Rodgers’ decision on whether to leave could have a hand in reshaping the NFL, especially if he decides at 38 years old that 17 seasons is long enough to play in one place. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on February 13 that the Packers are going to try to keep Rodgers.
If Rodgers does depart, it will happen via trade because he is under contract for another year. The Packers have a host of potential trade partners, but some deals would make more sense than others. Among the better proposals, according to one writer, involves the Las Vegas Raiders and their three-time Pro Bowl quarterback, Derek Carr.
Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report explored three trade proposals that could get Green Bay the most return for Rodgers this offseason. The first two are variations of the same deal involving the Denver Broncos, while the third centers on Carr and a significant draft package that would help the Packers rebuild immediately without Rodgers.
Beyond the quarterback swap, the deal would involve Las Vegas sending Green Bay its first-round and third-round selections in 2022 — picks No. 22 and No. 86 overall — as well as the Raiders’ first-round choice the 2023 NFL draft.
“Ultimately, if Rodgers wants to leave, it might be best for the long-term future of the franchise to let him go and get something in return,” Ballentine wrote on February 9.
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Trading for Carr Would Keep Packers WR Davante Adams Happier Than in Other Scenarios
Furthermore, if Rodgers decides to hightail it out of Green Bay this offseason, the Packers would be left with arguably the league’s best wide receiver in Davante Adams without a qualified candidate to throw him the football. Packers QB Jordan Love may develop into that player at some point, but there is no telling how his projected timetable would factor into any of Adams’ decisions.
Adams, 29, will hit unrestricted free agency in March if Green Bay doesn’t use the franchise tag to lock him up on a one-year deal, which NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport suggested as a possibility. Players notoriously despise being franchise tagged because the tag pushes off a long-term deal for at least a season, during which they risk injury or subpar play impacting their future value. Furthermore, Adams has already said he wants an annual salary that will make him the highest-paid pass catcher in the NFL, and he wasn’t talking about a one-year gig.
However, should the Packers bring back a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback such as Carr, 30, in a hypothetical Rodgers trade and offer Adams a healthy multi-year contract, Green Bay could see its way through a Rodgers departure without a heavy drop in production. Two first-round picks and a third-rounder over the next couple of NFL drafts also could help significantly in that regard.
Potential Raiders Deal Could Offer Packers More in Total Than Broncos Trades Would
According to Ballentine’s column, the Broncos feature in the other two trade proposals that would likely prove most valuable to the Packers.
One involves Denver sending Green Bay five draft picks: first-rounders in 2022 and 2023, a second-round selection in 2022 via the Los Angeles Rams, and both a second-round and a third-round choice in 2024. The Packers, in turn, would send Rodgers and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Broncos.
The big difference between what Denver can offer for Rodgers compared with what Las Vegas can put together is the established quarterback. The Broncos would almost certainly toss either Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock into a five-pick deal, but both of those QBs have proved to be less than franchise-caliber. Carr, on the other hand, is a borderline top 10 quarterback. NFL.com rated Carr No. 10 on its annual quarterback rankings.
If, and when, conversations begin in earnest between the Packers and potential trade partners, it could be a player like Carr who tips the scales.