Why the Packers would hold up the Aaron Rodgers Jets trade

The narrative about the holdup in the trade of Aaron Rodgers to the Jets has quickly changed.

For the past several days, the feeling was that Rodgers was the one taking his sweet time in signing off on a deal that would bring him to New York.

Perceptions shifted during the quarterback’s appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday when he accused Green Bay of gumming up the process.

“I haven’t been holding anything up,” Rodgers said.

“At this point it’s been compensation that the Packers are trying to get for me, kind of digging their heels in. It is interesting at this point to step back and take a look at the whole picture.”

Aaron Rodgers claimed that the Packers are the ones holding up his deal to the Jets.
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After those remarks, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer revealed a fascinating wrinkle in Rodgers’ contract: The Packers have until Sept. 1 to decide whether to exercise his $58.3 million option bonus.

“So Green Bay has all the time in the world to trade Rodgers,” Breer tweeted.

On ESPN’s “Get Up” on Wednesday morning, Adam Schefter said that it was his “understanding” that the Packers felt Rodgers was worth a package of two first-round picks, like the Lions got from the Rams for Matthew Stafford.

Aaron Rodgers (c.) on "The Pat McAfee Show" on Wednesday.
Aaron Rodgers (c.) on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday.
The Pat McAfee Show

The Jets would not want to pay that high a price, Schefter said, and need to figure out what they’d be willing to part with.

Hours after that segment, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted that the Packers have not been asking for multiple first-round picks in the deal.

From the Packers’ perspective, holding up the trade actually does make some sense.

They already know they are moving on to Jordan Love.

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst holds the keys to the Aaron Rodgers trade.
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst holds the keys to the Aaron Rodgers trade.
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Green Bay is like the Zac Brown Band song — they ain’t in no hurry.

It is the Jets who are desperate for a move at quarterback.

If a deal for Rodgers fell through, they would need to weigh whether it was worth making an offer to Lamar Jackson — who would cost two first-round picks in addition to a large contract — or perhaps call up the Rams and see if Matthew Stafford could be available despite their recent public denial he was on the block.

All signs continue to point to the idea that Rodgers will be the Jets’ quarterback in 2023, but it’s anyone’s guess as to how long a deal takes to finalize and what the Jets will have to give the Packers in return.