It may well have been the NFL Draft this past weekend, but even before the first pick was selected, there was huge news in the NFL after it emerged that the league MVP Aaron Rodgers had told the Green Bay Packers that he wanted a fresh start elsewhere.
It seemed that Rodgers future was set last week when it was announced that the San Francisco 49ers had made a trade offer for the former Berkeley graduate. The Packers summarily dismissed the offer, but a short time later, Rodgers told the Packers he didn’t want to return next season.
With the 49ers selecting Trey Lance as their quarterback of the future, and with Jimmy Garoppolo still at the franchise (at least for the time being), there’s little likelihood of the 49ers renewing their interest in Rodgers.
So the question is, where could Aaron Rodgers end up playing in the NFL next year if he gets his wish to leave the Packers?
Possible Destinations For Aaron Rodgers?
Sure, the Broncos made a pre-daft trade to secure Teddy Bridgewater to compete with Drew Lock as their signal caller for next season, but neither of these options seem likely to take the Broncos to the next level.
Moving for Rodgers would likely cost the Broncos a first round pick or two, and maybe more, but he would offer them a huge upgrade at quarterback in what is likely to be a very tough AFC West division next season which includes the Chiefs as well as the improving Chargers and Raiders.
Many people have felt the only thing stopping the Broncos being a realistic challenger to the Chiefs in the West and a Super Bowl contender has been a top-ranking quarterback. Rodgers is, arguably, the best there is in the league alongside Tom Brady.
This is a move which if the Broncos can make happen, then they should.
Washington Football Team
Last season, the Washington defense ranked as the third best in the NFL and they have improved things defensively in the off season by snapping up William Jackson to replace Ronald Darby. However, their offense stuttered even in the relatively benign NFC East.
If they can make a deal for Rodgers involving veteran quarterback Matt Fitzpatrick, another player plus a couple of first round picks, then maybe this is something Green Bay would consider for Rodgers.
Rodgers would have his work cut out behind that Washington offensive line and that may play a big part in his reckoning, but he has some serviceable receivers and would instantly make Washington the big favorite in the NFC East for next season.
This would be a very intriguing move for Rodgers and a coup for Washington owner Daniel Snyder, but of the three options listed here, I also feel this is the least likely to pan out.
Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders coach John Gruden has gone on record to say that passing on Aaron Rodgers in the
draft when he was the head coach of the Buccaneers is one of the biggest regrets in his NFL Career. A move to the Raiders for Rodgers would perhaps put that right.
Geographically, this seems to be the ideal move for Rodgers, who is believed to want to be closer to California. The sticking point here is that the Raiders would have to give up likely two first round picks plus their current incumbent quarterback Derek Carr to land the league MVP.
The Raiders do have some interesting options on offense including John Brown, Darren Waller and Henry Ruggs but trading any of them to snag Rodgers would be counter-productive and other than Carr, they don’t have the quality in their squad to tempt Green Bay into a deal.
Other Landing Spots?
There are other potential landing spots for Rodgers. The New York Giants are a name that has been mentioned given their current quarterback situation, other more far-fetched names thrown into the hat include the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins.
Wherever Aaron Rodgers future lies, it likely won’t be resolved until after June 1st as the Packers cap hit if they dealt Rodgers before then would be a huge $38.4 million, which sees the cap charge for 2021 drop to $21.1 million and $17.2 million in 2022.
Until then, there are going to be more than a few teams examining the options to see whether a trade for the NFL MVP is viable.