With all the posturing and drama between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers the last couple of offseasons, the idea that he may play for a different team next season seems unlikely. The Aaron Rodgers next team odds posted by DraftKings favor him to return to Green Bay, but why is it even a topic of discussion?
After going through the trouble of keeping him, why would the Packers get rid of him now? The answer is simple and quite understandable — it may cost too much to retain him.
Odds To Be Aaron Rodgers’ Next Team
The Packers are the odds-on choice to bring Rodgers back next season, offered at -125 at DraftKings. Here are DraftKings‘ numbers as of Jan. 25:
After all the drama the last two off-seasons, you’d think the team and Rodgers would be interested in figuring out how he can stay in Green Bay. That explains why there is a 55.56% chance he will play for the Packers next season, according to the -125 price. (You can translate odds into implied probability here).
However, since he does not have a no-trade clause, the team could trade him without his permission. But he could retire if they do trade him somewhere he does not want to go. If he does retire, the Packers could get saddled with a $40 million dead cap hit. So, yeah, they’ll do their best to keep him happy, but they’d lead toward sending him to an AFC team if they do send him packing.
The Packers will NOT be trading Aaron Rodgers to an NFC team
He will be exclusively shopped to AFC teams https://t.co/RrL3Ns9L73
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) January 24, 2023
Every team would love to have a QB of his caliber, but many will not enter into discussions involving Rodgers because they are happy with who they have (i.e., Chiefs, Chargers, Cowboys, Bengals, etc.). Several will not be in the conversation since they are in rebuild situations, and even Rodgers can’t make them competitive next season (i.e., Texans).
But there are teams like the Jets many perceive to be a quarterback away from becoming a contender. A reunion with Davante Adams in Las Vegas is a distinct possibility. With the skill position players and defense the Saints have, New Orleans is intriguing as well.
Aaron Rodgers May Be Too Expensive To Keep
To keep Rodgers from jumping ship last offseason, the Packers signed him to a ridiculous contract extension, three years for $150.8 million with a $40.8 million signing bonus ($101.5 million guaranteed at signing). He’ll be due just under $60 million for the 2023 NFL season ($31 million cap hit).
When he led the team to 13 wins in the regular season, made a run at the Super Bowl, and won NFL MVP, the price tag seemed worth it. But the team didn’t even qualify for the postseason this year. The team got better late in the season, but the roster needs work. To that end, the team needs space under the salary cap.
Heading into the new league year, they are $14.5 million over the projected cap.
Rodgers has talked like he’d be willing to rework his contract, which could help the team’s salary cap situation for next season.
"I don't think there would be a scenario where I'd come back and that would be the number.. definitely things would have to shift"@AaronRodgers12 shares his thoughts on the $60M he's owed in 2023 #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/d8kIBhy3cE
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 24, 2023
But the team could also decide it doesn’t want to mortgage the future. If they can get an attractive enough trade package, trading Rodgers could be just what they need to get back on top in the NFC North.
Aaron Rodgers’ Next Team: Our Pick
If it were not for the reports the team and Rodgers are open to a trade, a return to Green Bay would seem likely. But Rodgers is not getting any younger, and the Packers think they already have their next QB on the roster in Jordan Love. It may be easier to rebuild around him.
The Packers could trade Rodgers if the right team makes a suitable offer. But who might be willing to give up what it will take to make a trade happen?
The New York Jets.
Jets owner Woody Johnson has said he’d be willing to spend to get a proven veteran. Rodgers fits the bill, and getting him would take big bucks. By adding Rodgers and keeping other key pieces, the Jets could become a conteneder in the AFC.