As the Green Bay Packers wait for Aaron Rodgers to decide on his future, league observers are keeping the trades rumors (and proposals) coming.
If there is a trade for Rodgers, the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders appear to be the favorites to deal for him, but future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald said the Dallas Cowboys would be an ideal landing spot in an implied trade. Fitzgerald did not note the personnel and financial considerations that could make such a change of scenery for Rodgers so unlikely.
“If I was Aaron, [the Jets] wouldn’t be the most enticing route,” Fitzgerald told Mad Dog Sports Radio on February 15. “It would be something a lot more controversial, like for him to go to the Dallas Cowboys … where he can be reunited with [head coach] Mike McCarthy and have a team around him that’s ready-made.”
Rodgers and McCarthy spent 13 seasons together in Green Bay, winning the Super Bowl in 2011. When McCarthy was hired in 2006, Rodgers was entering his second season in the league as a backup to Brett Favre. After emerging as the Packers’ starting quarterback in 2008, Rodgers went on to be named league MVP in 2011 and 2014 with McCarthy as his head coach.
Don’t Hold Your Breath on a Rodgers-Prescott QB Swap
The Cowboys already have a viable starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, so it seems likely that they’d prefer to send Prescott to the Packers in a deal for Rodgers. That could complicate the quarterback situation for the Packers, who have Jordan Love waiting as Rodgers’ heir apparent, just as Rodgers waited to take Favre’s place 15 years ago.
As intriguing of a trade a QB swap between the Packers and Cowboys would be, there are too many factors to make this an unrealistic possibility.
For the Packers, they already have a potential starting QB waiting for his opportunity in Jordan Love. Meanwhile, it’s unclear how Rodgers would feel about reuniting with McCarthy, with the two having a tense relationship by the end of their time together in Green Bay, according to a 2019 Bleacher Report story.
There’s also no indication that Jerry Jones would be interested in moving on from Prescott. The Cowboys quarterback is still only 29 years old and posted a 101.6 passer rating in two playoff games this year.
The financials are where this trade gets even harder to make. The Packers would take a $40 million cap hit just by trading Rodgers away before June 1, and then would have to take on a $49 million cap hit for Prescott along with a $52 million hit in 2024.
Is Jordan Love Ready to Be a Starting Quarterback?
Just like his team, Love is waiting to see what happens with Rodgers.
The former first-round pick was drafted in 2020 with the expectation that he would be the eventual successor to Rodgers, who went on win back-to-back MVPs in 2020 and 2021.
Love hasn’t had much experience sitting behind Rodgers, struggling in his one career start, in 2021 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He looked much better replacing Rodgers against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 27, 2022, completing 6-of-9 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown in the loss.
The Packers will have to make a decision on Love’s fifth-year option prior to the start of the 2023 season, which would keep him under contract through 2024. To make matters more complicated, Love has considered a trade request if Rodgers returns for next season.
The 24-year-old will have to be given a chance to be a starter at some point, and if that doesn’t happen in Green Bay next year, then it might be time for general manager Gutekunst to find him a new team to play for.