A month after Aaron Rodgers announced his intention to play for the Jets in 2023, the longtime Packers quarterback is finally headed to New York, with the two teams . A deal was always all but inevitable, with both clubs publicly anticipating Rodgers' relocation. But now that negotiations are actually complete, we can begin to examine the ripple effects.
Of course, the most pressing question regarding the Rodgers deal is who won the trade -- or, better yet, who's best suited to benefit from it? The Packers and Jets, after all, aren't the only teams that'll be affected by the former MVP changing colors in 2023.
Here are the most immediate winners (and losers) from Rodgers' move to Gang Green:
Winner: Aaron Rodgers
He got his wish. Rodgers claimed back in March that he only desired to leave Green Bay because the Packers were ready to move on, but it really doesn't matter who initiated the breakup; at the end of the day, he identified the Jets as his preferred next (and likely final) home, and that's what he got. Not only that, but he's now set to enjoy a better, more well-rounded supporting cast than he had with the Packers in 2022. The Big Apple spotlight is just a bonus.
We're not listing the Bills because they've at least proven in recent years they have the star power at QB, and elsewhere on the roster, to advance in the playoffs. Miami and New England, on the other hand, have struggled to stay above .500 while fighting for second place in the AFC East; they're a combined 0-3 in the postseason since Josh Allen's emergence in Buffalo. With Rodgers' arrival, the Jets should be the new, clear favorites to challenge for the division title.
Winner: Jordan Love
After three years of watching and learning, the Packers' surprise succession plan for Rodgers is finally getting his chance. Love's arm looked plenty lively -- especially in light of Rodgers' 2022 struggles -- during limited work off the bench last year. But he's primed for a solid debut as QB1 in Green Bay, where he'll have a full offseason as Matt LaFleur's man and, theoretically, improved weaponry now that the Packers have the No. 13 overall pick and an extra second-rounder in the draft, thanks to A-Rod's trade.
Loser: Zach Wilson
Almost exactly two years ago, the Jets were so high on Wilson they drafted him No. 2 overall, ahead of Trey Lance and emergent Bears star Justin Fields. Now, two seasons and 22 injury- and turnover-riddled starts later, the BYU product is being refastened to the bench for a 39-year-old replacement. His teammates all but celebrated his demotion in 2022, and now Rodgers is guaranteed his old starting job for as long as he's in town.
Winner: All the Jets' skill players
Young receiver Garrett Wilson is the most likely beneficiary, even coming off an Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign; he's got the route-running prowess to quickly become a Rodgers favorite and top 1,000 yards once again. But everyone else, from Breece Hall to ex-Packers starter Allen Lazard to speedy newcomer Mecole Hardman, should be primed for better production now that the QB position is so much better off.
Loser: Joe Douglas' reputation as a negotiator
This is a tough one, because on one hand, there's really no such thing as too big a price to pay for a premium QB. Rodgers may or may not be in MVP form anymore, but even if that's the case, he represents a massive upgrade for a playoff-ready roster, constituting something close to the Tom Brady gamble that paid off for the Buccaneers in 2020-2021. Still, barring a Super Bowl title with Rodgers as his QB, Douglas probably forfeited a bit much -- essentially a first- and second-rounder, as well as a move up in this year's first round -- for a short-term solution, especially considering Rodgers had already publicly declared his time in Green Bay over.
Winner: Jets fans
Duh. No matter how irrational the hype becomes, Rodgers' arrival grants meaning to a franchise that has floundered for so long, especially at such an important position. It really is akin to Brady's move to the Bucs, when a struggling team pushed in all the chips for an aging, albeit legendary, signal-caller in hopes of igniting a long-awaited playoff push.