Aaron Rodgers and Packers Nearing Potential Trade Date

If Green Bay trades Rodgers after June 1, the team will free up $16.05 million in cap space this year

Aaron Rodgers of the Packers warms up before the NFC Championship game.
Aaron Rodgers of the Packers warms up before the NFC Championship game.
Dylan Buell/Getty

If the Green Bay Packers are really going to trade franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a deal could go down as soon as tomorrow due to salary cap implications.

Had the team traded Rodgers prior to June 1, they would have taken a $38.356 million dead money charge on the NFL salary cap. By trading Rodgers after the 1st, the dead money hit drops to $21.152 million and the Packers free up $16.05 million in cap space this year that could be used to add players to the roster for the upcoming season.

None of that means Rodgers, who was not in attendance for organized team activities in Green Bay last week but did take the time to talk to his buddy Kenny Mayne on SportsCenter, will actually be dealt.

Per Matt Schneidman of The Athletic, general manager Brian Gutekunst is holding firm to the stance he “will not” trade the reigning NFL MVP because the Packers do not really believe Rodgers will sit out the season and are willing to call his bluff.

“The Packers would trade Rodgers if they believed he was truly committed to never playing for them again and wanted to get draft picks and players in return instead of forcing him to retire and receiving only the money they’d keep from him refusing to play in any of the final three years on his contract,” Schneidman writes.

If Gutekunst and the team stick to their guns and hold on to Rodgers, the 37-year-old can swallow his pride and play for the Packers or continue to stay away for the team and cost himself a lot of money in the process, including the remaining $23 million in signing bonus cash on his contract.

Of course, if the future Hall of Famer continues not to report, Gutekunst could decide the team would be better off with draft picks and players than recouping millions of dollars from Rodgers and work out a trade, but there have been no indications the team is open to doing that at this point.

Part of the reason the team might be unwilling to deal Rodgers is that they likely won’t get the best return for him, as there are only a few teams with glaring needs at QB (the Broncos being one) and interest in the QB. If Green Bay waits until next offseason, there will be a bigger market for Rodgers and the team will be able to get more in return.

“At some point, it makes sense to kick the entire issue until after the season — especially since any picks the Packers would peck for Rodgers would come from the 2022 draft, anyway,” according to ProFootballTalk. “Let the 17 regular-season games of 2021 play out, let the teams that inevitably will decide to make a quarterback change realize that they’ll be in the market, and then invite them all to the table for a bidding war to get Rodgers.”

If anything does actually happen in Green Bay, it won’t be today. Tomorrow on the other hand …

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