The Green Bay Packers will be fielding plenty of calls this offseason for teams interested in trading for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but one franchise has emerged as a top potential landing spot for the four-time MVP.
Speculation about a possible Rodgers trade ramped up after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that both the 39-year-old quarterback and the Packers acknowledged that a trade was on the table this offseason. However, Schefter also shared that the Packers would reportedly only be interested in trading Rodgers to an AFC team.
Despite some wild trade proposals from analysts, more realistic landing spots have emerged. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler revealed that one NFC executive believed that the Indianapolis Colts are a legitimate landing spot for Rodgers.
“One NFC executive brought up an interesting team that’s sort of random but would make some sense on paper: Indianapolis,” Fowler said. “The Colts enter the offseason with $20.6 million in cap space. They absolutely need a quarterback. Despite a four-win season, the roster is not void of talent, especially on defense. And Indy owns the fourth overall pick, an easy dangling point in a potential deal with Green Bay.”
Can the Packers Afford to Get Rid of Rodgers?
While some Packers fans may be ready for the team to move on from Rodgers and enter the Jordan Love era, the financial impact of getting rid of the 39-year-old veteran makes the situation much more difficult.
Rodgers nearly retired last offseason before signing a massive three-year, $150.8 million extension to convince him to come back for the 2022 season and beyond. However, with the possibility of Rodgers retiring or being traded this offseason, the Packers could be facing a massive cap hit.
According to Over the Cap, the Packers would be looking at a $40 million dead cap hit if Rodgers was traded or retires before June 1. That hit can be spread out over two seasons if either move is made after the date, but it’s still a hefty hit against the team’s cap for a team already under significant cap constraints.
That being said, the cap hit for Rodgers retiring or being traded gets even worse in 2024 and beyond. So if the Packers want to move onto the Love era, it would be financially more palatable for the team to rip the band-aid off and move on from the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Jordan Love is Ready to Start in Green Bay
Love has been patiently waiting to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but he may finally be getting that opportunity in 2023.
The former first-round pick was drafted back in 2020 with the intention to be Rodgers’ long-term successor. However, the 24-year-old has had to wait longer than initially expected after Rodgers went on to win back-to-back MVPs in 2020 and 2021.
Through three NFL seasons, Love has only had one career start in a brutal road environment against the Kansas City Chiefs. Packers fans saw Love’s first significant action since that start this year against the Eagles, with Love completing six of nine passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
That short stint could give Love the confidence he needs going forward, and now the 24-year-old is ready for his opportunity. Love has even reportedly considered a trade request if Rodgers is still Green Bay’s starter in 2023.
Regardless of what happens this offseason, it’s seeming more likely that one of Rodgers or Love will be gone before next season.