Why the Jets are a possible destination for Aaron Rodgers

Nov 27, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

You do not have to be a football fanatic to realize that the Green Bay Packers have had a tumultuous season. At 4-8 and in third place in the NFC North, the Packers have clearly not lived up to expectations. Although Green Bay traded away Davante Adams this offseason, missing the playoffs was something that seemed impossible. However, here we are. In addition, Jordan Love came in for an injured Rodgers in week 12 against the Eagles and looked very sharp, completing six of nine pass attempts for 113 yards and one touchdown. With the Packers having little shot at the playoffs, it should be time for Green Bay to evaluate their potential future starting signal caller.

On the other side of this discussion is the New York Jets. The Jets are having themselves a great season, sitting at 7-4, and are currently in a wild card spot. However, the quarterback position has been a storyline for the last couple of weeks.

Could the Jets be willing to pay the price to acquire Aaron Rodgers in 2023?

After completing nine of 22 passes for 77 yards and no touchdowns in a 10-3 loss to the Patriots in week 11, Zach Wilson took no accountability when asked if he felt that he let the defense down. Wilson simply said, “no.” That one word, in addition to his troubling performance, may have cost him his job. Mike White started in week 12 against the Bears, throwing for 315 yards and three touchdowns. It did not help Wilson’s case that the Jets players seem to like White a lot more than Wilson. It is also worrisome for Wilson that he was benched, despite going 5-2 as a starter for the Jets this season. It shows you how underwhelming his play has been.

Both of these developments have opened the door to a possibility of a potential trade between these two organizations, and there are a few reasons why this makes sense.

One thing that could stay in the way of this happening is the structure of Rodgers’ contract, but we have seen in the past teams find ways to alter contracts to fit under the cap.

The first reason this trade makes sense is simply the fact that the Packers have a cheap, young option at quarterback that they may want to give the keys to the franchise. It has been reported in recent weeks that there are members within the front office who have wanted Love to start in previous games over Rodgers. If that is truly the case, they probably want Love to be the week one starter next season. Rodgers has proven to be difficult to work with, and the front office and the coaching staff may have had enough of the often disgruntled, passive-aggressive quarterback.

It also may be time for the Packers to focus on building a more complete roster, and trading Rodgers would give them more draft capital to work with. I do not believe the Packers are one piece away from being true contenders at this point. Every year seems to be their year to win, but that window has closed now, and they missed their opportunities.

It would be a big pill for the Packers to swallow by dealing Rodgers with a $99 million dead cap in 2023, but it may just be time to turn the page and start a clean slate with Love.

On the other side of the spectrum, this trade would make a lot of sense for the Jets. More likely than not, Zach Wilson is not the answer at quarterback for this team. It is possible that he has already lost the locker room’s trust and respect with his play and attitude. White is definitely competent and can put up big numbers, but is that truly sustainable? I do not know, but what I do know is that Rodgers is an all-time great, who is clearly an upgrade over any quarterback the Jets currently have.

In addition to all of that, the Jets have $17 million in cap space heading into 2023, which is probably not enough space for Rodgers, but there could be another $25 million cleared up by cutting Carl Lawson and Corey Davis. New York is a very young team, and no one is being paid yet. Quinnen Williams is a candidate to receive a payday, but that could hold off until next offseason. The Packers will probably have to pay some if not most of that contract regardless of if he is on their roster or not.

Pairing Rodgers with Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore, while having Breece Hall in the backfield could be a deadly offense for a year or two. Not to mention with that defense, the Jets are in win-now mode and the quarterback is the last piece of the puzzle.

Some people may think that the Jets would also have to give up multiple first-round picks, but because of Rodgers’ lack of committing for multiple years, the Jets could leverage the Packers into giving Rodgers up for a first and possibly two second-round picks. I am not saying that Green Bay would be out of bounds by asking for two first-round picks, but the Jets could potentially get Aaron Rodgers for a cheaper price than what people are thinking.

The final reason that this trade makes sense is the familiarity with systems. Rodgers would be going from playing for Matt LaFleur to Mike LaFleur, who is Matt’s brother and offensive coordinator for the Jets. Both offenses are predicated on the wide zone running scheme and depend on the run game to open up the passing attack. Aaron Rodgers would be very comfortable in this offense and would have better personnel around compared to Green Bay.

This could be an idea that seems outlandish and unrealistic, but when you look at it more closely, this trade helps two organizations that are looking for different things at this point.