The 5 o’clock club is published from time to time during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
Aaron Rodgers is a gifted quarterback. It’s hard to see it in the results of the 2022 Packers season so far. His team is 5-8 and has the 7th worst scoring differential in the league.
The Packers offense is 18th in yards per game, but 5th in passing yards per game. They are 20th in points per game.
Rodgers clearly exhibits many of the traits of a diva. He is touchy and carries grudges; he calls out teammates and appears to have a massive ego.
Despite his massive talent, evidenced by his 4 league MVP awards, he has played in and won just one super bowl in his 13 year career, and doesn’t appear close to a second appearance this season.
Rodgers negotiated with the Packers last year to create a contract structure that would make it hard for the Packers to dump him, but pretty easy for him to push his way out the door if he wanted to leave. The contract makes it fairly easy for the Packers to trade him.
Salary cap implications
Over the Cap wrote an excellent article that explains the contract in detail. Here is the section about the cap implications for a team that acquires Aaron Rodgers by trade:
For the team acquiring Rodgers they would be on the hook for the salary for the year. The cap charge would be $59,515,000 if they do not exercise his option and $15.79 million if they were to exercise the option. Rodgers has an injury guarantee of $49.25 million for 2024 but that does not become fully guaranteed until 5 days after the 2023 Super Bowl. If Rodgers was cut after 2023 it would cost the team $43.725 million on the 2024 cap. If he retired they could split that as $14.575 million in 2024 and $29.15 million in 2025 using a similar June 2nd date as mentioned above in the retirement option.
The clock is ticking on Aaron Rodgers if he wants to get another championship ring. He’s currently 39 years old.
The clock in Washington may be ticking as well. At his introductory press conference, Ron Rivera talked about winning super bowls. In his 3rd season, he isn’t close to being able to do that with quarterbacks like Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke. The team has a killer defense that probably can’t be held together for much longer, with first-round picks from 5 consecutive drafts playing in DL & LB roles. The receiving corps is loaded, with Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson just needing someone who can get the ball to them reliably. The running back room is loaded as well with a pair of 3rd round picks with complementary skills, and JD McKissic (if he can get healthy again) as one of the better 3rd-string backs in the NFL.
Aaron Rodgers is a quarterback in need of receivers and a defense. The Commanders have a team just about fully built, but one that is lacking the most important component — a top tier quarterback. Putting them together might just be the formula for a 2023 championship season.
Ron Rivera seems like the perfect head coach for a twitchy, abrasive guy like Rodgers, and it’s easy to imagine how #12 could transform Scott Turner’s offense.
Here’s what I want to ask this morning:
- Would you choose to trade for Aaron Rodgers this offseason (assume that this means cutting Wentz and keeping Sam Howell as the primary backup)?
- How much would you give up in draft capital to get him?
If you were the GM of the Commanders, would you make every effort to trade for Aaron Rodgers this offseason?
This poll is closed
Which of the following most closely aligns with the amount of draft capital that you would be willing to give up to acquire Rodgers?
This poll is closed
Nothing; nada; zip
Less than a first round pick
One first round pick
A first round pick + some mid-round picks
2 first round picks
2 first round picks + some mid-round picks
3 First round picks
More than 3 first-round picks