On Saturday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers “are fully aware that a trade is a very real scenario this offseason” on NFL Countdown. Rodgers, the 39-year-old quarterback, is currently weighing retirement options for the third straight offseason in a row.
Some QB updates from ESPN’s Postseason NFL Countdown on Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Derek Carr and Lamar Jackson: pic.twitter.com/nvtC06bw0p— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 21, 2023
Following the Packers’ season-ending loss in Week 18, Rodgers stated to the press that he was going to take some time to make his decision, but that he wouldn’t “hold [the Packers] hostage” and would have a choice made by the start of free agency. In his own end-of-year presser, general manager Brian Gutekunst said that he wants Rodgers back in Green Bay next season, echoing the words that Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur stated during the team’s bye week.
So why would the Packers trade Rodgers? According to Schefter, “tThe Packers are expected to move on from certain players, which Aaron Rodgers probably will not like.” It’s worth noting here that on The Pat McAfee Show last week Rodgers name-dropped receiver Randall Cobb, receiver Allen Lazard, tight end Marcedes Lewis, tight end Robert Tonyan and left tackle David Bakhtiari as players with uncertain standing with the team who could influence his return to Green Bay. Bakhtiari is under contract and Gutekunst has stated that the Packers want him to come back in 2023, but the remaining players are set to be unrestricted free agents this offseason.
Rodgers said in that interview that he wouldn’t want to stick through a rebuild, but what qualifies as a rebuild in Rodgers’ mind? If those mid-level veterans aren’t paid, would the four-time MVP force his way out of Green Bay? That’s the question that’s looming.
.@SportsCenter updates on DeMeco Ryans’ busy 72 hours; what people around league are saying on Lamar, Carr; Brady/Raiders dynamic and dissecting Jordan Love’s future in Green Bay. (With @thekimchipapi) pic.twitter.com/9iy4U1Ht6f— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 21, 2023
A few hours later, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler spoke on SportsCenter from the perspective of the Packers’ other quarterback: Jordan Love. Fowler claimed that Love, a former first-round pick, could request “a trade at that point,” in reference to Rodgers coming back to Green Bay. As we’ve written before at Acme Packing Company, Love has no real leverage for a trade request as Gutekunst has claimed “it’s a good problem” to have multiple quarterbacks and the team seems to be leaning toward picking up Love’s 2024 fifth-year option this offseason.
With that being said, Love and Rodgers are represented by the same agency, which presents some problems. Remember the Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo fiasco in New England?
Fowler also dropped one final nugget: NFL teams expect Rodgers will play in 2023. Now that that’s cleared up, it’s time to figure out how many of those veterans Rodgers will demand if he comes back to the Packers and if Gutekunst will stick to his guns and keep both quarterbacks next season.