Wednesday’s comments from Aaron Rodgers actually make it easier for the Packers to hold firm
At first, it seemed foolish for the Packers to let the Jets speak to Aaron Rodgers without having a clear and firm commitment as to what the Jets would give up for him. Now, it’s looking more and more like a genius move.
With Rodgers bearing his soul and airing his grievances earlier today, the nuclear option is off the table. Rodgers won’t be showing up and saying to the Packers, “I’ll take my $60 million in tens and twenties.”
Rodgers is done. He’s out. He said so. The Packers won’t be faced with Rodgers doing what Brett Favre did in 2008, retiring and then awkwardly unretiring and forcing the team’s hand during training camp.
So Green Bay can wait. It costs them nothing to have him on the roster. His $58.3 million option bonus can be exercised at any time between the start of the league and the start of the regular season. His cap number is and will remain $31.6 million until he’s dealt. If the Packers trade him before June 1, the 2023 cap charge actually increases, to $37.4 million.
There’s no urgency for the Packers to trade him now. Rodgers has taken his shot. He has called them out.
And he’s absolutely right. They want to move on from one of the greatest players in franchise history. Why are they being difficult?
The answer is because they can. Plain and simple. The Jets need to get this done, and the Packers know the Jets need to get it done. So the Packers can wait and wait and wait until they get what they want.
It’s actually better in 2023 for the Packers to wait until after June 1, if it lasts that long. At that point, a trade would drop the cap charge to $12.98 million this year and push the remaining $24.48 million to 2024.
Again, what is Rodgers going to do? Show up and say he went back into the darkened closet and decided he wants to play for the Packers? His comments from today are actually good for the Packers, because it shows both his hand, and New York’s hand.
The Packer can take the heat at this point, largely because they’ll be getting none of it from their own fans/shareholders. If anything, this will galvanize the Cheeseheads around those who are responsible for making the cheddar.
And so we keep waiting. Specifically, we wait for Jets owner Woody Johnson to have had enough of waiting, and to instruct G.M. Joe Douglas to get the damn thing done.