rest of the talent on the roster, and the organization is ready to pay for it.

Enter Rodgers.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler spoke about the possible suitors for Rodgers on the Sunday, January 22 edition of SportsCenter, mentioning the Jets by name as the frontrunners to deal for the Packers’ four-time MVP QB if Green Bay ultimately decides to move him.

“We don’t know the list of teams just yet, it’s very early, but we know that Aaron Rodgers does not want a rebuilding situation. That will eliminate some of the teams,” Fowler said. “So, he’s due that $58 million [in 2023] — a team has to be willing to rework that. But you look at a team like the Jets — the expectation is they’re going to scour the Earth for a new quarterback potentially. … They’re not rebuilding anymore, they’re probably ready to win.”


Jets Interview Former Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett For Job Opening

Aaron Rodgers, Packers

GettyQuarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers celebrates a touchdown during a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 4, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

If the Packers do move on from Rodgers, it is likely to be a mutual decision. That means he will have some say in his new location and New York is taking steps to make itself as attractive of a destination as possible.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Wednesday that the Jets had interviewed former Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett for their open offensive coordinator position. Hackett served in the OC role for the Packers for three seasons before leaving to coach the Denver Broncos last year. During his time in that job, the team won three straight NFC North Division titles, while Rodgers won back-to-back MVP Awards in Hackett’s final two years with Green Bay.

Rodgers spoke glowingly of Hackett even after the Broncos fired him before the conclusion of his first season as a head coach, indicating that the bond between the two men remains strong. Bringing Hackett into the fold in New York could tip the scales in the Jets’ favor, as Rodgers has long been rumored to be interested in playing out west were he ever to leave Green Bay — with the San Francisco 49ers and Las Vegas Raiders being the center of most of those hypothetical proposals.


Packers Seriously Considering Trading Aaron Rodgers in Offseason

Rodgers, LaFleur, Packers

GettyQuarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers talks with head coach Matt LaFleur during a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 4, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

This will be the third consecutive offseason of trade discussions surrounding Rodgers, but that doesn’t mean they should be taken any less seriously. In fact, the opposite is probably true.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported over the weekend that both the team and the quarterback understand that “a trade is a very real scenario.” With Jordan Love waiting in the wings in Green Bay, now is perhaps the perfect time to move off of Rodgers’ onerous contract and usher in a new era.

If the Packers don’t deal Rodgers this offseason, Love is expected to demand a trade of his own, which would complicate Green Bay’s long-term future far more than parting ways with the 39-year-old Rodgers.

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