Skip to main content

Mike Florio Lays Out Why Packers Won't Trade Aaron Rodgers This Offseason

Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love during a Green Bay Packers practice.

ASHWAUBENON, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 17: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers stands with Jordan Love #10 during training camp at Ray Nitschke Field on August 17, 2020 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

There's reason to think that both Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have some leverage in their ongoing stalemate. As Colin Cowherd laid out earlier, Rodgers can sit back and let the Packers enjoy the Jordan Love experience, betting that the second-year player hasn't taken a giant leap forward since being relegated to the third string last year.

Ultimately, the Packers want Rodgers, the reigning league MVP, back under center. If he goes through with skipping the offseason and missing the season, the team doesn't have much incentive to deal him this offseason.

A deal before the 2021 NFL Draft, when they could have fielded offers for a top five pick and more, might've made some sense. Now, any centerpiece draft picks won't come until 2022, and the team will want to know how early those picks will be, and what the 2022 NFL Draft will look like first. If Rodgers sits out the team will also free up a ton of salary cap room. They might be able to rebuild on the fly if they call Rodgers' bluff and he goes through with sitting out.

"If they call his bluff and he shows up for 2021, problem solved (at least until 2022). If they call his bluff and he’s not bluffing, he’ll skip the full season — and the Packers would gain up to $35 million in cash and cap space," ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio writes. There are more huge reasons to push out any deal: the market for Rodgers will be bigger in 2022, ahead of the NFL Draft, than it is right now, when there are only a few teams that may be in a position to scramble to put together a package to land him.

The downside, as Florio points out, is that the team won't get help for 2021, though that may not really be a huge deal. The team probably won't be super competitive with Jordan Love under center, and if they are, they probably won the stalemate here. Getting a high draft pick, and then either having Rodgers back or dealing him for even more draft capital, and enough cap space to add a few major players, is not a bad consolation prize.

Given that: (1) they’ll quite possibly get more picks if they wait; (2) Rodgers quite possibly will show up and play; and (3) they’ll realize up to $35 million in cash and cap savings if he doesn’t show up, this one is a no-brainer: The Packers should refuse to trade Rodgers until March 2022 at the earliest, and they should let him choose to play in 2021 or to give up a year of football and up to $35 million.

Ultimately, the Green Bay Packers and their fans want Aaron Rodgers back in uniform this fall for another run at the Super Bowl, but there is a path for the team to get a decent outcome here even if he has played his last snap in green and gold.