The Green Bay Packers and New York Jets are on the verge of agreeing to compensation for an Aaron Rodgers trade, according to Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports. The deal still has some final details to work out, with the Jets seeking to protect themselves from a potential Rodgers retirement — essentially that the Packers would trade picks back to the Jets in the event that Rodgers doesn’t play in 2024.
The report dovetails interestingly with other information that has been released recently, including statements from general manager Brian Gutekunst detailing that Rodgers’ timeline of events didn’t quite match up to what he shared on the Pat McAfee Show — for example, that Gutekunst and the Packers attempted to contact him in order to understand his plans and work with him about a shared vision of the team.
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When asked why talks about Rodgers’ fit within the team never happened after the season, Gutekunst responded that they had attempted to reach Rodgers “Many times,” adding, “I can’t really put it on anybody. They just never did transpire.
A lot of attempts and went through that, but at the same time, again, we’re always looking out for what’s best for the Green Bay Packers. As time went on, we kind of had to move.”
It also seems as if Rodgers had shared his desire to be traded to the Jets well before his announcement and shortly after the season. This contradicts Rodgers’ claims that he was surprised to learn upon his return from his retreat that he was being shopped around.
Gutekunst directly told reporters that this timeline is “certainly not true,” adding that without contact from Rodgers or his team, he had to assess trade value but did not try to offload the quarterback.
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The drama between Gutekunst and Rodgers seemingly didn’t extend to head coach Matt LaFleur, who at the owners meetings said, “I’m not going to get into any of that stuff. I know it’s disappointing for all you guys, but it is what it is.” He added, “At the same time, we’re excited about Jordan [Love] and how he’s been able to progress as a quarterback — how he’s matured as a man.”
As for the compensation the two sides have tentatively agreed to, Robinson’s report indicates that it would be “two high draft picks” from the Jets, which could be a second-round pick this year and a second-round pick next year that could escalate to a first-round pick based on escalators. Those escalators would be attached to either team performance — like entry into the playoffs — or Rodgers’ performance — like hitting a touchdown or yardage threshold.
Neither the Jets nor the Packers indicated that they felt any urgency to get the deal done soon, though there are some dates on the NFL calendar that are worth keeping track of. The draft starts on April 27, and club facilities open up on April 17, meaning that if the Jets wanted to get Rodgers into the building as quickly as possible, they would likely want to hammer out a deal before then.