While we await a trade between the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers to bring quarterback Aaron Rodgers to New York, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer provided an update this week.
I think it’ll happen sooner than people think because I don’t think things between the Packers and Jets are in nearly as bad a place as some seem to believe they are. We mentioned earlier in the week the rapport between GMs Joe Douglas and Brian Gutekunst from their time coming up as young road scouts. The two head coaches, Robert Saleh and Matt LaFleur, are best friends. So any raw feelings between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, I think, are manageable, because of the relationships in place.
There’s also been progress toward hammering out a deal, in large part because despite the whole who’s-got-leverage argument, there’s reason for both sides to be motivated to get this one done.
What will that deal look like? If I had to guess, I’d put it at either the 42nd or 43rd pick, and a conditional pick or picks down the line. And to answer your question directly, I think it could happen as early as this week, and certainly will get done before the draft. So have patience, Jets fans—your quarterback is coming.
We certainly got some positive signals about the trade this week at the league’s owners meetings.
Rather than pretending the Jets were considering a pivot to Lamar Jackson, Joe Douglas stated the team’s focus is on Rodgers. Douglas noted that the Jets want to negotiate in good faith. That doesn’t sound like the type of thing a general manager would say in acrimonious negotiations.
Meanwhile the Packers publicly moved away from the notion they needed to get a first round pick in a Rodgers trade.
The “leverage” argument Breer discussed has always seemed a bit silly to me. A side only has “leverage” in a negotiation if it is willing to walk away from a deal. A Rodgers return to Green Bay seems untenable at this point. The Packers want to move forward with Jordan Love, and Rodgers can’t be there in that scenario. The only team interested in trading for him is the Jets. The Jets have no Plan B. Everybody needs this to get done eventually.
Of course nobody needs it to get done anytime soon, though. Time will tell whether Breer’s prediction of a potentially quick resolution will come true.