At this point in the 2022 offseason, the dominant storyline around the NFL is the possibility that big-name quarterbacks such as Houston's Deshaun Watson, Seattle's Russell Wilson and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers could change teams.
None would send bigger shock waves across the National Football League than a megadeal involving Rodgers.
Just the notion that a two-time defending MVP could be dealt is hard to wrap one's head around.
Of course, there's no guarantee that Rodgers, who passed for 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 2021 on the way to a 13-4 record and his fourth MVP award, will go anywhere. Per ESPN's Rob Demovsky, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst recently insisted that no promises were made last season that if Rodgers—who is still under contract through 2022—wanted out that he'd get that wish.
"That was not something I told him," Gutekunst said. "Again, I think the whole conversation with Aaron last season before he came back was that, regardless, at the end of this past season, that we would sit down as a group, and we would work it out one way or another."
Still, speculation ramped up again over the past week or so after the 38-year-old Rodgers posted a cryptic thank-you message on Instagram that some interpreted as a goodbye. However, Rodgers told The Pat McAfee Show (h/t Demovsky) after the uproar regarding that post that he has yet to make a decision regarding a trade request:
"You've got to kind of turn everything else off, so you're not working out, you're not straining or anything. It's kind of a re-centering. It not only heals you physically, but I think it takes away mental stress and then the spiritual part I think is it allows you to kind of enjoy the meditations a little more, so when I come out, my first thought is intense gratitude for the people in my life."
On Thursday, Demovsky's colleague Dianna Russini tweeted that sources informed her of a couple of things regarding Rodgers. The first was that a decision from the 17-year veteran regarding his playing status for 2022 is expected soon.
The second was that Gutekunst already has multiple offers on the table.
That last part set off a wave of speculation almost as big as the one that came after Rodgers' goodbye-that-wasn't. Which teams have already pushed chips into the middle of the table? And perhaps even more importantly, how big are those stacks of chips?
The thing is, it doesn't take that much speculation to identify multiple franchises that could be looking to add Rodgers. Or to identify the staggering price that might be required to pry him away from the Pack, barring his retirement.
Offer No. 1: Players and Picks
Denver Broncos receive: Rodgers, 2022 fourth-round pick
Packers receive: 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 fourth-round pick, WR Jerry Jeudy, QB Drew Lock
This trade would make new Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels question his life decisions.
It's no secret that the Broncos are desperate to get better at quarterback—it's a search that has been going on from the moment Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset after Super Bowl 50. So far, that search has been mostly a mess.
Trading for Rodgers cleans up that mess and then some—and transforms the Broncos from AFC West also-ran to legitimate Super Bowl contender in the blink of an eye.
Even after Jeudy's disappointing second season, losing the talented young wide receiver, who is still on his rookie deal, would be a tough pill to swallow. But with Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler in tow, it's a hit the team can absorb. Per Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, there was speculation a year ago that Green Bay was looking to get three first-rounders for Rodgers.
Packaging Jeudy with Denver's next two firsts essentially fulfills that requirement, and there's a Day 2 pick this year and Lock (who could push Jordan Love or at least back him up in 2022) thrown in for good measure. Adding Jeudy could also allow the Packers to potentially franchise-tag-and-trade Davante Adams for more draft capital.
Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City. Justin Herbert in Los Angeles. And Rodgers in Denver.
Talk about a Murderer's Row of AFC West quarterbacks.
Offer No. 2: Even More Picks!
Miami Dolphins receive: Rodgers, 2023 fourth-round pick
Green Bay Packers receive: 2022 first-round pick (via SF), 2022 second-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick (via SF), 2023 third-round pick
The Dolphins aren't bad—Miami posted a winning record each of the past two seasons and won 10 games in 2020. Head coach Mike McDaniel has some things to work with as he takes the reins on South Beach.
What the Dolphins do not have (with all due respect to Tua Tagovailoa) is an elite quarterback—and the team's limitations at the position cap its ceiling.
Miami has the draft capital to make the Packers an intriguing offer, as last year's Trey Lance trade leaves the team in possession of two first-rounders in 2023. The cap space is also there as well—per Over the Cap, Miami's $60.2 million in wiggle room leads the league, and a restructure and/or cut or two could free up significantly more. The Dolphins could also then flip Tagovailoa to another quarterback-needy team to get back some lost draft capital.
To be fair, that lost capital is significant. Five picks, all on the draft's first two days—including three first-rounders over the next two seasons. It's essentially an instant rebuild for the Packers—the opportunity to remake the franchise around Love in short order.
Also, of the three teams listed here, it can be argued that Miami is the most attractive destination of the lot for Rodgers—a playoff-caliber roster in a major media market that features warm weather in a state with no income tax.
Don't think for a moment those factors don't matter.
Offer No. 3: The Godfather
Philadelphia Eagles receive: Rodgers, 2022 fourth-round pick
Green Bay Packers receive: 2022 first-round pick (via MIA), 2022 first-round pick (via IND), 2022 third-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 second-round pick, 2023 fourth-round pick
To be clear, there's a reason the Eagles are the first (and only) NFC team listed in this piece—and probably the least likely of the three to pull off a trade for Rodgers. Trading the reigning MVP would be a dark enough day for Gutekunst and the Pack. Trading (arguably) the best quarterback in franchise history to a team that then bounces you from the NFC playoffs is not conducive to job security.
The less the Packers see of No. 12 after a potential divorce, the better.
However, the Eagles are also in position to make Green Bay the kind of offer that no other NFL team can. With three picks in the top 20 in the 2022 draft alone, the Eagles can turbocharge a rebuild in Green Bay.
For the Eagles, Rodgers offers a franchise that made the playoffs last year a massive upgrade at the game's most important position. The Eagles could make a knee-buckler of an offer to Green Bay and still have a top-20 pick with which to add an impact player. If third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts becomes expendable, there will be multiple teams interested in acquiring him, allowing the Eagles a chance to recoup some of those losses.
And if Philly is certain that Rodgers is the missing piece in a championship puzzle, the team could in theory offer Green Bay three Round 1 picks in the same draft.
That would blow just about every other potential offer out of the water.