The New York Jets continue to be regarded as the likeliest landing spot for Aaron Rodgers, but the process is taking a lot longer than anyone anticipated.
With each passing day that a deal goes unmade, the prospect of another squad slipping in and stealing him away becomes more and more likely.
It is something of an open secret at this point that one major obstacle currently stands in the way of the trade.
The problem is – it remains unresolved.
According to NFL insider Matt Lombardo, that could open the door for either the San Francisco 49ers or Baltimore Ravens to swoop in.
“Rodgers would instantly vault the 49ers into the Philadelphia Eagles’ top competition for a Super Bowl berth in the NFC,” he wrote.
“Meanwhile, general manager John Lynch likely doesn’t view free agent signing Sam Darnold as a possible starter, but Rodgers would certainly move the needle.”
The only problem is the Niners’ lack of substantial draft capital. They don’t have a first or second rounder this year, which certainly complicates the equation.
Baltimore also makes a ton of sense. The Lamar Jackson situation remains unresolved, and at the moment it’s hard to see how the two warring sides find a common ground.
“If Baltimore is able to pry away a first-round pick from the [Indianapolis] Colts [in a trade for Jackson], who are scheduled to pick No. 4 overall, the Ravens could conceivably come away from Round 1 of this year’s draft with whoever remains among C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Will Levis, and Anthony Richardson among the top quarterback prospects in this year’s class,” Lombardo wrote.
“However, this is a roster that’s built to compete today in the AFC North, and with a healthy Jackson or Rodgers could be the biggest challengers to the Cincinnati Bengals within the division.”
So how would a deal work?
“Might general manager Eric DeCosta float the idea of trading Baltimore’s own first-round pick, No. 22 overall, to the Packers for Rodgers and flip Jackson for the Colts’ pick?” Lombardo wondered.
“This would allow Baltimore to add an elite defender, with an MVP-pedigree quarterback to make a run at the Super Bowl in 2023 and perhaps 2024.”
That certainly seems like a win-win on paper.
The Jets currently seemed convinced that they will get Rodgers when it’s all said and done.
Erin Andrews is having herself quite the NFL offseason.https://t.co/XOjKdVy8Il
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 9, 2023
But this organization hasn’t done much to earn the benefit of the doubt in recent years.
They might get their target – or they might fail in the way they consistently seem to.
Where will Rodgers ultimately be playing come the beginning of the 2023-24 NFL season? Time will tell.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.