A handful of NFL teams will line up with massive compensation packages should the Green Bay Packers decide to make Aaron Rodgers available via trade this offseason.
Presumably, the Packers would demand multiple first-round picks and a serviceable starting quarterback in return for the three-time MVP, and that would just be the start of it. There aren’t a lot of NFL teams that could meet those demands, but the Tennessee Titans appear to be one of them.
Ryan Tannehill has been the signal caller in Tennessee for the past three seasons, leading the Titans to the playoffs each time and reaching the AFC Championship in 2019. He was also named to the Pro Bowl that season.
A blockbuster trade proposal floated by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report on Tuesday, February 8 would make Tannehill the center of a colossal move that would also swap a handful of draft capital for only Rodgers in return. Knox’s deal would see Tennessee send Green Bay its first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, its second-round pick in 2023, and its third round picks in 2022 and 2023 to complement Tannehill.
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Rodgers Plans to Build Nashville Home Only Miles From Titans’ Nissan Stadium: Report
There are multiple indicators that Rodgers would be interested in joining the Titans. Jared Stillman, of ESPN Nashville 102.5 The Game, tweeted out two of them simultaneously on February 2.
“Sources: Aaron Rodgers has purchased land and is in the process of building a home in the Nashville suburb of Franklin (Williamson Co.),” Stillman wrote. “Also, source says Rodgers is ‘open’ to joining the Titans. Another source says that current Packers teammates do not expect Rodgers back in GB.”
The Titans meet Rodgers’ criteria of a team that is not in the middle of a rebuild, which the QB said he would resist following the Packers’ early exit from this year’s playoffs. Tennessee has a handful of high quality skill position players on offense, namely running back Derrick Henry who led the NFL in carries, rushing yards and touchdowns per game in 2020. Henry was on track to be similarly dominant in 2021 before breaking his foot in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts and missing the rest of the regular season.
The Titans’ roster also includes the wide receiver duo of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, both of whom are recent Pro Bowl selections.
Packers, Titans Both Express Reticence Over Aaron Rodgers Trade
A Titans source said last week that the team does not currently view Rodgers as a viable option at quarterback and will stick behind Tannehill, per a report from ESPN’s Turron Davenport.
Just a few days prior to that, Titans general manager Jon Robinson took up publicly for Tannehill.
“He is our quarterback,” Robinson said during a Senior Bowl interview February 1. “I think Ryan is a leader, I think Ryan is tough, I think Ryan has made a lot of great plays for us. I know he works extremely hard, loves his teammates, is competitive. He’s played a lot of good football.”
But it is hard to say the Titans’ perspective on the situation might not change if, and when, Rodgers becomes openly available.
Green Bay has said it does not want to trade its MVP quarterback, but the team also promised that it would be willing to do so at Rodgers’ behest back in August after the Packers restructured his contract, per Jay Glazer.
As part of that deal, Green Bay agreed to allow Rodgers unrestricted free agency status following the 2022 season, which means he is only under contract for one more year. His cap hit for this season is more than $46.5 million, while the Packers are obligated by salary cap rules to cut nearly $51 million from their books, per Over The Cap. If Rodgers decides not to renegotiate a long-term deal in Green Bay, the team will have little choice but to trade him.
If Rodgers pushes his way out of town, his preference is that he is sent to a winner, or at least a team with the roster to be one if it can add a quality quarterback. The Packers would probably be inclined to trade him outside of the NFC North Division, and the entire conference if possible, meaning Tennessee would line up with the goals of both parties. And if the Titans are willing to offer the king’s ransom of Tannehill and a handful of high-end draft picks that Knox suggested, a deal might just get done.
Why not Miami?