Aaron Rodgers Trade Watch: Asking Price and Sticking Points

The NFL Draft is now less than a month away. The hypothetical deadline for the Jets and Packers to get a deal done for Aaron Rodgers is nearing. With the NFL world in Phoenix this week, there’s plenty of opportunity for the two sides to get a deal done. Or, at least, get close to getting a deal done.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson, the makeup of that deal is coming into focus. Robinson reports that “talks are focused on the Jets dealing two picks for the Packers quarterback — one second-round pick in next month’s NFL Draft, and another second-rounder in 2024 that could graduate to a first-round pick with “achievable” team performance escalators.”

Robinson believes that an example of those performance escalators could be whether or not the Jets host a home playoff game or make it to the AFC Championship game. If those happen, the 2024 pick could become a first-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.

However, the hold-up on the deal is around the pick protections that the Jets are looking to place on that 2024 selection. Robinson says New York wants to recoup the pick if Rodgers doesn’t play beyond the 2023 season.

“It boils down to the Packers wanting “straight shot” draft picks without qualifiers, while the Jets want such high level of compensation to be based on 2023 team performance and Rodgers also playing for New York in 2024.”

There’s a belief that Rodgers’ comments on the Pat McAfee show when he said that he was “90 percent retired [and] 10 percent playing,” when he went into his darkness retreat have the Jets worried about his commitment to football beyond this season.

Would anyone put it past Rodgers to push retirement off for one season to stick it to the Packers? Rodgers admitted that Green Bay offended him by essentially moving on from him while he was in the decision-making process. Woody Johnson and the Jets want to ensure they’re protected if that’s the case.

The Packers and Jets are close, but not at the finish line …

One major takeaway here is that the Packers are not hung up on getting a first-rounder back for Rodgers.

So, where do the two sides go next?

This is just me thinking out loud: If the Jets want protection on the 2024 second-rounder, and Green Bay is unwilling to agree to it, the Jets could offer the Packers their first-round pick in 2023 and call it a day. Rodgers for the Jets’ 2023 first-rounder instead of a pair of second-rounders.

Or, instead of recouping the 2024 pick if Rodgers retires, the provisions could be a deescalation. For example, if Rodgers retires after 2023, the second-rounder would become a third or fourth-round pick. Softening the blow for the Jets while still giving the Packers extra selections in consecutive seasons.

Either way, the two sides are getting close to a deal. The foundation is in place and seemingly agreed upon. The only thing left is the specifics of the 2024 pick and what if any, protections the Jets secure.

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Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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