Finally, Packers complete trade to send QB Aaron Rodgers to Jets
On March 15, Aaron Rodgers said he planned to play for the New York Jets. Then everyone waited.
The Green Bay Packers and Jets had to agree to a trade, and that took some time. The wait is finally over and the inevitable happened: The Packers and Jets agreed to a trade Monday that will go down in NFL history, and Rodgers was introduced as a Jet on Wednesday.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter reports, the Jets sent the Packers the 13th (first round), 42nd (second round) and 207th (sixth round) overall picks in 2023 NFL Draft that begins Thursday and a second-round pick in 2024 that will become a first-round pick in the event that Rodgers plays 65 percent of the Jets' offensive snaps next season.
The Jets received the No. 15 pick (first round) and 170th pick (fifth round) in 2023 in addition to Rodgers.
Rodgers will forgo wearing the No. 12 jersey he donned in Green Bay for 18 seasons in favor of No. 8. Hall of Fame Jets quarterback Joe Namath wore No. 12 and gave Rodgers his blessing, but Rodgers opted instead to wear the jersey number from his college playing days at Cal.
The Packers are officially moving on from Rodgers, a four-time MVP who is arguably the greatest player for a franchise that has as much history as any in the NFL. The Jets get the quarterback they think can push them into being a Super Bowl contender.
Even though the trade has been a foregone conclusion for a while, it's still a shock to the system.
Jets finally land Aaron Rodgers
When the offseason started, Rodgers' future with the Packers and in the NFL in general was a big question. He went on a highly publicized darkness retreat. When Rodgers emerged, he said things had changed and he felt the Packers were ready to move on.
The Jets were the most obvious trade partner. They had a fantastic defense last season and some exciting young offensive players. They had a big problem at quarterback, and Rodgers was the best option to fix it. The Jets' brass flew out to California to meet with Rodgers. It was clear then that the Packers were moving on and unless Rodgers held things up, he'd be traded to the Jets.
The irony is amazing. Rodgers was stuck in the middle of Brett Favre's indecision about retirement and got the Packers' starting job when Favre was traded to the Jets. Then 15 years later, the cycle repeats itself.
Jets-Packers trade wasn't easy
The reason the trade didn't happen right away is both sides thought they had leverage, and both sides had some desperation to get the move done.
Once the Packers made the decision to move on from Rodgers, it would have been practically impossible to turn back. They wanted to give Jordan Love a shot. Bringing Rodgers back would have been wholly uncomfortable.
The Jets had to get a deal done because there was no feasible Plan B. They hired Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator and signed receiver Allen Lazard, both in transparent moves to woo Rodgers. There was no quarterback available, outside of perhaps Lamar Jackson and his franchise tag, who could fix the Jets' quarterback issue.
It became a staredown between the two teams. There wasn't much question a deal would get done, it just came down to finding middle ground. Now that the trade has been made, each team can move on to its new era.