The Aaron Rodgers saga rages on, but should reach its climax pretty soon as training camp is right around the corner. If a deal does get done, which is difficult to assess mainly based upon the lack of knowledge surrounding the intention of Rodgers, what teams are still in the running?
First, Rodgers is obviously very unhappy, but as not made his intentions fully public. Will he sit out? Will he miss training camp and into the regular season until he is on a new team? All of that is uncertain.
Second, many of the teams that were serious contenders early on in the offseason and prior to the draft have gone in a different direction. One of the favorite contenders a few months ago were the San Francisco 49ers. After trading future draft capital to move up to the third pick to select Trey Lance, they’re no longer in the market for Rodgers and don’t have the capital to pull off the trade even if they were for some reason interested.Embed from Getty Images
Looking across the league, there isn’t an overwhelming obvious contender. The Dolphins, Raiders, Titans, Saints, and Washington have all been thrown around in the conversation. It’s really just the Saints and Washington that don’t currently have an established starting quarterback or a young first-round draft pick already on the roster. So, if Washington can emerge from the lackluster market and walk away the winner, what would it cost them and how would it impact their cap?
The cost of a Washington trade for Aaron Rodgers?
This is very difficult to get a sense of as described earlier. It’s hard to tell the pressure that is on the Packers to move him and it seems like the market interest is not as high as it could have been earlier. But still, it is Aaron Rodgers so you can’t really believe that a team would get a bargain price for the reigning MVP. With Jordan Love already in place as the heir apparent in Green Bay, the Packers won’t be looking for a quarterback in return. This helps Washington and diminishes the chances of the Raiders, Dolphins, Broncos or Titans of executing this deal. If Derek Carr, Tua Tagovailoa, Drew Lock/Teddy Bridgewater or Ryan Tannehill could be added as a valued piece by Green Bay in a supposed deal, it would make It easier for them to pull it off.
Some people have thrown out that it may cost them Chase Young, but I don’t think that’s accurate at all, nor do I think that Washington would part with him. Compensation could include a player, but not one of the core building blocks of this team moving forward. I think the bulk of the compensation value will be in the form of future draft capital. The first-round pick in 2022 would definitely be gone, as well as, possibly the same in 2023 or the second-round pick.
Cap Implications of a Washington trade for Aaron Rodgers?
In terms of the cap, Washington is in excellent position to pull this deal off. Unlike other supposed teams in the market, they do not have to deal with a big veteran quarterback’s contract already on the books. As per Spotrac, Washington has over $16M in cap space heading into 2021 and a projected $60M in 2022. Rodgers current contract has cap numbers of roughly $37M in 2021, $39M in 2022, and 28M in 2023. They could re-work the contract to reduce the cap hit this year and add on a year or two to spread out the cap numbers too. That would even leave them money to sign Brandon Scherff to a long-term contract.