Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on a Thursday, April 20 edition of SportsCenter that a “soft deadline” to finish the deal now exists and if the two sides can’t work out an agreement by then it could be months before Rodgers is officially a member of the Jets — if at all.
“The line of demarcation, the soft deadline, is next Friday night [April 28], picks 42 and 43,” Schefter said, per Bleacher Report. “Because if picks 42 and 43 come and go without Aaron Rodgers being traded to the New York Jets, then the wait for him to become a Jet could go on for an awful long time.”
Packers Hold Firm That Aaron Rodgers is Worth First-Round Pick From Jets
The Jets own both the 42nd and 43rd selections in this year’s draft. One of those picks is expected to be the centerpiece of a Rodgers trade, at least if New York gets its way.
One of two perceived holdups in negotiations has been that Green Bay doesn’t consider an early second-round pick shiny enough to serve as the crown jewel in the king’s ransom the franchise feels Rodgers ought to command, having won a Super Bowl to go along with four NFL MVP Awards. The Packers want a first-round selection from the Jets, either the No. 13 pick this year or a first-rounder in 2024.
The other obstacle originates on New York’s side of the equation. The Jets want some future conditional pick as protection in the case that Rodgers decides to play just one season in New York rather than finishing out his deal. The quarterback is under contract through 2024.
A notion that the two teams might bridge the gap by including a player carried weight for a while. One name brought up frequently was that of former Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore. However, those plans went by the wayside when New York decided to trade Moore to the Cleveland Browns in return for the 42nd pick in this year’s draft — an asset the Jets continue to try and force feed the Packers as quality enough compensation for Rodgers.
Solution to Trade Standoff Between Packers, Jets May be to Add Seahawks to Deal
The Packers can afford to hold off on trading Rodgers until essentially the eve of the regular season, as his balloon bonus payment of more than $58 million isn’t due until September. The Jets probably can’t afford to wait that long, as the franchise has no viable backup plan other than the quarterbacks already on its roster.
Should Schefter’s second-round soft deadline pass, Green Bay would presumably gain more leverage to ask for a first-round pick in return for Rodgers as the opportunity to improve the roster for the 2023 season via a draft selection will have come and gone. However, there may be a way for all parties involved to get what they want.
Bill Barnwell of ESPN authored a trade proposal on Wednesday that brings the Seattle Seahawks into the mix. The outline of the trade packages is complicated, but the gist is that the Packers would acquire the Jets’ No. 13 pick in 2023, the Jets would acquire Rodgers and move back from No. 13 to No. 20 by way of the Seahawks’ inclusion in the swap, and Seattle would essentially trade back from No. 20 to pick up a couple of second-round selections that offer the team more options and flexibility early in the draft.
“The Jets lose [the No. 13] selection but land Rodgers while moving down only seven spots. The Packers get the first-rounder they want for Rodgers to address their 2023 team and add another meaningful pick in 2024,” Barnwell said. “The Seahawks create more value for themselves and have four picks between 37 and 52, which allows them to move wherever they want in the bottom of the first round and top of the second round.”