It’s been a season to forget for Green Bay Packers fans, and as general manager Brian Gutekunst looks at the future of the franchise, he could decide to jumpstart a rebuild by trading away future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers are just 4-7 following the 27-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. With the playoffs almost mathematically out of reach for Green Bay, Rodgers could be seriously considering retiring or playing elsewhere in 2023.
If he decides he wants to keep playing, but mutually decides to part ways with the Packers, Peter King with NBC Sports thinks there’s an ideal landing spot and trade proposal for the back-to-back MVP.
“I think it might not be altogether nonsensical to consider trading Rodgers to Las Vegas for Derek Carr and a third-round pick,” King suggested in his weekly column. “Might being the most important word there. Miles to go before you reach a decision like that, but it has crossed my mind.”
The Raiders are just 3-7 and could also use a move to shake things up. It would also allow Rodgers to reunite with his top receiver from the last few seasons in Davante Adams. It’s not the only trade proposal that’s involved Rodgers recently, and the speculation will continue until something happens or Week 1 of the 2023 season begins.
A Year to Forget for Aaron Rodgers
Along with the losses and struggles from the whole team, it’s also been a year to forget for Rodgers, who has struggled to play like his younger self all season.
Statistically, the numbers aren’t terrible. Rodgers has posted a 93.2 passer rating with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. However, those seven interceptions are tied for the most he’s thrown in a season since 2016, and the passer rating is his lowest since 2015.
Those numbers have also seen a big uptick over the last couple of weeks thanks to the emergence of rookie Christian Watson. The second-round pick has caught five touchdown passes over the last two games, giving Green Bay a much-needed spark on offense. The rookie’s production has even led to comparisons to Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss.
Even with the boost that Watson has brought, Rodgers continues to miss open receivers and make questionable decisions. He could finally be seeing an age-related regression at 38 years old, with his 39th birthday coming on December 2.
If that’s the case, then Gutekunst may want to find a way to move on from the superstar quarterback.
Can the Packers Afford to Trade Rodgers?
As interesting as a trade would be for NFL fans, the financial implications of Rodgers being traded will make things much more difficult.
Rodgers’ contract as currently structured, the Packers would take on a dead cap hit of over $40 million if the quarterback was traded before June 1 in 2023. That cap hit would be spread out over two years if he was traded after that date, with a cap hit of just $15.8 million in 2023.
Unless Rodgers was willing to restructure his deal, or the Packers and a trade partner wanted to spread out the cap hits, a trade wouldn’t be feasible for the quarterback until after June 1 of next year. That’s well after the 2023 NFL Draft, and teams that could be interested in Rodgers would have the opportunity to take a young QB prospect like Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud instead.
Regardless, there’s still a lot of time before the Packers could seriously consider trade offers for the future Hall of Fame quarterback.