Who really has the leverage in Aaron Rodgers trade negotiations for the Packers and Jets?

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo discussed who he thinks has leverage in Aaron Rodgers trade discussions between the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets.

One of the biggest questions this offseason has been answered — what does quarterback Aaron Rodgers want to do? That answer is Rodgers playing for the New York Jets, as the four-time NFL MVP revealed on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

Now, the holdup is the Jets and Green Bay Packers negotiating and finalizing a trade. There is no timetable as to when that will get done, and it may very well be a matter of who blinks first.

That is why those in the NFL world are asking — who has leverage between the Jets and Packers?

During an appearance on NFL Now, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo discussed who had the leverage, and he says he believes the Jets do. Specifically, Garafolo talks about the value of picks in this year’s draft as opposed to next year’s draft is the “next pressure point.”

Do Jets or Packers hold the leverage in Aaron Rodgers trade discussions?

“To me, the next pressure point is the draft, because draft picks are going to be involved in this trade, and if you’re the Packers, don’t you want the draft picks in 2023 rather than the draft picks in 2024,” Garafolo said. “…These are going to be higher picks than next year’s, most likely because Aaron Rodgers is being added to a talented team, they should be better. So this year, it’s 13th in the first round, the 43rd in the second round, you would think that if you’re trading for next year’s picks, they’re going to be lower. Plus, if you’re the Packers and you get this year’s picks, those guys can start contributing for you in 2023 versus 2024.

“Now some might say, ‘don’t the Jets want to get this done, get this over with? Get Rodgers in the building?’ Well look, he really doesn’t have to start throwing in OTA’s and minicamp until we get into what, May? So that’s after the draft anyway, and if he wants to throw with his targets, he can do that. He can fly them to California, he can come here and work with them wherever, right? As far as knowing the offense, he already knows it. Nathaniel Hackett and he go way back, the new offensive coordinator for the Jets.”

As Garafolo brings up, the NFL Draft is coming up very shortly. From Apr. 27-29, the NFL will be in Kansas City for the draft, where teams will look to select the best prospects available to them.

This year, the Jets picks will be more lucrative, as they are set to pick in the Top 15 of the first-round and early in the second round. That would give the Packers the opportunity to add players to their roster, possibly some to help out new starting quarterback Jordan Love.

Next year, the Jets could finish with a better record than in 2022, barring a Denver Broncos-level disaster of a season.

According to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, the Packers are looking for a first-round pick and more for Rodgers, and that is more than what the Jets are looking to give up for him.

As the days passed, the Packers became more and more outspoken about giving Love playing time as a starter. So, that kind of gives the Jets leverage in a sense, as the Packers are ready to move forward without Rodgers.

There is still plenty of time left before the start of the season. Maybe, just maybe, both sides can reach a resolution before the NFL Draft. As Garafolo said in the video above, the Jets’ picks next year may not be as valuable as theirs this year.

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