The: Aaron Rodgers' in 2023 has come to fruition as the Green Bay Packers, his NFL home of 18 seasons (2005-2022), agreed to send the four-time NFL MVP to the Big Apple along with their 15th overall draft pick (first round) and a fifth-round selection (No. 170) in exchange for the Jets' 13th overall draft choice (first round), a second-round pick (No. 42), a sixth-round pick (No. 207) and a conditional 2024 second-round pick that will become a first-rounder should Rodgers play at least 65 percent of New York's offensive plays in 2023.
The extended back-and-forth between the two teams is over as the Packers turn toward the Jordan Love Era while the Jets have a future Hall of Famer as their starting quarterback instead of Zach Wilson, who is the first passer since Ed Brown in 1957-58 with the worst passer rating in the NFL in back-to-back seasons. Rodgers, on the other hand, has led the NFL in passer rating four times and has the second-highest career passer rating ever, 103.6.
Here's a look at how each team's grades out in the NFL's most anticipated trade deal in recent memory.
Jets trade grade: A-
Congratulations to the Jets and their tortured fanbase. Thanks to the acquisition of Super Bowl XLV MVP and four-time NFL MVP Rodgers, their time holding the longest active streak for most consecutive seasons missing the playoffs among the four North American professional sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL), 12 straight seasons, will likely come to an end in 2023. The Jets had a playoff-caliber defense in 2022, allowing 18.6 points per game (the fourth-fewest in the NFL), but their rotating cast of passers from Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco and Mike White just couldn't left the offense high enough. Now, Rodgers should be able to take Gang Green's passing attack to another level, throwing to 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, former Packers teammate Allen Lazard, and former Chiefs wideout Mecole Hardman. That's a significant departure from Zach Wilson entering the season as their QB1.
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This was a trade New York needed to happen, and they got it done three days before the draft. The only reason the Jets have an A- is because Packers general manger Brian Gutekunst was able to squeeze a swap of first round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft out of Jets general manager Joe Douglas. Douglas reportedly didn't want to include the 13th overall pick in the deal. The Packers now have the 13th overall pick, and the Jets have the 15th overall pick. Douglas did well in getting a late round pick back from Green Bay in the deal, something he and the New York front office reportedly pushed for throughout the process.
Packers trade grade: A
The Rodgers saga in Green Bay is now complete. After three seasons of Rodgers publicly debating whether or not to retire in 2020, 2021, and 2022, his time as the Packers' longest-tenured player (18 seasons from 2005-2022) and perhaps best player in team history is now over. Gutekunst being able to procure a first-round pick swap, the Jets' highest second round pick (No. 42 overall), sixth-round pick (No. 207 overall), and a conditional 2024 second-round selection that becomes a first if Rodgers plays 65 percent of New York's offensive plays is a massive victory. Green Bay getting three top-two-round selections, one being a first-round pick swap, for a Rodgers that turns 40 in December as he's coming off arguably his worst NFL season is all they could hope for. Plus, the Packers don't have to pick up the tab on his $58.3 million guaranteed contract option, a relief for their salary cap.
Aaron Rodgers in 2022
|CAREER RANK AS STARTER|
Now, they turn to filling out the roster around Love, and pray Rodgers stays healthy in 2023 as that would result in another first round pick coming to Green Bay for the 2024 Draft.