Reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers sent shockwaves throughout the league just before the draft started in late April. The 37-year-old Rodgers explicitly said that he wanted out of Green Bay and requested a trade. Rodgers backed up his statement by recently choosing to not show up to the Packers mandatory minicamp.
Plenty of NFL teams are interested in Rodgers’ services because, even though he’s 37, he is still at the top of his game. Rodgers set career highs in 2020 for passing touchdowns (48) and QBR (84.4) (Pro-Football-Reference.com). Here are four potential landing spots for Rodgers in 2021.
- Las Vegas Raiders
Wouldn’t this be the most Jon Gruden move ever? Gruden has praised Derek Carr for his ability, but he knows that acquiring Rodgers would be a game-changer for his team. The Raiders defense should be awful once again in 2021, so Gruden knows he must outscore teams to have a shot at making the playoffs.
The Raiders could put together a package of Carr and a slew of draft picks to try to entice the Packers to make a deal. Carr would be a decent fit in Green Bay to let Jordan Love develop for a couple more seasons.
- New Orleans Saints
Saints head coach Sean Payton has been one of the best offensive minds in the NFL for quite some time. However, Payton has to figure out how to replace legendary QB Drew Brees, who chose to retire after last season. The Saints have a couple of decent options at QB with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill coming back, but they’d love to have Rodgers at the helm instead.
Rodgers would have to be intrigued with the Saints because of the many offensive weapons they have on the roster. Rodgers would love throwing the ball to talented receivers like Michael Thomas and Tre’Quan Smith.
- Denver Broncos
Playing for a legend like John Elway would have to appeal to Rodgers. Elway proved with Peyton Manning that he could build a Super Bowl-winning team around an older QB. Denver has a stout defense and some good pieces on offense, so adding Rodgers would make them a contender right away.
Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater are both serviceable quarterbacks but it is doubtful that Elway is sold on either of them. Rodgers would enjoy throwing to legitimate deep threats like Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton.
- Green Bay Packers
Let’s face it, the likelihood of Green Bay trading Aaron Rodgers is minuscule. Rodgers’s current contract would keep him with the Packers until the end of 2023 so the two sides will likely kiss and make up. The three-time MVP is set to make 37.2 million in 2021 and 39.8 million in 2022.
It’s difficult to see another team being able to take such a giant salary cap hit by trading for Rodgers. Plenty of teams are interested, but the smart money says Rodgers will still be in a Packers uniform once September rolls around.