It's been nearly a month since Aaron Rodgers made it clear that he intends to play in New York this season, but despite that declaration, a trade still hasn't happened between the Packers and the Jets.
Apparently, the two sides are currently in a stalemate, and that's because Jets owner Woody Johnson isn't willing to meet Green Bay's current asking price. According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, the Packers want a first-round pick included in the deal and the Jets aren't willing to give it to them.
"The Packers are holding out for what they want right now," Robinson said during an interview on the "Wilde and Tausch" show. "Green Bay is stuck on an asking price of a two this year, a straight-shot one next year ... and they'd be willing to do the 2025, some sort of draft asset give back, if for some reason Aaron Rodgers doesn't play in 2024."
When Robinson said a "straight-shot one," that means it wouldn't be a conditional pick; the pick would be a first-rounder no matter what.
Robinson's last comment about throwing a potential 2025 pick in the deal is also notable because two weeks ago, it was reported that one of the sticking points in negotiations was that the Jets wanted to be compensated if Rodgers only ended up playing one season with the team, which Green Bay wasn't completely on board with at the time. As noted by Robinson, though, the Packers are now willing to give the Jets a 2025 draft pick if Rodgers doesn't play in 2024, so there has been some slight progress in negotiations, but not much.
Here's the framework of the deal that Green Bay is currently looking for:
- Jets get: Aaron Rodgers, 2025 conditional pick that Jets only get if Rodgers retires after one season in New York
- Packers get: 2023 second-round pick, 2024 first-round pick
The main sticking point here is the fact that the Packers want a first-round pick included in the deal, and apparently, Johnson is staunchly against any deal that would include a first-rounder.
"The Jets, and Woody Johnson specifically, they're just not going to do it, and that's why this is sort of sitting where it is," Robinson said.
The interesting thing here is that the Packers aren't even trying to get the Jets' 2023 first-round pick. It was pretty clear from the beginning that the Jets weren't going to be willing to part ways with the 13th overall pick, which is their first-rounder this year, so the Packers are trying to get New York's first-rounder in 2024.
You'd think the Jets would be open to making that deal with the logic being, "Hey, we'll have Aaron Rodgers this season and we should be good, so that will likely mean that the Packers will be getting a pick outside the top-20 from us," but Johnson isn't thinking that way. Instead, Johnson is afraid that he could get burned in the deal like the Broncos did with Russell Wilson.
"I think what Woody Johnson's problem is with this is that he looks at Denver and all the assets Denver gave up [for Russell Wilson]," Robinson said. "And now Seattle is sitting on Denver's pick at No. 5 because it all crashed and burned [with Wilson]."
Although the two sides are at an impasse, it hasn't always been that way. Robinson noted that the Jets and Packers actually had a deal worked out, but it fell apart after Rodgers mentioned retirement during his March 15 interview with Pat McAfee.
"They had sort of trade parameters worked out and then when Aaron went on Pat McAfee and said, 'I'm 90% retired, I was 90% retired when I went into the darkness retreat.' I think it scared Woody," Robinson said. "I think that was one of those things that scared him."
Over the past week, things have been pretty quiet on the Rodgers front. The only notable piece of news came on April 7 when Jets general manager Joe Douglas promised fans that the Rodgers deal would definitely get done at some point.
"He's gonna be here," Douglas said at a radio event in New York.
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The reason you haven't heard any other updates this month is because the teams have essentially stopped talking. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the two sides haven't really held any negotiations since the the NFL owners meetings, which ran from March 26 thru 29.
"There hasn't been a whole lot of conversation, if any, over the last couple of weeks, going back to the owners meetings," Schefter said on Wednesday's NFL Live.
If you're the Packers, you likely want to get this deal done before the draft so that you can take advantage of any 2023 pick that you get from the Jets. If that's Green Bay's thinking, then the team knows that it still has two weeks to get this thing figured out, which is likely why neither side is in a huge rush to get a deal done right now.
As for Rodgers, he was all smiles last week while working out with Jets receiver, and former Packers teammate, Allen Lazard. The four-time NFL MVP didn't look concerned at all, even though his football future is currently hanging in the balance.