Proposed Trade Swaps Packers’ Rodgers for 2 Top Picks, 4-Time Pro Bowler

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Getty One pundit suggested the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a landing spot for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Speculation about where Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will play in 2022 was rampant even before Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL on February 1.

Brady’s exit potentially creates a job vacancy in Tampa Bay, a team that has won five playoff games over the past two years, including the 2021 Super Bowl.

Rodgers, who has been linked to potential trades with the Denver Broncos and the Las Vegas Raiders, could be a fit in Tampa Bay, according to one prominent sports talk radio host.

On the January 27 episode of his “The Colin Cowherd Podcast,” Cowherd proposed to Fox Sports analyst Nick Wright a trade that would put Rodgers in Tampa Bay in 2022.

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“I’ll throw this at you, Brady retires. … Aaron Rodgers says I want out, so [Packers wide receiver] Davante Adams is out,” Cowherd said. “Aaron agrees to Tampa, Green Bay says we want [Bucs wide receiver] Mike Evans, we’re not losing Davante and getting nobody.”

“Green Bay gets [Bucs pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul], Mike Evans, two firsts [and] up to three [draft picks] if Aaron plays a third year, which has always been something you’ve talked about,” Cowherd continued to Wright. “Two [picks] guaranteed, up to three if he plays a third year. If he retires after two, you get two minimum, even if he retired after [just one] year.”

Cowherd’s proposal would require a different player than Pierre-Paul to make the deal work because Pierre-Paul is about to become an unrestricted free agent and the Bucs wouldn’t retain the right to include him in trade proposals unless Tampa Bay re-signs the edge rusher this offseason.

Bucs Coach Arians Doesn’t Close Door on Bringing in New QB After Brady Announces Retirement

Bruce Arians

GettyTampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians (right) and former Bucs quarterback Tom Brady on an NFL sideline.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians spoke to the potential of Brady’s retirement and how the team would address his replacement during a press conference on January 24. Veteran Blaine Gabbert and rookie Kyle Trask are the two quarterbacks on the Bucs’ active roster, per ESPN.

“I’d be comfortable if it is,” Arians told reporters when asked if the team would be satisfied if Brady were to retire.

“I like what we have, but again, you never know what’s behind Door No. 2,” Arians continued. “We kind of went down that road two years ago, and there was Tom Brady. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Packers Can Create Bidding War If Rodgers Wants to Depart Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

GettyPackers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still under team control.

Rodgers has not committed publicly to leaving Green Bay or to staying, saying only that his decision will come before NFL free agency opens at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on March 16.

Several quarterbacks aside from Rodgers could be on the move this offseason, including Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings and Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns, among several others.

Rodgers has most frequently been tied to the Broncos, who just hired longtime Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. The Raiders also make sense because they could send a competent quarterback in Derek Carr, along with significant draft compensation, to the Packers.

Should Rodgers go to the Broncos or Raiders, each team likely would become an immediate contenders. However, both teams play in an AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. And it’s possible that Joe Burrow’s Cincinnati Bengals and  Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills will be AFC powerhouses for years to come.

Of course, Rodgers already may have the best situation in Green Bay. He is under contract for next season, but his deal is structured to include a $46.5 million cap hit in 2022. Should Rodgers decide not to renegotiate the details, he can essentially force the Packers to trade him.

Rodgers said following the team’s January 22 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs that he did not want to be part of a rebuild.