After Aaron Rodgers’ nemesis Adam Schefter reported trade talks had stalled between the Packers and Jets the ‘what if’ game began. Talking heads and insiders everywhere have been throwing out leverage points, deadlines, and backup scenarios.
It seems silly to suggest that New York would have any leverage given what they’ve done to this point. One unnamed NFL executive, while discussing the Jets pursuit of Odell Beckham Jr, told ESPN’s Rich Cimini “They’re just intoxicated with Rodgers, they’ve sold their soul now.”
In theory New York could wait all the way up to the beginning of the NFL season. Green Bay owes Rodgers his full $60 million guaranteed come September 1. The Jets could sacrifice their entire off-season, training camp and preseason. But come on, then what would be the point of getting Rodgers in the first place. The Jets are thinking Super Bowl year one. Brett Favre was able to make a deep playoff run in his first year with the Vikings, but even he showed up in time for the preseason.
Not only is Collin Cowherd, host of Fox Sports The Herd, not buying into New York having leverage, he’s also not buying into the Jets potential with Rodgers.
“Let’s be honest. Aaron‘s not winning a Super Bowl with this team in the AFC. In the last four years his playoff record with the Packers is two and three and they have a good o-line! And they have a good run game! And they have a good structure! And they have a good head coach! And the NFC is lousy! And he’s two and three in the last four years in the playoffs. Do you think you’re going to the AFC and winning? No. He’s a Band-Aid.”
If New York is truly interested in leverage, Cowherd went on to suggest an altogether different, yet extremely unlikely, option.
“Here’s where it gets interesting. You keep your picks, you move off him, and you start Zach Wilson. Carolina, Houston, and the Colts should be bad this year but they’re drafting quarterbacks. How many teams next year are going to need a quarterback and be bad? I think Atlanta and the Jets if Aaron Rodgers doesn’t come. And there’s two A++ prospects.
If the owner Woody Johnson goes to Robert Saleh and the general manager Joe Douglas and would promise to extend them publicly for another year or two, if I was Saleh and Joe Douglas I’d be done with the headaches. Let’s not do a one year Band-Aid with Aaron Rodgers let’s do long term. Let’s go into the tank. That’s what Atlanta is doing…how many teams are gonna stink in the NFL next year?…would be in a very short list that need a quarterback and aren’t good. And if I was Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas and you gave me a two-year extension and said listen it’s going to be bad. Because it would be bad. In the AFC they’re not gonna win any games.
The Jets have a right to dig their feet in and they are. ‘We’re not giving you a first round pick.’ And the Packers are like ‘alright that’s a you problem we got a quarterback here in the stable so I don’t think it’s the end of the world.'”
There is no chance that happens. But it’s an interesting thought exercise as a fan. It might be the only world where New York, seriously considering that option, may have actual leverage. A world where they are actually willing to walk away. But as the unnamed executive stated Woody Johnson has sold his soul to Aaron Rodgers. Now it’s just a waiting game until the Jets organization comes to terms with that price tag.