According to Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson, who made an appearance on Wilde & Tausch for ESPN Radio Wisconsin on Wednesday, the New York Jets once had a better offer on the table than what they’d currently accept from the Green Bay Packers for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. As Robinson put it, the Jets once were willing to give up a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 first-round pick — without any clauses — before Rodgers’ appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, where he famously stated that his “intention” was to play for New York in 2023.
So what’s happened since then? According to Robinson, who has previously reported that the Jets have turned their 2024 offer into a conditional second-round pick and would like a 2025 choice in return should Rodgers retire in 2024, Rodgers’ announcement that he was “90 percent” retired going into his darkness retreat was news to New York, who had already visited him in-person in Malibu by that point in the offseason.
Now, apparently, owner Woody Johnson is “scared” about giving up a first-round pick for Rodgers in 2024 without there being strings attached to it. The problem is that even adding a condition to a trade that would convert that offered 2024 second-round pick into a first-round pick if the Jets host a home playoff game becomes unlikely to be earned, as there are two other AFC contenders — the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins — in the East division.
As far as giving up that unconditional first-round pick goes, though, Robinson stated, “Woody Johnson is not gonna do it.” Robinson also noted that a first-round pick swap has been discussed, with the Packers potentially moving up from the 15th overall pick to the 13th overall pick in the 2023 draft. Allegedly, both teams are trying to acquire 2024 draft value in the off chance that their quarterback situations don’t pan out and they need to get in on the race for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, the top two quarterbacks in next year’s class. There’s a good chance that Williams and Maye, individually, will be considered better than any quarterbacks in the 2023 and 2022 draft classes by the time they’re eligible to declare.
Apparently, the Jets’ backup option is Ryan Tannehill, who Robinson said is being shopped by the Tennessee Titans. That’s a pretty steep dropoff from a four-time MVP.
If the owner is digging his heels in, maybe it’s time for Green Bay to open up bidding for the quarterback. While Rodgers stated that his “intentions” are to play with the Jets, he doesn’t possess a no-trade clause, meaning that he doesn’t control his own destiny. General manager Brian Gutekunst has stated several times that the team is trying to send Rodgers where he wants to be, as a show of doing him right on the way out. With New York drastically changing course over the last month, though, the Packers need to be prepared for alternatives as we inch closer to the draft.
Last week, a report from FS1’s Craig Craton claimed that the San Francisco 49ers are back in the mix for Rodgers, as they’d apparently offer “multiple third-round picks” and an unconditional 2024 first-round pick if the Jets can’t come closer to the Packers’ asks. Earlier this week, team president Mark Murphy said that he expected no update on Rodgers’ situation during Green Bay’s tailgate tour, which ends on Saturday. Earlier on Wednesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter stated on air that the two sides haven’t talked much since the owners’ meetings a few weeks ago and that “both sides now appear to be dug in.”
If you’d like to listen to the full clip from Robinson on Wilde & Tausch, it starts around the 36-minute mark in the video below.