The deal ends an 18-year run for the quarterback in Green Bay and marks the end of one of the most successful 15-year starting stretches in NFL history. Parting ways with such a player is never easy, though Packers fans ought to be happy about the haul the franchise got in return.
The Packers sent Rodgers and the No. 170 overall pick, in the fifth-round of this year’s draft, to the Jets.
Green Bay got back a pick swap in the first round, moving up from No. 15 to No. 13. The Packers also procured the No. 42 overall pick in the second round and the No. 207 overall pick in the sixth round this year. But the coup de grâce is a conditional second-round pick in 2024 that turns into a first-round selection should Rodgers play more than 65% of the Jets’ snaps, something that is all but guaranteed barring a catastrophic injury.
On top of that, Green Bay avoided sending the Jets a conditional pick of any sort should Rodgers decide to play just one season in New York rather than playing out both years remaining on his contract.
Aaron Rodgers One of Top Quarterbacks in NFL History
The relationship between Rodgers and the Packers organization has been strained since 2020, ever since Gutekunst and company saw fit to draft Jordan Love as the heir apparent to Rodgers, who had won two league MVPs.
Rodgers subsequently flexed his muscle, pushing for a trade to the San Francisco 49ers before bullying his way into what was the richest contract in NFL history when he signed it last offseason. All the while, Rodgers continued playing at an incredibly high level, winning two more MVP Awards and leading the Packers into the NFC Playoffs as favorites on multiple occasions.
Though Green Bay won just one Super Bowl during the Rodgers era, the Packers were a perennial threat to contend for a title. Green Bay made the playoffs 11 times in Rodgers’ 15 years as the starter and appeared in five NFC Championship Games, producing a record of 1-4 in those contests. The regular season success was just as impressive, as Rodgers led the team to eight division titles.
Over the course of his tenure with the Packers, Rodgers completed 5,001 passes for 59,055 yards and 475 touchdowns compared to just 105 interceptions, per Pro Football Reference. He led the league in rating four times and QBR on three occasions. He has a career completion rate of 65.3% and earned trips to 10 Pro Bowls, while capturing first-team All-Pro honors four times.
Rodgers also rushed the football 719 times for 3,466 yards and 35 touchdowns while a member of the Packers.
Packers Now Hand Reins to Quarterback Jordan Love
It is hard to look at the deal and argue that the Packers didn’t come out the winners. Now, however, the franchise needs to recapture its winning ways with Love as its new starter.
Love has waited three years on the bench behind an MVP quarterback, just as Rodgers did as he waited to succeed Brett Favre. Despite all the odds, Rodgers probably had a better career than Favre in Green Bay, filling a legend’s shoes and then some. Love now faces the same pressure.
The 24-year-old quarterback has started only one game in his career, a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021. That said, Love was impressive during the second half of a road contest last year against the eventual NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles. He was 6-for-9 passing, throwing for 113 yards and a touchdown on his way to a 146.8 rating, per ESPN.
Love will make the transition to starting QB with a lot of young talent around him — his top two targets presumably being second-year wide receivers Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. Green Bay may also look to add another wideout or a tight end with the No. 13 pick in this year’s draft. If the team goes defensive line in that spot, it will likely look to a pass-catcher either at No. 42 or No. 45 in the second round.
There will no doubt be some bumps along the way, though Love has at least two years to figure it out in Green Bay. He is under contract through 2023, though the Packers can exercise his fifth-year option and keep Love locked in through the 2024 campaign.