Most fans and analysts assume that Aaron Rodgers will be back in a Green Bay Packers uniform in 2023.

The main reason is because Rodgers’ dead cap hit is massive (just under $100 million) if they cut him after this season. So that’s not a realistic option.

It’s also unlikely that Rodgers retires. He’s set to make nearly $60 million next season. That’s a lot of cash to walk away from — even for a superstar quarterback that’s been in the NFL for over 15 years.

The only reasonable way Rodgers and Green Bay could part ways would be via a trade — which also comes with a dead cap hit, though that dead cap hit wouldn’t be nearly as steep as it would be if they cut him ($40 million if it’s a pre-June 1 trade and $15 million in 2023/$24 million in 2024 if it’s a post-June 1 trade).

Considering Rodgers’ hefty salary, it seems unlikely that anyone will trade for him (it should be noted that Rodgers doesn’t have a no-trade clause).

Packers
Nov 6, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) rushes Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during second-half action at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Focus insider Doug Kyed, however, believes the New York Jets could potentially trade for Rodgers.

And he’s not alone in that belief. Kyed noted this week that an AFC player personnel executive made a similar suggestion to him.

One reason why the move would make sense is because Packers head coach Matt LaFleur’s younger brother, Mike, is the Jets’ offensive coordinator.

From PFF:

“If I’m there, I go after Aaron (Rodgers),” a high-ranking AFC player personnel executive said. “They can’t get another rookie where they will pick, and they have to win now. I think it has to be a home run.”

PFF’s Brad Spielberger mentioned the possibility on a recent episode of “PFF Wire,” as well. OverTheCap.com broke down what an acquiring team would take on cap-wise if they traded for Rodgers.

“For the team acquiring Rodgers, they would be on the hook for the salary for the year,” Jason Fitzgerald wrote. “The cap charge would be $59,515,000 if they do not exercise his option and $15.79 million if they were to exercise the option.”

The Jets are set to have $17.2 million in salary cap space before making any other moves for 2023. Rodgers, who currently plays for LaFleur’s older brother, does not have a no-trade clause, but he does have the option to retire if he doesn’t want to be traded.

This is an interesting scenario and one of the few that seems plausible when it comes to Rodgers and what might happen after 2022.

But I still seriously doubt it happens. I’m not sure the Packers want to take a dead cap hit of $15 million this year and $24 million next year. I’m also not sure the Jets would want to take a salary cap hit of nearly $60 million in 2023 (and exercising Rodgers’ option would be risky).

However, after the way last year’s offseason played out, I don’t think we can completely rule anything out. This will be one of the many scenarios worth keeping an eye on after the 2022 season.

Featured image via Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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