Dan Powers / USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK
Aaron Rodgers is back at the Green Bay Packers after a turbulent period to give him another chance with this historic franchise. After another ugly playoff loss, with the Packers heading toward salary cap problems, it was time for both sides to split up.
Green Bay wants Rodgers back, especially coach Matt LaFleur. But with The Packers unable to win a Super Bowl or even a playoff game with one of the most talented roster ever, the window seems closed. Rodgers is under no obligation to play in 2022, but the chance to compete with another team seems like a logical outcome for an NFL MVP.
- Aaron Rodgers stats (2021): 4115 passing yards, 37 passing touchdowns, 111.9 yards, completion rate 68.9%
Fit will be important. When he renegotiated his contract this off-season, new language in the deal left the All-Pro quarterback with the force. He will decide his fate in 2022 and that means finding a new team if he thinks that’s what’s best for him.
Let’s check out Aaron Rodgers’ best landing spots.
Trade Aaron Rodgers to the Denver Broncos
During the drama-filled 2021 season, Rodgers wanted a deal with Denver. There are a lot of offensive weapons in the Broncos menu; The return of Jafonte Williams, the end of Noah Fant’s court and wide receivers Cortland Sutton, Jerry Judy and Tim Patrick. Pair that with a top-level defense and Rodgers will get into a great position.
- Denver Broncos Trading: 2022 1st, 2nd 2022, 1st 2023, 2nd 2023, TE Albert Okwegpunam, 2024 2nd
- Green Bay Packers Trading: Aaron Rodgers
The Denver Trade Show features the ninth overall pick as the headline. With this selection, Green Bay could land an offensive tackle like Charles Cross or edge-rusher George Karlavtis. General Manager Brian Gutekunst’s additional choices provide the ability to build a deep, youthful roster. For a team in Hell, the Packers need all the cheap young playmakers they can get.
- Aaron Rodgers Contract: Maximum $46.4 million (2022), 2023 Free Agent
For Denver, the acquisition of Rodgers would be part of a three-step move. He hired Dan Quinn as head coach, someone Rodgers holds great respect for. Right after that, Quinn named Luke Getsy as his caller. Getsy, the 37-year-old Packers coach, is very close to the Rodgers and can help him transition to a new team with dynamic talent around him.
Indianapolis Colts swinging for fences
After losing the playoffs to a Week 18 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Indianapolis Colts are open about it all. Take quarterbacks out of the equation and show off your Colts defending, training and attacking to win the Super Bowl. But Carson Wentz couldn’t do that. With owner Jim Irsay willing to be too aggressive to improve this team, the quarterback’s promotion stands out.
- Indianapolis Colts receive: Aaron Rodgers
- Green Bay Packers receive: Carson Wentz, 2022 IND 2, 2023 IND 1, 2023 IND 2, 2024 IND 1, 2024 IND 2, Dayo Odeyingbo
The deal will be somewhat similar to the Jared Goff-Matthew Stafford deal in 2021. Indianapolis is adding additional compensation for the Packers to take over the Wentz contract. While it wouldn’t be a long-term starter for the Packers, it’s better than Jordan Love and would give LaFleur and Co. A chance to win the NFC North. Additionally, Odeyingbo provides depth at the rushing edge and draft shots can be golden for Gutekunst.
Financially, this is ideal for ponies. Rodgers’ contract is slipping nicely and he will join the team that will immediately be seen as a Super Bowl contender with him on the roster. Frank Reich got the quarterback he admires to carry out one of the best playing plans in the NFL every week and the Colts have become a force in the AFC. Additionally, Rodgers avoids playing play-off matches at home in extremely cold conditions.
New York Giants defeat Aaron Rodgers
There are always surprises in the trade market. Trading with the New York Giants might not seem like an ideal landing spot for Aaron Rodgers. But New York allowed their appointment of a general manager and would likely make them one of the favorites for Brian Dabol as head coach. Bring on a big offensive mind and suddenly things can get very attractive for Rodgers.
- Green Bay Packers acquires: 2022 NYG 1st (5th overall), 2022 CHI 1st (seventh overall), 2023 NYG 2nd, 2024 NYG 2nd, Darius Slayton, Daniel Jones
- New York Giants acquired: Aaron Rodgers
It doesn’t need to say much from Green Bay’s perspective. Two of the top 10 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft with plenty of talent in positions of need. The Packers could add a wide receiver like Garrett Wilson to replace Davante Adams and center Tyler Linderbaum could become an All-Pro indoor blocker at its peak. Even if love isn’t the man, which is likely, Daniel Jones can get some looks. In a worst-case scenario, there is a better basis for adding the midfielder next year.
As for the giants, take a look at the offense. Rodgers under center means teams can’t focus on running, which makes life a lot easier for Sacon Barkley. The All-Pro quarterback’s relegation may be what helps Kenny Goladay return to Pro Bowl form with KaDarius Toney turning into a YAC threat in a passing attack. All that talent in attack coached Daboll, with a good defense on the other side. New York will be the best team in the NFC East.
Finding a Carolina Panthers Quarterback Franchise
Arguably, there is no franchise more desperate than the Carolina Panthers to upgrade their quarterback. Team owner David Tepper wanted Deshaun Watson in 2021, but no deal was reached. He could also continue to trade with Russell Wilson, but the location could lead to Wilson blocking it. So, why not make the Packers a crushing display of the quarterback in the Hall of Fame in the future.
- Carolina Panthers Trade: 2022 CAR 1st (6th overall), 2023 CAR 1st, 2023 CAR 2nd, 2024 1st, Robby Anderson
- Green Bay Packers Trading: Aaron Rodgers
Thanks to the Sam Darnold deal, Carolina doesn’t have second or third round picks to introduce Green Bay but the sixth pick along with future first round picks, that’s a compelling proposition. Robbie Anderson, who has a cap of $16.8 million in 2022, will provide Green Bay with an upgrade on Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
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If something like that happens, Carolina is perfectly tailored. Rodgers reunites with Ben McAdoo, who worked at Green Bay from 2006-2013 and served as Rodgers’ quarterback coach (2012-13). Together they have inherited offense with the return of All-Pro’s Christian McCaffrey, wide receiver DJ Moore, and selection of Terrace Marshall Jr. in the 2021 second round. It’s an immediate breakout team and more if Tom Brady retires.