The 2023 NFL Draft is just four days away, and with it comes a practical deadline for the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets to come to an agreement on a trade for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It should therefore come as no surprise that the two teams are finally resuming discussions about that trade after talks had been dormant for weeks.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network brought the news on Sunday that the two franchises are “re-engaged” in negotiations, adding that the two sides hope that they can agree upon a deal this week in time for the draft.
As a reminder, the Jets hold the 13th pick of the first round. Any deal involving that selection would need to be consummated by Thursday evening, probably around 9:30 PM Eastern. If that first-round pick ends up not being included, the two sides could continue working through Friday, when the second round is set to begin at 7:00 PM. The Jets hold the 42nd and 43rd overall picks in round two, while Green Bay has picks 45 (2nd round) and 76 (3rd round).
Friday is a more likely deadline, as it does not appear that the 13th pick is under serious consideration to change hands — unless it is part of a swap with the Packers’ 15th pick. Indeed, Green Bay appears more focused on obtaining an extra first-rounder for 2024 instead of in this week’s draft.
Reporting from Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson a few weeks ago suggests that the primary hangup on the deal involves that potential 2024 first-round draft pick heading from the Jets to the Packers. Robinson reported that at one point, the Jets were offering a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 first-rounder, with the Packers sending a conditional 2025 pick if Rodgers retires before the 2024 season. However, according to Robinson, Jets owner Woody Johnson became wary of the 2024 first-rounder being guaranteed following Rodgers’ comments on The Pat McAfee Show about being “90 percent” sure he would retire prior to emerging from his darkness retreat.
Since that time, the Jets traded their third-round pick along with wideout Elijah Moore to the Cleveland Browns for pick number 42, changing the terms of a potential trade. With no third-rounder this year remaining, the Packers are likely setting their sights on one or more of the Jets’ second-rounders while hoping to convince New York to still give up their first pick in 2024.
With the draft fast approaching, the fact that the two sides are talking once again is unsurprising. However, the negotiations will likely continue without a deal until later this week. At some point — probably Friday evening — this drama should all eventually go through.