Picking realistic player targets from Jets in upcoming Aaron Rodgers trade
Barring something unforeseen, the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets will eventually complete a trade involving quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Packers are moving on to the Jordan Love era, Rodgers wants to play in New York, and the Jets want Rodgers.
We know Rodgers is headed to the Jets. But could a player be coming to Green Bay in the trade? While the Packers want premium draft picks, a player or two could have value as well.
For this exercise, the entire staff at Packers Wire picked through the Jets roster to find one realistic player target for the upcoming Rodgers trade:
Zach Kruse: WR Elijah Moore
New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore (8)
Moore is the perfect encapsulation of what the Packers should want in a player coming back from the Jets: young, cheap, talented and ready to contribute right away at a position of need. The 2021 second-rounder is still only 23 years old, will have cap hits under $2 million (if traded) each of the next two seasons and is only one year removed from catching five touchdown passes and averaging 1.75 yards per route run over just 11 games as a rookie. Moore is small (5-9, 178), but he has elite speed (4.35 40-yard dash) and agility (6.65 three-cone). At Ole Miss, Moore dominated down the field and was tough as nails catching passes in a crowd over the middle. Plug him in a slot weapon between Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs and the Packers have something cooking. The Jets already signed Allen Lazard and will likely add Randall Cobb once the Rodgers deal is done, so fitting Moore into the passing game puzzle looks increasingly tricky. Adding him to the trade gives the Packers a new weapon for Jordan Love and clears up the receiver depth chart in New York.
Brandon Carwile: WR Corey Davis
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
To me, Davis is the obvious answer. He was expected to be a cap casualty this offseason, but now he could be a piece to the puzzle in the Aaron Rodgers trade. The Packers need a veteran receiver to replace Allen Lazard (and probably Randall Cobb), and not to mention, Davis played for Matt LaFleur in 2018. He hasn’t quite lived up to his fifth overall selection, and he’s struggled to find his footing with the Jets, but he’s also been the culprit of some poor quarterback play. We don’t know what Jordan Love will turn in to, but Davis is quarterback friendly receiver thanks to his route running and ability to work the middle of the field. Not to mention, Davis’ run blocking was a nice asset for New York’s rushing attack. Of course, nobody will be able to replace Lazard in that aspect, but Davis is both capable and willing. The main roadblock will be Davis’ cap hit of $10.5 million, but perhaps the Packers could rework his deal to lessen the blow.
Paul Bretl: S Jordan Whitehead
Jordan Whitehead (3)
The safety position is a mess for the Packers with only Darnell Savage having any playing experience on the current roster – not to mention that he was benched at one point and is best in the slot, not in the traditional safety role. It’s also not a great draft class at the position either. Whitehead spent most of last season lined up as the Jets’ free safety or playing in the box. He’s a willing tackler, tallying the 12th most at the position, and he recorded the seventh most run stops out of 90 eligible safeties, according to PFF. In coverage, meanwhile, Whitehead ranked 13th out of 64 in snaps per reception allowed. If acquired, Green Bay would inherit a contract that owes Whitehead $7.25 million in 2023, which might be pushing things given their salary cap situation, but at 26 years old, he’s an extension candidate, and that would lower his 2023 cap hit.