Aaron Rodgers trade rumours: 49ers, Jets among 11 potential forwards if Packers eye star QB deal in 2023

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers went on to have three consecutive seasons with at least 13 wins and a playoff appearance from 2019-2021. With less than half of the 2022 campaign remaining, Green Bay isn’t even guaranteed to break the postseason this time around. Rodgers, 38, is experiencing one of the toughest offensive performances of his career. It’s unimaginable that, after back-to-back seasons in which the legendary quarterback has enjoyed breaking away from the pack, the possibility will once again arise.

Rodgers just signed a three-year, $150 million contract extension in March. He’ll likely retire, or return to Green Bay in 2023. But he’s flirted with a transfer before, and the Packers have been cash-strapped heading into the 2023 season, with gaping holes in key positions. Assuming the ship isn’t righted before the end of this season, a subsequent trade could benefit both parties: Rodgers could theoretically save whatever remains of his career on a better competitor, and Green Bay could stockpile draft picks for a true rebuild under general manager Brian Gutkunst.

Offloading his monster contract may bring challenges, but Rodgers has no no-trade clause in his deal, which means he can be shipped anywhere, and his bonuses are structured in a way that can’t be changed. He’s also relatively affordable for a prospective acquisition team, at least in 2023, when he’s set to count $31.6 million against the salary cap — No. 10 among all QBs.

With that in mind, here’s an early look at Rodgers’ logical suitors, should he and Green Bay agree to part ways:

Note: Salary cap numbers are provided by Over the Cap.

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Denver would reportedly be at the top of Rodgers’ wish list had he not resurfaced with the Packers before 2022, and the Broncos reportedly had a solid A-Rod run before selling the farm to Russell Wilson. The logistical hurdles would be formidable, but what about swapping out an old star for another? Nathaniel Hackett could meet a proven QB to engage with, and Wilson could get a ground game led by Aaron Jones, with the chance to actually cement his legacy for a historic franchise.

Marcus Mariota hardly scores as a short-term rookie, let alone a long-term investment. But the Falcons are competitive in a wide-open section, with tons of 2,023 rooms ($57 million). They have proven under Arthur Smith, successor to current Tennessee Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, that they can run the ball; All they need now is a difference-maker under centre.

Always open to veteran QBs, they have the skill and defense weapons to stay in the playoff mix. What they don’t have, as usual, is a true franchise callsign, with Carson Wentz cut out. Cap space is a concern, but if the esteemed Ron Rivera is still in charge, he could be a real draw for an old vet like Rodgers.

General manager Jason Licht will try to get a quick fix if Tom Brady, 45, calls her out for good or, more likely, tests free agency for one last fresh start. The question is, does he have enough cover manipulation up his sleeve to make this possible? On paper, the sunny destination would be attractive to Rodgers, who is likely to help reshape the offensive philosophy and guide roster decisions, as Brady did. When healthy, they remain contenders in a wide open division.

You can only win despite your youthful QB(s) for so long, right? Bill Belichick has the running game and defense to elevate his uninspired play under center, but in 2023 he’ll also have plenty of room ($48.8 million) to pursue a stellar upgrade over Mac Jones. What better way to finally recreate the Brady era than to take part in the next best thing? Rodgers can also get his hands on the offense/staff, allowing Belichick to draw full attention to the “D.”

New York has the advantage going into 2023 not only with a wealth of capped space ($46 million) but knowing that new head coach Brian Dabul can grow the staff. Rodgers is a famous fan of Josh Allen, whose rise came under the direction of Daboll in Buffalo, and he will go from one historic franchise to the next. The Giants, meanwhile, have had good growth from Daniel Jones in 2022, but he’ll be a real contender with superior playmakers under and out of position.

Highly respected in the organization, Derek Carr is very expendable after 2022, and may be ready for a new spectacle after what is shaping up to be another lost season. Meanwhile, Rodgers has established chemistry with their top investment, Davante Adams, and will move closer to his West Coast home.

Ryan Tannehill is doing well for a team that never dies, but he owes more than Rodgers in 2023, and another early exit from the final looks to confirm his roof. A-Rod likes him some Mike Vrabel, who has yet to emerge as a star QB despite a track record of competing in the postseason. Lafleur grew out of this organization. And Rodgers will certainly benefit from an offense that relies heavily on bruising Derrick Henry’s legs, not to mention an annually open division.

Geno Smith is one of the best stories of the year, but at 32 years old, approaching free agency, it would be a risky bet given that 2022 is his only productive season as a starter. Seattle wouldn’t necessarily want to get rid of their old QB (Russell Wilson) to add another a year later, but Pete Carroll, 71, might be interested in competing sooner rather than later. He has other chops – Kenneth Walker III, DK Metcalfe, Tyler Lockett – to help out. He has plenty of max headroom ($30.6 million) to use, and more draft picks than the Ross deal. GM John Schneider has a great connection to the Packers; He was Ted Thompson’s top assistant when Green Bay drafted Rodgers, and was director of football operations when A-Rod took over Brett Favre and won his only Super Bowl.

Sophomore QB Zach Wilson is already playing on thin ice both on the court and in the locker room, proving to be the weakest link in a hopeful playoff game. They’re clustered everywhere other than down the center, which makes upgrading a veteran especially confusing. Coach Robert Salih is a respected voice who has gotten along well with A-Rod since his time with the 49ers. And offensive coordinator Mike Lafleur, a protégé of Kyle Shanahan, is the younger brother of Matt, Rodgers’ head coach at Green Bay.

1. 49ers

This may seem like an insult to Jimmy Garoppolo, who had an underrated performance to replace Trey Lance once again. In fact, Jimmy G may be on his way to retaining QB1 duties in 2023. But he’ll be a free agent first, and with Lance still quite an unknown, why not explore this pairing with Kyle Shanahan? He admitted he’d done it before, and called the Packers about Rodgers’ availability before 2021. San Francisco is built for competition, with weapons on both sides of the ball. And Rodgers would certainly seize the opportunity, as he grew up a 49ers fan in California and wished San Francisco had drafted him in 2005.

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