Aaron Rodgers wants no part of taking the field next season in a Green Bay Packers uniform, creating a massive buzz around the 39-year-old’s next NFL landing spot.
But those rumors gained a greater sense of clarity when Rodgers confirmed his desire to play for the New York Jets, cementing the premonition of the end of his 18-year run with the Packers. Rodgers even went the extra mile and handed the Jets an offseason wish list of teammates he’d prefer to play alongside next season at Met Life Stadium, further posing his arrival to New York as a done deal that’s yet to be official.
With the 2023 NFL draft quickly approaching, the Jets are clearly just as eager to officially welcome Rodgers with open arms, which Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst chimed in on during Monday’s annual league meetings.
“I think I was really looking forward to the conversations with Aaron to see how he fit,” Gutekunst said, according to Bobby Kownack of NFL.com. “… Those never transpired. So there came a time where we kind of had to make some decisions. So, we went through his representatives to kind of talk to him about where we’re going with our team. And at that point, they informed us they would like to be traded to the Jets.”
With any plans of riding the Rodgers train into the sunset now derailed, the Packers have their hand forced in seeking a suitable trade before next season. That slides Jordan Love over as the obvious candidate to take Rodgers’ place with 10 games of experience the last two seasons to his name.
The selection of Love at No. 26 overall in 2020 proved to be one of several possible factors that played into Rodgers’ drained ambition to remain in Green Bay.
“Not going to say I was thrilled with the pick,” Rodgers said three years ago, per Bleacher Report. “… He’s not to blame at all.”
Gutekunst is now placing his faith in Love’s hands, confident that the soon-to-be fourth-year veteran is ready to take on the responsibility as Green Bay’s full-time signal caller.
“Jordan’s been put in some tough situations, just like Aaron was way back in his time,” Gutekunst said. “… I know he’s really preparing and he’s really excited for this opportunity, and we are, as well.”
Rodgers is still under an initial three-year, $150 million contract signed with the Packers in March of 2022.