Jets or Bust In Potential Rodgers Trade?

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If the Green Bay Packers want to trade Aaron Rodgers, the list of suitors could be short.

INDIANAPOLIS – If the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers decide a trade is in their best interests, the next task for general manager Brian Gutekunst will be building a trade market.

That might be easier said than done.

In his latest column for Pro Football Talk, longtime NFL writer Peter King wrote about the drama at the top of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Chicago Bears own the No. 1 overall pick but don’t need a quarterback. That means they’ll be able to attract a bidding war for some quarterback-starved team that covets Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.

The Houston Texans (second overall pick), Indianapolis Colts (fourth), Las Vegas Raiders (seventh) and Carolina Panthers (ninth) are teams picking in the top 10 that need a quarterback.

“I hear – though it might be smoke – that none of the four wants to scotch-tape a veteran like 39-year-old Aaron Rodgers and probably not Derek Carr,” King wrote.

As first blush, that would mean an evaporating trade market for the living-legend quarterback. However, the reason why Rodgers would want to be traded is to be better positioned to win the Super Bowl. The Texans, Colts and Panthers are in no position to win a championship. Thus, chances are Rodgers would use his unofficial veto power by saying he’d rather retire than play for, say, the Colts.

The Raiders, with Davante Adams to catch passes and a lot of cap space, could quickly jump into championship contention, but that doesn’t appear to be part of their long-term vision.

“We’re in charge of filling the most important position on the team,” Raiders GM Dave Ziegler said on the Bussin with the Boys podcast. “There’s some pressure that comes along with that. And however we fill it, it doesn’t mean we’re going to have an immediate answer this year. But, at the end of the day, we have to have an answer in some form or fashion. There’s pressure that comes along with it. That’s also part of the excitement, too.”

So, what team need a quarterback, and which of those teams could interest Rodgers?

Obviously, the New York Jets. They’ve made no bones about wanting to bring in a capable veteran. With Nathaniel Hackett hired as offensive coordinator, those are some easy dots to connect.

As reported by The New York Post: “If Rodgers makes his intentions known this week, things could heat up in Indianapolis. If Rodgers says he is open to a trade, the talks between the Jets and Packers could get serious here. They have had some preliminary discussions already but nothing substantive can happen until Rodgers makes it known what he wants.”

Sticking with the AFC East, the New England Patriots haven’t committed to 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones, whose passer rating in Year 2 dipped to 84.8. Rodgers and Patriots coach Bill Belichick hold each other in high regard.

Would Gutekunst trade Rodgers to an NFC team? If so, he could greatly expand the potential trade market. And the more teams that are interested, the greater the potential compensation.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to replace Tom Brady and the New Orleans Saints are still trying to replace Drew Brees.

The San Francisco 49ers have a loaded roster but major questions at quarterback with unproven Trey Lance and injured Brock Purdy. Gutekunst might be reluctant to help the powerful Niners, though, who might be a quarterback away from the Super Bowl.

The Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks might need quarterbacks, depending on the free-agent futures of Lamar Jackson, Daniel Jones and Geno Smith, respectively.

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