If you were hoping for a quick resolution to all of this Aaron Rodgers drama, Adam Schefter’s report on Wednesday morning threw a bucket of cold water on that. According to ESPN’s NFL insider, compensation — both to the Green Bay Packers in a trade and Rodgers’ contract structure — is what’s holding up a potential trade of the quarterback to the New York Jets.
As Schefter puts it, there are “layers” to this story that aren’t as simple as Rodgers wanting or not wanting to play for the Jets next season.
.@AdamSchefter has the latest on Aaron Rodgers:— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 15, 2023
"I will not be surprised if Aaron Rodgers tells Pat McAfee, yes, that he wants to play for the Jets. But as you've been saying all week long, there are layers to this whole situation." pic.twitter.com/3QojctyHaq
Per Schefter, the Packers “felt that [Rodgers] was worth a package that was similar to the one that the Rams once got for Matthew Stafford, which was multiple [first-round draft picks.]” Back in 2021, the Detroit Lions sent Stafford to Los Angeles for quarterback Jared Goff and the Rams’ next three seasons’ worth of first-round draft choices. The assumption was that at least one, maybe two, of those first-round picks were attached to the deal so that Detroit would assume Goff’s remaining guaranteed salary, getting cash off of the Rams’ books.
The ESPN reporter would later state, “The Jets aren’t willing to give up what the Packers are asking.” That’s one hurdle, according to Schefter, despite the fact that “all signs continue to point” to Rodgers wanting to play for the Jets next season.
It appears that Green Bay is willing to play the long game on a Rodgers trade, too, which means the deadline to get this deal done might not be 4 PM Eastern on Wednesday — when the new league year officially begins — but actually the 2023 NFL Draft — when 2023 draft picks would have to be replaced by future draft compensation. Schefter added, “As much as [the Packers would] like to clear salary from their books and gain clarity, they’re not rushing to do that.”
Beyond trade compensation, the second hurdle Schefter mentioned was Rodgers’ contract structure, which he stated the Jets would want to re-work. Picking up Rodgers’ $58.3 million roster bonus, which acts as his salary for 2023, would already spread that number over multiple years on the salary cap. In essence, the only way to lower Rodgers’ already low 2023 salary cap number of $15.8 million for the Jets, following a potential trade on his current deal, is by convincing Rodgers to take less money to continue his career.
From the sounds of it, there’s plenty of work to be done before Rodgers is sent to New York. Don’t expect the quarterback to announce a trade on The Pat McAfee Show when he makes an appearance later today. Apparently, the only thing that’s been figured out at this point is that Rodgers seems to want to be a Jet and that New York is interested in his services. Everything else remains undecided.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero refutes Schefter’s report and states that the Packers aren’t requesting multiple first-round picks in exchange for Rodgers.
The #Packers and #Jets continue to negotiate on an Aaron Rodgers trade but have not yet agreed to trade terms, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 15, 2023
Green Bay isn’t looking for multiple first-round picks like other QBs (Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford) have commanded in recent years. Talks ongoing. pic.twitter.com/W1SZlx0UZA