The trade the NFL world has been waiting for finally happened on Monday.
The Jets and Packers have agreed to a deal that sends quarterback Aaron Rodgers to New York.
The Jets also get the No. 15 pick and a fifth-round pick in 2023. The Packers get the No. 13 pick, second and sixth rounds and a conditional second-round pick in 2024 that can become a first.
What does this mean for both teams and who will benefit the most from Rodgers’ move to New York? AthleticismNational NFL writers Mike Sando, Ted Nguyen and Dan Pompei answer these questions and more.
What is your first reaction to the terms of trade?
Mike Sando: The Packers did well for a team that everyone knew was going to trade Rodgers. In my view, there always had to be a trade-contingent component. Getting a second this year and probably a first next year is a good escape from what I think is a bad situation for the Packers.
Ted Nguyen: I thought it was a good deal. I think the Packers thought they were going to get a lot more for Rodgers early in this process than they did. The Jets should have done more to protect themselves in case Rodgers retired next year, but getting Rodgers made them instant suitors. Rodgers’ production was down last season, but he’s still a top quarterback and will play like that with the Jets. I’d give the Packers a slight nod as the winners here considering there were no other bidders, but acquiring a player that will make you an instant contender was never going to be very cheap.
And Pompeii: I like what the Packers got, but Rodgers was worth what the Jets gave up. Despite a difficult situation, Rodgers’ performance last season was better than the performances of the majority of quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s still capable of being one of the best, if not the best quarterback in the league, like he was in 2021. What’s a quarterback like that worth? Even if his contributions are short-term, Rodgers brings tremendous value to the Jets.
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What has to happen for you to consider this trade a victory for the Jets?
Shirt: The offense must finish in the top half of the league, with the Jets reaching the playoffs. The Jets had one bottom-five offense last season. It didn’t give them a chance. If they’re in the top half of the league on offense overnight, they’ll most likely be a playoff team, which means they’ll have a chance that didn’t exist before.
Nguyen: Rodgers remains healthy and puts them deep in the playoffs, which is obviously their goal with the trade, and that would reduce the first-round pick they’d give up next year. Winning a Super Bowl would make them clear winners, but Rodgers vying for them and coming back the following year and doing the same would make the Jets very clear winners. Bonus points if Rodgers reworks his deal.
Pompeii: It’s already a victory for the Jets. Their locker room will be galvanized. Their fan base will be invigorated. They will have a chance to win every game they play in September. But let’s not forget that they were a terrible team last season. The Jets finished last in the AFC East. No NFL team had a worse passer rating. They were 29th in runs scored. They will be significantly better offensively as long as Rodgers is healthy. And that is a victory.
What has to happen for you to consider this trade a win for the Packers?
Shirt: Jordan Love needs to be a solid starting quarterback, someone he’s not looking to replace. Rodgers is the other part of this equation. If he lights up with the Jets, it will be harder for the Packers to consider this trade a win.
Nguyen: Jordan Love must be good. There’s not much room for growing pains considering he sat for three seasons. Plus, the Packers need to find a few of those high-value draft picks. If Rodgers stinks with the Jets, it makes them feel like they stole those picks, but I think if Rodgers is good, that doesn’t necessarily make them look bad because Rodgers wanted out.
Pompeii: If Jordan Love plays as well or better than Rodgers this year, that’s a win for the Packers. There’s no doubt the Packers could have extended Rodgers’ stay in Green Bay and been a contender in 2023, so they have to be a contender with Love. Part of how that is perceived will also depend on what they do with the draft picks. Moving up two places in the first round this year is interesting.
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How do you expect the Jets to fare in 2023 with Rodgers at quarterback?
Shirt: I think it will be a playoff team, but I’m not sure it will be a team that will advance to the playoffs, given the strength of the conference. I think they have a chance to be a team that reaches the conference championship game, and that chance didn’t exist for them before.
Nguyen: Rodgers is still a top quarterback. He had very little help at receiver and had inconsistent protection last season. This year, he’ll have a budding star at receiver in Garrett Wilson and one of the league’s best running backs in Breece Hall. Last season, the Jets offensive line suffered a ton of injuries, but if they can stay healthy, their starting five is very good. With a better supporting cast, I think Rodgers will play at a near MVP level again.
Pompeii: I think they can be a playoff team if the players step up around him. He needs some of their young players in a skill position to take the next step and stay healthy. He needs a pass. He also needs defense. And he needs offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to call plays better than he did last year in Denver. No player can do it alone.
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How far do you think the Packers will step back this year? (ie: how much do you trust Jordan Love?)
Shirt: They weren’t very good last season. It wouldn’t be particularly shocking if their record was similar to their 8-9 record from 2022. I’ll take the underside for now just because we haven’t seen enough of Love to know if he can even play well over a full month. , not to mention a full season.
Nguyen: It all depends on Jordan Love, of whom we know very little. He flashed a bit during preseason and the limited action he got last season, but the sample size is tiny. The Packers’ defense underperformed last season, but they have talent. The offensive line can be good if it stays healthy and receivers Christian Watson and Roméo Doubs will be in their second season. They have a good roster, but we’ll see how Love fares in his first season as a starter.
Pompeii: To date, they aren’t as talented as they were last season when they weren’t good enough. Love is the unknown. If he’s the quarterback they thought he was when they drafted him in the first round, he can lift his teammates. If he’s the quarterback that 25 teams say wasn’t worth taking in the 2020 draft, the Packers are in trouble.
Who in the Jets organization will benefit the most from the addition of Rodgers?
Shirt: Robert Saleh, because life is so much better for the head coach when he has a top quarterback. The whole team buys almost automatically. For as tired as the Packers have become of the Rodgers situation, we must not forget that Rodgers was a Tier 1 unanimous selection by 50 coaches and evaluators in my 2022 Quarterback Tiers survey. Sure, he’s had a disappointing year, and there’s a risk he’s approaching an age barrier, but Saleh has just added one of the two or three quarterbacks he’s had to his team. would least like to confront. Great day for him. He now has a chance.
Nguyen: Garrett Wilson. According to Warren Sharp, 19% of Wilson’s targets last season were elusive. That number will drop significantly with Rodgers throwing the ball to him. I think the two will have great chemistry and I expect to see Wilson rise in the tier one receiver conversation.
Pompeii: And Hackett? His success with Rodgers is the reason he became Broncos head coach in 2022. Rodgers reveres him and will give him instant credibility in the locker room. They know each other’s strengths and idiosyncrasies and should be able to bring out the best in each other.
(Top photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)