Could Green Bay Really Trade Aaron Rodgers?
A rumored trade by the Green Bay Packers for their future Hall of Famer has swirled around the news as of late.
Over the weekend and during the NFL Draft, while most of the talk was about rookie quarterbacks and their new teams, one future Hall of Fame quarterback and the potential for a new team was also in the headlines.
Aaron Rodgers, according to reports, is not a happy Packer. He has allegedly told members of the team that he does not want to return for the 2021 season. Then we heard reports that he would be willing to return, but only if current general manager Brian Gutekunst was fired.
Gutekunst, for his part, does not think a separation is required. He says the relationship can be salvaged, and all parties in Green Bay can work together to get back to a third straight NFC Championship Game and hopefully advance to the Super Bowl. “We want Aaron to be our quarterback. We’re pretty resolute with that. We want to leave every avenue open for that to happen.”
Gutekunst also denied reports that he was fielding trade offers before or during the draft, saying, “I had no discussions with any team. I received one call from a team Thursday night after all the news came out. I said no. That was the end of the conversation.”
Denver As Possible Rodgers Home
Reports are that the Broncos did make an offer to the Packers, and they certainly do have things to put on the table, like young players and draft picks. But it will likely take three first-round picks to get Rodgers and someone like a Courtland Sutton or Von Miller. If Green Bay is going to open the season with Jordan Love as the quarterback, they need top players around him.
Another possible package from Denver could include quarterback Drew Lock who is only two years older than Love, so with the same possibilities at development.
One interesting thing to note about the possibility of Rodgers to the Broncos is the reaction to the rumors at offshore sportsbooks. Before the Rodgers story broke, the Broncos were +6000 to win the Super Bowl. Following the Rodgers story, they are +1600 to win the Super Bowl, according to BetUS Sportsbook.
They had a good draft, and Patrick Surtain II looks to have a bright future, but oddsmakers didn’t make that big a change because of a cornerback. That is absolutely a hedge on Rodgers becoming the Broncos quarterback before September.
Maybe the Raiders
New reports followed the Broncos reports that said Rodgers would be interested in Las Vegas. Reportedly.
The Raiders seem ready to keep Derek Carr as their quarterback. He did have one of his better seasons last year. Plus, he has a legitimate star in tight end Darren Waller and the additions of John Brown and Willie Snead this offseason.
But a trade for Rodgers is exactly the kind of move that the Davis family loves, and a move to Las Vegas would put Rodgers closer to his fiance in Los Angeles. And the Jeopardy! studios in Culver City.
Jon Gruden has also said in the past that his greatest regret in life was not taking Rodgers in 2005. Instead, with Brian Griese and Chris Simms as his quarterbacks in Tampa Bay, Gruden took running back Cadillac Williams and passed on Rodgers.
So maybe this would be Gruden’s way of finding absolution 16 years later, but the Raiders didn’t see an equivalent boost to their Super Bowl odds, still priced at +6600.
Why is Rodgers Unhappy?
There are a number of possibilities, and all of them might be true. Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers, and he’s played with a chip on his shoulder since he dropped to 24th overall. He’s always looked for motivation, to believe that he has things to prove and overcome, and this may be part of that.
No question, the Packers’ draft history plays a big role in this. With the exception of last season, when Green Bay traded up to draft Rodgers’ replacement over the last 10 years, they have only drafted defensive players in the first round.
It’s not as if Rodgers doesn’t have offensive weapons around him. Wide receiver Davante Adams is a cheat code and one of the best wide receivers in football. Running back Aaron Jones is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. And Rodgers played behind a line in 2020 that featured two All-Pros and a third Pro Bowler.