Tick, tick, tick.
Anyone paying attention to the ongoing Aaron Rodgers drama understands how important June 2 is. And that date is almost here.
If Green Bay trades Rodgers after June 1, it will save $16.05 million in salary cap space this year.
On April 29 — the opening night of the NFL Draft — word leaked that Rodgers no longer wanted to play for the Packers. Rodgers was asked on May 24 by former ESPN employee Kenny Mayne if he was demanding a trade, but the veteran quarterback dodged the question and instead criticized Green Bay’s organizational philosophy.
Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst has maintained publicly that he won’t trade Rodgers. But things will become far more interesting Wednesday when Gutekunst can move Rodgers without it obliterating his 2021 salary cap.
The latest odds at DraftKings still favor Rodgers being a Packer when the 2021 season begins. But bookmakers still think there’s a strong chance Rodgers is in a different uniform.
Here’s the latest odds:
Green Bay: -167
Las Vegas: +1000
New Orleans: +2000
San Francisco: +2000
New England: +2500
Here’s a quick look at what some of the leading contenders might have to give up to land Rodgers:
Broncos get: Aaron Rodgers, 2022 fourth-round pick
Packers get: QB Drew Lock, DE Bradley Chubb, G Dalton Risner, 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2024 first-round pick.
Analysis: Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer predicted this trade recently and it makes sense on many levels.
Denver, which got three brilliant years and later a Super Bowl win after acquiring Peyton Manning in 2012, takes another shot with a Hall of Fame quarterback.
Green Bay gets three first-round draft picks, a second-rounder, a Pro Bowl outside linebacker in Chubb and a high-level guard in Risner. While Lock shouldn’t be anyone’s long-term answer at quarterback, he could bridge the gap if the Packers choose to give Jordan Love another year to develop.
If Love eventually proves he can play, the draft picks, players and an already deep roster would have Green Bay set up for several more years of winning football.
2. LAS VEGAS
Raiders get: Aaron Rodgers
Packers get: QB Derek Carr, 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 second round pick
Analysis: Of all the scenarios being floated right now, this might be the most appealing to Green Bay.
Carr was recently ranked as the 13th-best quarterback in football by Pro Football Focus. That means the Packers’ No. 1 scoring offense from 2020 would almost certainly remain a top-10 outfit. It would also give 2020 first-round quarterback Jordan Love another year to develop.
Moving forward, the Packers would have two first- and two second-round picks each of the next two years. They could load up on each side of the ball while deciding if Love is their quarterback of the future or not.
The Raiders, meanwhile, need some type of jolt in their new city — something Rodgers would undoubtedly provide.
3. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
WFT gets: Aaron Rodgers
Packers get: 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 second round pick, defensive end Montez Sweat
Analysis: Sweat has 16 sacks in his first two seasons and his rookie contract would appeal to Green Bay. The draft picks here would be comparable to the above offers, as well.
The difference, of course, is Rodgers stays in the conference in this trade which the Packers certainly don’t want.