Packers Put Brakes on Aaron Rodgers Trade, Leverage Jets

Aaron Rodgers, Packers

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

The Green Bay Packers prefer to trade Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets, but the organization is hardly in a rush to finalize the deal.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported on Tuesday, March 14, that with all the cards of the other trade participants now more or less on the table, Green Bay is holding out until its own demands are met.

“Per a league source, the Packers are willing to wait until the draft to trade Rodgers, if that’s what it takes to get what they want,” Florio wrote. “With a $58.3 million option bonus that has a lengthy exercise period (the Packers can pick it up at any point from tomorrow until Week One), Rodgers has a very manageable cap number into September.”

Packers Now Hold Leverage Over Jets in Rodgers Trade Talks

Rodgers Lazard Future

GettyQuarterback Aaron Rodgers (left) of the Green Bay Packers and wide receiver Allen Lazard (right) celebrate after a touchdown during a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 9, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan.

The way events have unfolded, the Packers now arguably hold the upper hand over the Jets in trade negotiations surrounding Rodgers. At the very least, Green Bay occupies a more powerful position than it has at any point up until now.

The Jets have made it known they are all-in for Rodgers. During an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show Wednesday, Rodgers finally gave voice to his desire and intention to play in New York next season. In the days leading up to that announcement, the quarterback more privately expressed his personnel wish list to the Jets front office, which has already resulted in the signing of former Packers receiver Allen Lazard to a four-year, $44 million deal.

So the Jets are on the cusp of getting what they want — a four-time MVP who makes them Super Bowl contenders in a brutally tough AFC from day one. And Rodgers is on the cusp of getting what he wants — all his money to play with a young, talented roster for a big market franchise that is willing to spend some extra dough to bring in his boys, no matter how near they are to the end of their careers (see: wideout Randall Cobb and tight end Marcedes Lewis).

But what about Green Bay?

“The Packers can just wait. It’s indeed a game of chicken, but from Green Bay’s perspective the car isn’t close to the cliff,” Florio continued on Tuesday. “The Jets, on the other hand, may feel compelled to get something done — especially as they begin signing Rodgers’s friends and former teammates.”

Packers Can Now Push For 1st-Round Pick, More Financial Relief in Rodgers Deal

Aaron Rodgers, Packers

GettyQuarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers reacts after throwing a touchdown pass during a game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

What the Packers hope specifically to get out of the trade remains the one relative unknown in a complex equation.

Are they holding out for a first-round pick, perhaps the Jets’ No. 13 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft? Are they looking for New York to assume more of the financial responsibilities surrounding Rodgers’ historically large contract? Is it a combination of the two? Or is there a particular player Packers general manager Brain Gutekunst has his eye on and wants included in the deal?

There are more questions than answers, at least publicly and via media reporting, to what Green Bay desires than any other element of the trade. And it doesn’t appear the Packers are willing to budge until someone else does — otherwise, why isn’t the deal done already?

The overwhelming sentiment among Green Bay fans is that some closure to the Rodgers saga would be nice, and the sooner the better. However, a few more weeks or months of frustration and anticipation will be well worth the wait if the Packers are able to secure the best deal available. What that deal might be, though, remains to be seen.

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