The Aaron Rodgers saga is nearing its conclusion. Appearing on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday afternoon, Rodgers said he intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023 and is waiting for Gang Green to work out a trade with the Green Bay Packers.
Rodgers will be in New York next week, as Pro Football Network’s Trey Wingo reported on Wednesday’s edition of Football Insiders (which you can watch above). Wingo also added that a deal between the Jets and Packers is “nearly” complete.
Aaron Rodgers Will Travel to New York Next Week
Rodgers explained on McAfee’s show that he began his infamous “darkness retreat” with his mind largely set — 90% — on retiring. However, after contemplating his NFL future, Rodgers decided to head to New York.
Rodgers cautioned that Wednesday was not a “decision day” and indicated he had made up his mind earlier in this process — which Wingo alluded to on Monday when he indicated the Rodgers-to-Jets trade would be completed.
Jets officials and ownership flew to California last week to meet with Rodgers, who provided New York’s decision-makers with a “wish list” of potential Rodgers-friendly acquisitions. Gang Green already signed former Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard to a four-year, $44 million deal on Tuesday, while Odell Beckham Jr., Randall Cobb, and Marcedes Lewis were also among Rodgers’ preferred targets.
At this point, a Rodgers trade seems to be held up by Green Bay’s desired compensation. According to NFL Media, the Packers are not aiming for a package that contains multiple first-round picks, which is what the Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos paid to acquire Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson, respectively, in recent offseasons.
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Still, Rodgers’ public admission that he wants to play for the Jets could put New York in a bind. With fans ready for the future Hall of Famer to take over under center, the Jets could be pressured into sacrificing more draft capital than they’re comfortable with.
At the same time, the Packers are likely ready for the Rodgers era to end. Team president Mark Murphy has already talked about Rodgers in the past tense — saying he “had a great career here” — while general manager Brian Gutekunst has spoken glowingly about former first-round pick and Rodgers successor Jordan Love.
Rodgers and the Jets may also have to hammer out contract details, although the cap charges they’d inherit over the next two seasons — $15.79 million in 2023 and $32.54 million — are incredibly reasonable for a quarterback of Rodgers’ stature. Theoretically, New York could also be interested in ensuring Rodgers will continue to play after the 2023 campaign.
The Rodgers trade will get done — it’s just a matter of time. A deal could come together quickly now that he’s officially made his decision, and next week’s trip to New York could help get things moving.