The New York Jets have held talks with the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers this week regarding a possible trade of the four-time MVP to the Jets, sources said.
Some of those conversations are expected to take place on Tuesday, but it was unclear whether they would result in a trade as of Tuesday morning, the sources said.
Rodgers has yet to make any announcements about what he intends to do this offseason. It’s still possible he retires or stays in Green Bay. But if he still wants to play and he and the Packers agree it’s time for him to play elsewhere, the Jets seem like a realistic option.
If the Jets were to talk to Rodgers directly, they would have to get the Packers’ permission because he and he are under contract with Green Bay. So Rodgers’ discussions with the Jets show at least some openness on the Packers’ part to the idea of trading him there.
But there are potential issues with a deal, including Rodgers’ massive and complex contract, that must be resolved at the start of the league year next Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET to ensure both teams are in compliance with the salary cap.
Rodgers is under contract through 2024 for $108.8 million. Technically, the deal signed last March runs through 2026, but 2025 and 2026 are considered “dummy” years for cap purposes. His contract includes $59.5 million fully guaranteed this season, with $58.3 million coming in the form of optional bonuses, paid before the start of the regular season.
Rodgers won’t touch the Jets’ cap as his bonus money counts. He will count for $15.8 million in 2023 and $32.5 million in 2024, which is decent for a player of his stature.
The Packers will be hit with a $40.3 million “dead” fee in 2023 — nearly $9 million more than he would count if he were on the roster.
The Jets expressed interest in Derek Carr, meeting with him twice, but they considered him a fallback option. Sources said Rodgers has always been their No. 1 priority in the quarterback market. Carr agreed to a four-year contract worth $150 million with the New Orleans Saints.
The Jets have focused on Rodgers since the start of the offseason, with owner Woody Johnson telling reporters he was “absolutely” willing to make a big investment in a quarterback. Team officials have made it clear in recent weeks that Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in 2021, is not considered a primary starting option. Their hope is to develop him in a backup role.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini and Rob Demowski contributed to this report.