Aaron Rodgers trade rumors: 49ers, Jets among 11 potential suitors if Packers looks to sell Star QB in 2023

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have three straight seasons from 2019-2021 with at least 13 wins and one playoff appearance. With less than half of the 2022 season remaining, Green Bay isn’t even guaranteed to crack the postseason this time around. And the 38-year-old Rodgers is experiencing one of the toughest offensive performances of his career. It’s not inconceivable that after back-to-back offseasons in which the legendary quarterback parted ways with the pack, the opportunity would crop up again.

Rodgers just signed a three-year, $150 million contract extension in March. He’s more likely to retire or return to Green Bay in 2023. But he’s flirted with a move before, and the Packers are financially strapped ahead of the 2023 offseason, with glaring holes in key positions. Assuming the ship isn’t righted before the end of this season, a subsequent trade could benefit both parties: Rodgers could theoretically salvage whatever’s left of his career on a better contender, and Green Bay could deal with draft Stock up on picks for a real rebuild, managing director Brian Gutekunst.

Outsourcing his monster contract would present challenges, but Rodgers has no no-trade clause on his deal, meaning he can be shipped anywhere, and his bonuses are structured so he’s not immobile. He’s also relatively affordable for a potential acquisition team, at least in 2023 when he has to count $31.6 million towards the salary cap — No. 10 among all QBs.

With that in mind, here’s an early look at logical suitors for Rodgers should he and Green Bay agree to part ways:

Note: Salary cap figures courtesy of Over the Cap.

Denver was reportedly high on Rodger’s wish list if he hadn’t reunited with the Packers before 2022, and the Broncos reportedly put on a strong run at A-Rod before selling the farm for Russell Wilson. The logistical hurdles would be immense, but how about swapping one aging star for another? Nathaniel Hackett could reunite with a QB proven to suit him, and Wilson could get an Aaron Jones-led ground game with a chance to actually continue to build on his legacy for a historic franchise.

As a short-term beginner, let alone as a long-term investment, Marcus Mariota hardly registers. But the Falcons are competitive in a wide-open division, with tons of 2023 cap room ($57 million). They’ve proven they can handle the ball under Arthur Smith, who succeeded current Packers coach Matt LaFleur in Tennessee; All they need now is a difference maker under the middle.

Always open to experienced QB trades, they have the weapons and defense skills to stay in the playoff mix. What they don’t have, as usual, is a true franchise signal caller, which inevitably requires Carson Wentz to be cut. Cap space is an issue, but if the respected Ron Rivera is still in charge, he could be a real draw for a longtime vet like Rodgers.

GM Jason Licht will be craving a quick fix when Tom Brady, 45, quits for good or, perhaps more likely, tests the free hand in search of a definitive fresh start. The question is, does he have enough cap manipulation up his sleeve to make it work? On paper, the sunny target would be appealing to Rodgers, who could potentially help reshape the offensive philosophy and guide roster decisions like Brady did. If healthy, they remain a contender in a wide-open division.

You can only win for so long despite your young QB(s), right? Bill Belichick has the running game and defense to improve the uninspiring game under middle, but in 2023 he’ll also have the cap room ($48.8 million) to pursue a blockbuster upgrade to Mac Jones . What better way to finally recreate the Brady era than to do whatever it takes for the next best thing? Rodgers could also potentially put his own twist on offense/staff, allowing Belichick to focus his full attention on the “D.”

New York has the advantage of entering 2023 not only with a plethora of caps ($46 million), but also with the knowledge that new coach Brian Daboll is able to maximize staffing. Rodgers is a noted fan of Josh Allen, whose rise came under Daboll’s direction in Buffalo and would transition from one historic franchise to the next. The Giants, meanwhile, have had decent growth from Daniel Jones in 2022 but would be a real contender with superior playmakers under center and wide.

However respected he may be in the organisation, Derek Carr is hugely expendable after 2022 and could well be ready for a new backdrop after another lost season. Rodgers, meanwhile, has been making chemistry with his top investment Davante Adams and would move closer to his West Coast home.

Ryan Tannehill is doing his job well for a team that never dies, but he owes more than Rodgers in 2023 and another early playoff exit seems to confirm his ceiling. A-Rod loves him like Mike Vrabel who, despite a proven track record of postseason competition, is yet to have a superstar in QB. LaFleur emerged from this organization. And Rodgers would certainly benefit from an offense leaning heavily on Derrick Henry’s aching legs, let alone a yearly open division.

Geno Smith is one of this year’s best stories, but at 32 years old and approaching free agency, he’ll be a risky bet considering 2022 is his only productive season as a starter. Seattle wouldn’t necessarily want to sack an aging QB (Russell Wilson) only to add another a year later, but Pete Carroll, 71, is likely more interested in fighting sooner rather than later. He’s got other plays – Kenneth Walker III, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett – to help. He’s got plenty of cap space ($30.6 million) and even more draft picks from the Russ deal. And GM John Schneider has a big Packers connection; He was Ted Thompson’s top advisor when Green Bay called up Rodgers, and he was the director of football operations when A-Rod took over Brett Favre and won his only Super Bowl.

Already skating on thin ice both on the field and in the locker room, sophomore QB Zach Wilson is proving to be the weakest link in an otherwise feisty playoff hopeful. They mount in every spot except under the center, making a veteran upgrade extra tempting. Coach Robert Saleh is a respected voice who is a good personal fit for A-Rod from his time with the 49ers. And offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, a student of Kyle Shanahan, is the younger brother of Matt, Rodgers’ coach at Green Bay.

1. 49ers

This may sound like an insult to Jimmy Garoppolo, who put in a truly underrated performance in replacing Trey Lance once again. Jimmy G could actually be on course to retain QB1 duties in 2023. But he’ll be a free agent first, and with Lance still a complete unknown, why shouldn’t Kyle Shanahan investigate this pairing? He’s admittedly done it before, calling the Packers about Rodgers’ availability before 2021. San Francisco is built to fight, with guns on either side of the ball. And Rodgers would certainly jump at the opportunity, growing up as a 49ers fan in California and famously wishing San Francisco had drafted him in 2005.

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