I was just watching NFL Live on ESPN and they had Adam Schefter on. He was talking about some potential draft day trades or something, I can’t even remember anymore, but before they cut to commercial break, he said, “I’ll have some breaking news when we come back.”
When he came back, he dropped the nuke of all nukes: “Aaron Rodgers has told the Green Bay Packers he does not want to return to the team.”
🤯 🤯 🤯
Pat McAfee was hinting at something huge earlier today–that would “change the fabric of the league”–but he didn’t say anything more. This is probably what he was talking about.
This is shaping up to be a truly wild draft day.
So just like that, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and all the other top draft picks have moved to the back burner. They have all been upstaged by the MVP.
Could Aaron Rodgers–the reigning MVP of the league–actually be traded? Well, there was a report earlier today that the 49ers offered Green Bay the #3 pick for him and they were rejected. That should’ve been the tip that something was amiss in Green Bay, by the way.
But the fact that the Packers, who already knew Rodgers’ stance prior to today, turned it down makes me wonder if the Packers simply aren’t entertaining the idea of trading him.
Rodgers probably made the news public on draft day in order to maximize his odds of being traded. That speaks to how serious he is about this. Draft picks are always more valuable before they’re actually used. I’m sure there are anywhere between 28-30 teams frantically preparing their best trade offers as we speak.
Where might he end up? Well, the 49ers clearly want him. And he’s from Northern California, so he wants to go to the 49ers as well. But again, the Packers allegedly refused the 49ers’ offer. Granted, the 49ers really don’t have much to offer other than the 3rd pick in terms of draft capital. They traded most of their future draft capital to obtain that 3rd pick in the first place. So maybe it was simply a matter of the Packers not being in love with whichever QB they could get at #3, be it Trey Lance, Mac Jones or Justin Fields, as well as the 49ers not having any future first round picks to offer. Green Bay does still have Jordan Love on the roster, and they spent a first round pick on him literally one year ago.
Obviously the Patriots are a contender. Can you imagine Aaron Rodgers with Belichick and McDaniels? Their pass catching corps. isn’t great, even after spending tons of money in free agency, but they do have a few decent players: Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor. Edelman is retired, though, which hurts. I’m not sure those guys would really move the needle for Rodgers, but Belichick would. The Patriots wouldn’t have many draft picks to use on weapons this year because they’d have to give up a king’s ransom just to get Rodgers in the first place. But would the Packers see the 15th pick this year and probably a first round pick that would be in the mid-late 20s next year as appealing? I’m not sure about that.
But it would be something if we saw this next year:
Actually, contrary to the earlier reports that the 49ers tried to trade for Rodgers, Schefter just said that no team has made a formal offer for him for as of now:
So either the 49ers offer was B.S. or it wasn’t a formal trade offer; it was just a “putting out the feelers” call and was shot down before it could even progress to trade details. PFT said that Rodgers urged the Packers to accept the offer, but they wouldn’t do it.
Also according to PFT, Rodgers has a short list of teams he’d like to be traded to, and they are as follows: the 49ers, the Broncos, or the Raiders.
Of those three, it would at first glance appear that the 49ers with the 3rd pick are the most attractive to trade with from the Packers’ perspective. But as we already discussed, while the 49ers have that 3rd pick, they don’t have much else beyond that in terms of future first round picks. They do, however, have the 43rd pick and the 102nd pick in this year’s draft, as well as the 117th, so it’s not like they have zero draft capital beyond the 3rd pick. It’s just that they’ve already traded away their first round picks for 2022 and 2033, so you’re only getting one first round pick if you’re trading with the 49ers.
The Broncos have the 9th pick, which is still pretty attractive, because you will probably be able to get either Justin Fields or Mac Jones (assuming Lance goes at 3 to San Fran). Or you’d be able to get the top defensive player in the draft in either Micah Parsons or Patrick Surtain II, whoever you prefer. Denver also has 9, 40, 71 and 114 in terms of additional early draft picks this year. Where Denver has the edge over San Fran is that Denver can offer first round picks in both 2022 and 2023. They’ve still got theirs.
The Raiders also can offer three first round picks, plus they’ve got four picks inside the top 100 this year: 17, 48, 79 and 80. So the Raiders can also make an attractive offer to Green Bay in terms of picks, although it’s not quite as attractive as Denver’s potential package because Denver has the 9th pick this year. You’ve got to figure any future first round picks you get from a team that acquires Aaron Rodgers are going to be later in the first round, so current first round picks (i.e. in two hours) are going to be the most valuable.
According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, if the Packers trade Rodgers today, they save about $5.6 million in cap space. But if they trade him after June 1, they save about $22.8 million, so clearly there’s some upside for them if they don’t make a trade tonight.
I don’t know how these June 1 trades work. It’s also a factor with the potential Julio Jones trade: the Falcons save a bunch more money if they trade him after June 1. But could Green Bay (or Atlanta) potentially have a secret trade agreement in place with a team already? In this case, say the Packers have a secret deal in place with the Broncos: the Broncos would be on the phone with Green Bay when it comes to the 9th pick, select the guy that Green Bay wants, and then include that draft pick in the trade after June 1. Is that possible? I don’t know how this works. I would assume this is against the rules, but then again, if both sides keep the agreement between a small number of people and agree not to say a word, then I don’t know how you’d get caught. It would be pretty difficult to prove the Broncos were drafting on behalf of Green Bay even if in a little more than a month they trade the guy they take at #9 tonight.
I personally think Denver should be considered the favorite to land Aaron Rodgers if we’re going off his short list. For one, they’re an AFC team. Second, I just see Rodgers as more of a Denver guy than a Vegas guy. But obviously the 49ers are the team Rodgers really wants to play for. I just think the 9th pick this year plus probably two future firsts is about as good as you’re going to get if you’re Green Bay.
There will be no shortage of offers flooding the Packers’ phone lines. I’m sure they’re happening right now given that the draft starts tonight. The question is whether the Packers will actually make a deal. They’d better make their minds up soon, because it seems like Rodgers has.
Look, the simple truth here is that the Packers finally pushed Aaron Rodgers to his breaking point. They took him for granted. They pissed him off mightily when they drafted Jordan Love last year, and now this year they apparently refused to restructure his contract because it would’ve meant committing to him for the next few years. And he’s just fed up with it.
He won an MVP this year and still the Packers wouldn’t commit to him. So he took matters into his own hands. He told Green Bay he’s done with their sorry asses.
A lot of people think this could be just a negotiating tactic in order to force the Packers to commit to him.
I don’t think so. I think Aaron Rodgers is for real. He’s a very smart dude. He chooses his words carefully. He’s not a guy who’s going to impulsively do something like this and let it go public. Based on what I know about Aaron Rodgers, which is primarily from watching his very candid and honest interviews with Pat McAfee, he put a lot of thought into this.
For him to tell the Green Bay Packers–the team he won a Super Bowl for, the team he won three MVPs for, the team he’s played for since 2005–that he’s done with them is not something he would just do on a whim.
It feels like this has been a long time coming. They finally pushed him to his breaking point. He’s had enough. He’s done with their asses.
Schefter just said Green Bay’s top front office brass flew out to Rodgers’ offseason house in California to meet with him three times to try and convince him to change his mind, and it hasn’t worked. They also offered to renegotiate his contract and he won’t budge.
(Side question: I wonder how those trips worked out from a logistics standpoint. Did they tell Aaron they were flying out? What did he say? “Sure, come through if you want, but I’m not changing my mind.” Did they just show up unannounced and knock on his front door? Did he answer? What if he just shut the door in their faces when he saw it was them? Did they throw rocks at his window late at night to try to get his attention? I have a lot of questions about how these trips to Aaron’s house actually went down.)
It seems like he’s made his mind up. This is not some sudden thing.
If the Packers don’t trade him, would he hold out? I think so. He’s been described “stubborn,” and I could see him holding out as long as he needs to either prove his point or get what he wants.
I think he let the word out on draft day to send the message to the Packers: this is your best chance to trade me, so when that phone rings with offers, you’d better pick it up.
Update: This from Trey Wingo. Wow.