2023 QB Carousel: Will Aaron Rodgers be Traded to the New York Jets? Who Else is Available?
With the Super Bowl just over a week away, the NFL offseason is primed to take center stage. Of course, one of the biggest storylines will be the 2023 edition of the quarterback carousel. None of the names on the carousel loom more significantly than Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Will Rodgers stay in Green Bay? Will he be traded to a team like the New York Jets? Let’s discuss!
The end of the Rodgers era in Green Bay feels inevitable.
While writing this story, I texted one of my closest friends, a lifelong Packers fan. I asked him whether or not he thinks the Packers will trade Rodgers.
“I’d bet my job.”
Well, alright, I’m not crazy then. It’s felt like the Rodgers experience in Green Bay had run its course for years. It feels a bit different this time around. It feels inevitable.
Beyond the hiring of Nathaniel Hackett as their new offensive coordinator, the Jets seem like the most logical destination for Rodgers. It was reported last week that Jets players urged GM Joe Douglass to move on from Zach Wilson and Mike LaFleur.
Taking that a step further, word this week is that Joe Douglas is admitting to some in league circles that the Jets are going to make a play for Rodgers:
“One source said that general manager Joe Douglas is admitting to people in the league the franchise will go all out in the attempt to bring Rodgers to Gang Green. And it only makes sense.”
There’s also the Raiders. Las Vegas seems like the next most logical landing spot for Rodgers. Davantae Adams is there. The Raiders need a quarterback. Mark Davis could be desperate enough to swing a trade for Rodgers.
Davante Adams revealed in a Q&A on his Twitter on Wednesday that Rodgers recently purchased a home in Summerlin, just outside Vegas.
Other Veteran QBs
Tom Brady‘s retirement makes the Buccaneers one of the many QB-needy teams this offseason (that’s good news for you Bears fans out there). Is Tampa ready to hit the reset button, or will they search for a veteran quarterback?
The 49ers and Colts have ruled out a high-profile veteran quarterback acquisition this offseason. San Francisco is content to roll with Trey Lance and Brock Purdy. Indianapolis will have a new head coach, and Chris Ballard will likely draft a quarterback in April.
That leaves the Buccaneers and the entire NFC South as a potential landing spot for a veteran quarterback.
But who’s available?
- Derek Carr‘s days in Las Vegas are done. The Raiders have until February 15 to either trade Carr or cut him and avoid Carr’s $32.9 million base salary for next year, and $7.5 million for 2024 becomes guaranteed. Of course, Carr can veto any trade the Raiders come up with.
- Jimmy Garoppolo‘s days are done in San Francisco. GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed that in their end-of-season presser this week.
- Geno Smith is a free agent, but there’s a strong chance he will stay in Seattle. The Seahawks want him, and they were a playoff team with him, so I think he’ll be a Seahawk come 2023.
- The Ravens have made it crystal clear that they will tag Lamar Jackson and continue to work towards an extension.
- Daniel Jones is also a free agent, but it sounds like the Giants will do whatever it takes to keep him in New York after a breakout season.
Bring on the Rookies
So, that leaves us with three (Rodgers, Carr, and Garoppolo) high-profile veteran quarterbacks who will be somewhere else in 2023.
Of course, the NFL Draft will play a significant role in the QB carousel. Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, and Will Levis will undoubtedly be drafted in the top 10. The Texans, Colts, and Raiders make up three of the top seven picks in the draft, and they all desperately need a quarterback.
The Bears have the No. 1 overall pick and do not need a quarterback. The Cardinals have the third pick, but they’re tied to Kyler Murray for the next four years after giving him a massive contract before the 2022 season.
So, the Bears and Cardinals are almost certainly not taking quarterbacks. The Seahawks, who own the fourth pick, can be placed in the same bucket. As can the Eagles at No. 10. I also think the Lions will stick with Jared Goff. So that leaves five teams in the top 10 who need a quarterback: Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Carolina.
Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, and Will Levis are slam dunks to be taken by three of those five. So, two teams will be faced with the question of whether they love Florida’s Anthony Richardson that high or do they take a crack at one of the veteran QBs on the market.
It’ll be interesting to see how things develop over the next few weeks.