I think we’re all ready for this Aaron Rodgers saga to end, that’s the one thing Packers and Jets fans can agree on at the moment.
Yesterday, Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari was on with the Bussin with the Boys podcast and he made a few interesting comments.
The one that generated the headlines seemed to indicate the Packers could keep Rodgers, but that really doesn’t make any logical sense and I think it was more a throwaway comment than an actual realistic scenario:
“The Packers are rebuilding whether you think so or not,” Bakhtiari said. “[People will say] ‘Could they be good, I don’t know.’ More people are going to think they’re [the Packers] going to be more bad than good, right? That’s fair to say. Then, they’ll [the Packers] will say ‘We’re going to suck anyways, we want what we want, and we’re not going to bend to anyone, so we’ll just eat it [Aaron Rodgers’ contract]. Stay unretired, we’ll pay you [Rodgers]. We don’t care because if we’re going to do it our way, it’s going to be on our terms. If not, what we’re going to be Super Bowl contenders anyways? We’ll eat it, you [Rodgers] can hang on the side, pay you [Rodgers] your money, we’ll suck anyways, and get the [high draft] picks.”
So the Packers are going to pay Rodgers nearly $60 million to “hang on the side” as a constant distraction all season, a permanent shadow over Jordan Love? That’s not happening. If Bakhtiari thinks the GM would look bad taking less than perceived value, he’d look damn right foolish to pay a QB that kind of money to be a distraction and come away with 0 draft picks for the trouble.
“Could the Packers be really good? Yeah, I certainly hope so and would love that, but also I would be ignorant to not say that this looks like a rebuild. I think the most simple thing is they’ll [the Packers] get whatever picks they wanted, they’ll get it before the draft, and then time will show us. He’s going to be a Jet.”
Whether the Packers get what they want depends on what they want. If they’re asking for that 13th overall pick, they’re unlikely to get what they want. We’ve spoken numerous times about leverage, and I think both teams can at least make an argument for possessing more than the other. With that being said, the Packers can’t and won’t have Rodgers around the team in 2023 and the Jets really want him leading their team, you know a deal is going to get done and it’ll be mutually beneficial.
Countless times during the interview, he spoke about Rodgers in the past tense in terms of their time in Green Bay and while the two are extremely close friends, Bakhtiari did say that Rodgers is the Jet's problem now.
“If it ain’t one thing, it’s another type thing with (Rodgers),” Bakhtiari said. “Kudos to him, he’s definitely a guy who likes being talked about. Very mysterious, I think he kind of likes that. Honestly, it has been kind of chill as of late. He is a Jet now, so it’s the Jets’ problem.”