Aaron Rodgers hasn’t announced his future NFL plans just yet, but he appears to be keeping his options open beyond Green Bay.
The New York Jets have had conversations with both Rodgers and the Packers, according to multiple reports, and ESPN also reported that a group of Jets officials have flown to California to meet with the 39-year-old quarterback in person.
Because Rodgers is still under contract with the Packers, the Jets needed the Packers’ permission to speak to the four-time NFL MVP. His contract status also means a trade would be required to facilitate a move to New York.
Rodgers signed an extension in March 2022 that gives him $150-plus million across three years. He would cost the Packers over $40 million in dead cap in 2023 if he were traded.
Retirement, a return to Green Bay and a trade to another team are all on the table for Rodgers. He has spent all 18 of his NFL seasons with the Packers, picking up 10 Pro Bowl nods and a Super Bowl XLV title to go along with his four regular season MVPs.
Rodgers would be a major acquisition for the QB-needy Jets. The team took Zach Wilson second overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, and though general manager Joe Douglas said the organization still feels Wilson has a “very high ceiling,” it remains highly unlikely he gets the chance to prove it again as the QB1 in New York.
The Jets reportedly were in the mix for Derek Carr, but the former Las Vegas Raiders signal caller ultimately decided to sign with the New Orleans Saints.
For the Packers, a Rodgers trade would give them more assets to build around Jordan Love. The 2020 first-rounder has made just one start in his NFL career, but GM Brian Gutekunst said he believes Love is “ready” to start.
This offseason saga has already included a darkness retreat for Rodgers. But with free agency on the horizon, there is still no light at the end of the tunnel just yet.