As Aaron Rodgers’ decision looms heavy over the Green Bay Packers’ plans for the 2022 season and beyond, it appears that teams are lining up to try to acquire the back-to-back reigning MVP should he decide to leave Green Bay. Although Rodgers has not yet revealed his plans, a report from an NFL insider suggests that the Packers could have a bidding war on their hands if he does ask to leave.
Here’s the report from ESPN’s Dianna Russini:
Aaron Rodgers will be informing the Packers of his decision soon, per league sources. I’m told there are multiple teams with offers on the table but of course, nothing can happen until the Green Bay Packers allow a trade.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) February 24, 2022
The fact that general manager Brian Gutekunst already has multiple offers for Rodgers suggests that he may be able to play those offers against one another to drive up the price for acquiring Rodgers. That would surely need to involve NFL-ready players in addition to a massive haul of draft picks, as an NFL player has never been traded following a season in which he won the MVP award.
Of course, the idea of a trade assumes two things: first, that Rodgers still wants to play but no longer wants to be in Green Bay; and second, that the Packers are willing to grant a trade request. It is also notable, as Rodgers acknowledged when he returned to Green Bay for training camp in 2021, that the Packers never agreed to trade him this offseason as a condition of his return.
The Packers still maintain Rodgers’ contract rights for 2022, so he cannot unilaterally force his way out of Green Bay should the Packers not want to trade him away. Nor can Rodgers dictate a destination on his own even if the Packers did agree to trade him. The threat of retirement and the cap hit of Rodgers’ contract (approximately $46 million) are his only points of leverage.
When Rodgers does announce his decision, the storyline will enter its next chapter. But even though teams may be lining up to try to acquire him, the Packers still hold most of the cards in the situation.