Aaron Rodgers shipped off to the Big Apple
Future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets.
After weeks of negotiations between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets, the two sides finally reached an agreement — in blockbuster fashion — for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. As part of the deal, the Packers received a slew of draft picks, including the 13th in the first round, 42nd in the second round, and 207th in the sixth round in the 2023 NFL Draft and a 2024 second-round pick that will become a first-round pick if Rodgers plays 65% of the Jets’ snaps in the upcoming 2023-24 season.
Trade rumors regarding Rodgers have been brewing since late 2020, when the Packers surprisingly selected quarterback Jordan Love with their first round pick. The future hall of famer had grown unhappy with the team's willingness to trade for new offensive weapons and felt as if they were wasting his time. Since then, Rodgers went on a tear – winning two league MVP awards and solidifying himself amongst the league’s best in spite of criticism that his game has fallen off. However, this past season was one of Rodgers’ worst to date. He threw for the fewest passing yards in any season in which he played at least the majority of the snaps and had lackluster performances with throwing the football.
Back in mid-March, Rodgers made his traditional appearance on the “Pat McAfee Show,” formally announcing his intent to play for the Jets for the upcoming season. This wasn’t decided lightly, as nearly every off-season dating back to 2018, there were always rumblings regarding Rodgers playing status. In February, Rodgers did just that again as he sat in a pitch-black room for four days called the “darkness retreat” to contemplate whether he was going to retire from the sport completely. It’s said that this adventure allowed Rodgers to clear his mind and gain insight into what he wanted for his future.
This deal marks the end of an era in Green Bay, as Rodgers’ reign at the helm concludes after 18 storybook seasons. While in Green Bay, the star quarterback accomplished a Super Bowl victory in 2011; 475 touchdown passes, the fifth most in NFL history, and 59,055 passing yards, the ninth most in NFL history. With these accomplishments, Rodgers was able to cement himself as one of the greatest to perform in Lambeau stadium — in good company, as the stadium has hosted countless Hall of Fame-talent quarterbacks over the years.
It’s a fitting fresh start for Rodgers, following in the footsteps of fellow Packers legend Brett Favre in being traded to the Jets after an illustrious career with the team. Rodgers will hope to lead the Jets into the playoffs, as the team hasn’t made the postseason since the 2010-2011 season. This sad fact gives the Jets the longest active playoff drought streak amongst the big four professional sporting leagues.
For the Packers, the team will look to regain its strength with Love in the pocket. Their draft capital, received as part of the deal, will look to replenish many of the areas that have been weak over the past years. As the backup for the past three seasons, Love brings a combination of his youthful athleticism and experience to a now young-and-upcoming Packers squad. Unfortunately for Love, he’ll have to face the pressure of being the successor to an all-time great. Fans will be tuning in to Green Bay, seeing if Love was the right answer to the Rodgers woes.
Rodgers will be wearing his collegiate number 8 with the team, marking a new chapter in his evolving football career.
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