The Green Bay Packers appear ready to officially close the book on Aaron Rodgers‘ time with the franchise and make Jordan Love their next franchise quarterback.
Packers president Mark Murphy confirmed the team plans to honor Rodgers’ trade request if he desires one, and both sides expect things to be resolved before the start of free agency on March 15, WBAY reported.
“It’s a situation where I think we wanted to help Aaron achieve what he wanted, as well as the Packers. Hopefully, it’ll create a situation where it’s a win for both sides,” Murphy said. “I think ideally for everybody would be to have this resolved before the start of free agency on March 15.”
He also confirmed the team permitted the New York Jets to begin courting Rodgers. Steps have been made toward a deal, including a face-to-face meeting between Rodgers and the team, and the Jets are optimistic something will get done, though Rodgers himself has not announced his plans or ruled out retirement yet.
Until a deal is made, Rodgers could open 2023 as the Packers’ starter. Murphy was asked if he could foresee a scenario where Rodgers was Green Bay’s quarterback this season.
“Yeah, I mean unless, if things don’t work out the way we want them,” Murphy said. “Yeah, we would. He is obviously a great player.”
Joe Banner, former team executive for the Browns and Eagles and analyst for The 33rd Team, doesn’t believe it was a wise move for Murphy to discuss the matter with the media in the middle of negotiations.
“There are times to talk, and other times to not say anything,” Banner said. “He should not even be talking to the press right now. There’s nothing to gain. And there are questions that can really put the team in a position that doesn’t look good. And certainly, if Aaron’s going to leave there, they should make sure they do it in a way that respects the career that he’s had. I think Mark would have been better off just staying in his office and not doing that interview.”
Though not shutting the door on Rodgers entirely, it appears the Packers are content to let Rodgers move on — either to another team or on to retirement — and move forward with Love.
“We’ve seen this happen before, to the point where it seems like Rodgers is done with the Packers and the Packers are done with Rodgers,” Banner said. “The only way I could see a scenario in which he can go back to Green Bay, because it seems like they’re both committed that he’s not, is if the offer from the Jets is so bad that it doesn’t make any sense to trade him.”
There are parallels between Rodgers’ situation and one with his predecessor in Green Bay, Brett Favre. The Packers dealt Favre to the Jets in 2008 to make room for Rodgers, a first-round pick drafted three years earlier. In discussing the similarities, Murphy referred to Rodgers’ Packers career in the past tense, stating, “Aaron had a great career here.”
A Rodgers move would open the door for Love, also drafted in the late first round three years ago, to step in as the franchise quarterback, something Murphy is comfortable with.
“We have a lot of confidence in him [Love]. We drafted him and developed him. A lot of credit goes to our coaches and to Jordan. We do think he’s ready,” Murphy said.