The latest prediction came from The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt on March 20. The beat reporter and NYJ insider noted that he believes the two franchises will end up meeting in the middle on the following proposal:
- Jets get QB Aaron Rodgers & 2023 late-round pick.
- Packers get 2023 second-round pick (No. 43), conditional 2024 third-round pick & a wide receiver.
Rosenblatt added that the Jets wideout heading to the Packers in return would be either veteran cut candidate Corey Davis or 2020 second-round pick Denzel Mims — a theory fans could probably get behind. Typically, the 2024 conditionals would either apply to an NYJ playoff berth or first-ballot Pro Bowl selection for Rodgers (upgrades to second rounder), or a 2023-24 Super Bowl appearance (upgrades to first rounder).
According to Packers Wire reporter Zach Kruse, Green Bay currently has four seventh-round picks in 2023 but no sixth-round selections, so expect that late rounder to be a seventh (No. 232, 235, 242 or 256) if they provide one in return.
Jets WRs Corey Davis & Denzel Mims Could Both Be Destined for a 2023 Departure
Whether the Packers want them or not, Davis and Mims could be gone in 2023 either way. Both are somewhat obvious cut candidates, and the Jets have already replaced their role in the offense with free agent acquisition Allen Lazard.
Davis is the better weapon, but holds a cap hit of $11.167 million this year according to Over the Cap. If Douglas were to release or trade him, he’d save a whopping $10.5 million.
Mims on the other hand is owed $1.35 million as his base salary in 2023 ($1.729 million cap hit). Considering he’s fourth or fifth on the depth chart, that’s more than it needs to be. A cut, or trade, would shave that $1.35 million base salary off the Jets’ cap.
If you’re wondering why Green Bay would value them in return, the Packers might take them as a throw-in for two reasons.
One: This would allow them to bypass the open market and secure whichever asset they wanted. With Jordan Love at quarterback in 2023, they’ll need more weapons in order to try and help him succeed.
Two: Davis and Mims currently have very team-friendly contracts, and could theoretically sign for more if they’re allowed to enter free agency. The Jets will likely hold onto both WRs until after a Rodgers trade is decided on.
Things did not go as planned for either pass-catcher in New York. Davis appeared in 22 games over two seasons, with just over 1,000 total receiving yards and six touchdowns — not enough considering the money he signed for at the time.
The former No. 59 overall pick, Mims, has only accounted for 676 receiving yards during his first three campaigns as a Jet. He has never caught a touchdown and holds a career catch percentage of 45.7%.
When Will the Packers Send Aaron Rodgers to the Jets?
Per Rosenblatt, “it’s not a matter of if that deal with the Packers will happen, but when.”
He voiced that “if the deal doesn’t happen this week (March 20-24), perhaps it will next week, when the Packers and Jets brass will be together in Arizona for the NFL’s annual league meetings.” That would obviously be before the 2023 draft, which would make sense for both sides.
Until then, Gang Green is in no rush. They would prefer to keep their 2023 first rounder at No. 13 overall anyway, and it would behoove Green Bay to get draft capital back this year while the Jets have a lower and more enticing spot in the order.
If NYJ general manager Joe Douglas is unable to get a deal done before the draft, however, advantage shifts back to the Packers.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini explained this factor on March 19, relaying: “Right now, Rodgers counts $31.6 million on the salary cap. If the Packers trade him before June 1, his cap charge balloons to $40.3 million — and they would have to carry that for the entire season. If they wait until after June 1 to deal him, the cap hit is spread out over two seasons — $15.8 million this year and $24.5 million in 2024. That would give them about $25 million in extra 2023 cap room to improve other areas of the roster.”
He continued: “In other words, if this stare-down drags past the draft, the Packers will have no motivation to make a trade before June 1. And if they wait that long, what’s to stop them from delaying until the start of training camp in late July? It would be a blow to the Jets if they open camp without their presumptive QB1.”
To sum all of this up, the Jets hold the power for now, but that can change if the Packers feel so offended by their offer that they holdout until after the draft. The next Green Bay “pressure point” after late April would be Week 1, and Douglas cannot afford to wait until September to get a deal done.