Aaron Rodgers took some time this offseason to think about his future with the Green Bay Packers.
It appears -- at least at the moment -- that he has decided he'd like his legendary NFL career to have a different ending than being cheered at Lambeau Field. So, could being cheered by The Faithful at Levi's Stadium be a possibility?
Rodgers reportedly is unhappy with the Packers and has told those close to him that he no longer wants to play there, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio subsequently reported that Rodgers has the 49ers, Raiders and Denver Broncos on his list of suitors, and wanted the Packers to take San Francisco's trade offer Wednesday.
Yes, Rodgers and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan would be an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses and, barring catastrophic injury, likely would win multiple Super Bowl championships before the quarterback hangs them up. However, any 49ers trade for Rodgers would have significant hurdles, given the amount of draft capital San Francisco just traded to move up to the No. 3 spot in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Players like Rodgers aren't traded very often. It's extremely rare for star quarterbacks to be dealt and even more rare for the reigning NFL MVPs to be traded. In fact, the second part never has happened in NFL history.
Anyways, let's run through a few recent NFL blockbuster trades to try to gauge how a Rodgers deal would be constructed.
2020: The New York Jets trade Jamal Adams and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2021 first-round pick, a 2021 third-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick and Bradley McDougald
2016: The Cleveland Browns trade the No. 2 pick (Carson Wentz) and a 2017 fourth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2016 first-round pick (No. 8), a 2016 third-round pick, a 2016 fourth-round pick, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2018 second-round pick
2016: The Tennessee Titans trade the No. 1 pick (Jared Goff), a 2016 fourth-round pick, and a 2016 sixth-round pick to the then-St. Louis Rams for a 2016 first-round pick (No. 15), two 2016 second-round picks, a 2016 third-round pick, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 third-round pick.
2012: The Rams trade the No. 2 pick (Robert Griffin III) to Washington for the No. 6 pick, a 2012 second-round pick, a 2013 first-round pick and a 2014 first-round pick.
2009: The Denver Broncos trade Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears for Kyle Orton, a 2009 first-round pick (No. 18), a 2009 third-round pick and a 2010 first-round pick.
Perhaps the Broncos-Bears deal should be a starting point. Cutler was 25 years old and fresh off a Pro Bowl season. So let's take that value and amplify it a bit to reach a potential package the 49ers could offer for Rodgers.
Package before 2021 NFL Draft starts: 2021 No. 3 overall pick, Jimmy Garoppolo, 2021 second-round pick and a 2024 first-round pick
You see where not having first-round picks in 2022 or 2023 hurts. This year's No. 3 pick will hold value to the Packers, but only while it remains a pick. Once the 49ers select a quarterback with it, the Packers would have little interest in the deal, as they drafted Jordan Love in the first round last year.
Even if a deal could be cobbled together before the draft, is that package enough to pry the reigning NFL MVP away from the Packers? Maybe not. Would the 49ers have to sweeten the deal with a player such as Dre Greenlaw, Fred Warner or Brandon Aiyuk? Possibly.
Once the 49ers make their selection at No. 3, any deal they make would have to include a number of their best players since they are low on draft capital.
It's impossible to even work a potential deal post-draft, as the 49ers likely would have to find a way to secure more draft capital, which would require a multi-team deal that includes San Francisco shipping out the quarterback it just drafted to a team that would, in turn, send picks to the Packers.
The clock is ticking on the 49ers' dreams of landing Rodgers 16 years after passing on him with the No. 1 pick in the draft. Once the clock strikes 5:30-ish PT, it's almost certainly a wrap.