Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers enter the offseason at odds for the third year in a row. This time, the two sides could separate.
Trading the four-time NFL MVP remains an option due to financial reasons, the state of the franchise and ultimately the feelings of both the team and Rodgers, ESPN reported Sunday.
“League sources are convinced the franchise prefers to move on from Rodgers,” the report states.
The Packers are currently projected to be $16 million over the salary cap next season and have a list of unsigned free agents.
As it currently stands, Green Bay has limited options, even if Rodgers opts to play next year. The Packers can’t release the future Hall of Famer given the catastrophic dead hit (it would be more than $40 million more than if he stayed on the roster), but they could trade him and gain financial flexibility.
One team at the forefront of these trade rumors is the New York Jetswho recently hired ex Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett as the new offensive coordinator. Hackett, of course, most recently was the Packers’ OC for three seasons, including Rodgers’ back-to-back MVP campaigns (’20, ’21).
Rodgers, 39, is coming off one of the worst statistical seasons of his career. Last season, the 18-year NFL veteran threw for the fewest yards (3,695) in any season in which he played at least 15 games. He also threw 12 interceptions, which was his highest total since his first year as a starter in 2008. Rodgers suffered a broken thumb as well as rib and knee injuries throughout the season.
The 10-time Pro Bowler, with $59.5 million in guaranteed money this year and another $49.25 million in 2024, said recently that he hasn’t made a concrete decision about whether he plans to play in 2023 or beyond.
“It’s been a lot of fun dreaming about retiring as a Packer, because there’s something really special about it,” he added. Rodgers recently said on “The Pat McAfee Show.”. “But if the competitive hole still needs to be filled and it’s time to move on, I hope everyone looks at it with great gratitude.”
“I am open to any honest and direct conversation and yes [the Packers] I felt it was in the best interest of the team to move forward, so be it.”
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