Packers Trade Proposal Swaps QB Aaron Rodgers for Massive Draft Haul

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Getty Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms in NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 22, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Green Bay Packers will pull down a massive compensation package this offseason should the team decide to make quarterback Aaron Rodgers available in a trade.

The potential suitors for Rodgers are several, but not all deals would be created equal. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine took a look at the handful of trade proposals floating around the NFL universe and landed on one originating in the AFC West Division as offering the most value to the Packers.

The Denver Broncos have been keen to acquire Rodgers since he first started making noise about wanting out of Green Bay last April. They made what appeared to be a move toward recruiting the quarterback by hiring former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as the team’s new head coach in January. It is going to take a lot more than that to bring the now four-time NFL Most Valuable Player to Denver, but the Broncos own a boatload of valuable draft picks that analysts like ESPN’s Bill Barnwell have suggested they’d be willing to part with if Rodgers was the return.

“The Broncos are also uniquely positioned to put together a draft-pick package that wouldn’t leave their cupboard bare,” Ballentine wrote. “Thanks to the Von Miller trade, the Broncos have an extra second-and third-rounder in 2022. That would allow Denver to throw at least one of those in a package and still retain a selection in that round.”

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Packers, Broncos Deal for Rodgers Would Pay Draft Dividends in Green Bay for Years

Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

GettyAaron Rodgers (left) and Aaron Jones (right), of the Green Bay Packers, celebrate after Jones’ touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Denver will select inside the top 10 in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft (No. 9), which adds extra value to the already pick-laden package the Broncos could offer Green Bay should the opportunity arise.

Ballentine suggested that if the Broncos sent their first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, the second-round pick (projected at No. 64) they acquired from the Los Angeles Rams via the mid-season trade for Miller, and both a second-round and a third-round selection in 2024, that would be strong enough compensation to get a deal done.

He added that such a proposal from Denver is probably the best return the Packers could expect to get from any team for Rodgers. In this scenario, Green Bay would also send Denver a fourth-round pick in 2022 to round out the trade.

Broncos Make Sense as Trade Partner for Packers & Rodgers

There are multiple reasons beyond the enormous draft haul Denver can offer that the Packers might prefer a deal with a team like the Broncos over some other candidates. The first of which is simply that Denver plays in the AFC.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and seven-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady announced his retirement on February 1. Since that time, the Bucs have been a hot candidate in trade buzz surrounding Rodgers. But they are also the team that upended Green Bay’s run to the title two postseasons back, besting the Packers by a score of 31-26 in the NFC Championship Game.

Green Bay does not want to trade Rodgers but if he forces their hand, the team will almost certainly be more inclined to send him to the AFC rather than make him a potential rival in future NFC Playoff matchups.

The Packers also need to find a trade partner that can absorb the more than $46.5 million salary cap hit that Rodgers’ contract represents in the 2022 season. The Broncos have the financial flexibility to make the deal fit, per Spotrac.

The main flaw in Denver’s potential offer for Rodgers would be the quarterback prospect(s) the team could offer Green Bay in return. The top two signal-callers currently on the Broncos’ depth chart are Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock, neither of whom appears to be a franchise-caliber QB.

There are no quarterbacks included in the trade scenario laid out above, but the Packers may well desire a legitimate starter in return should they decide to let the two-time reigning MVP go. Jordan Love is the only real option for the Packers under center if Rodgers departs, and he has struggled during the minimal regular season playing time he’s received throughout his two-year career.

As such, a team like the Las Vegas Raiders that could offer a package including solid draft compensation, along with proven and former Pro-Bowl quarterback Derek Carr, might ultimately prove a more palatable trade partner to the Green Bay organization and Packers fans.

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