The Aaron Rodgers Mystery Is Endless

Enemy Left but
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts after an interception was nullified by a Detroit Lions penalty during the third quarter Sunday, January 8, 2023 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. © MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK..

An Aaron Rodgers trade to the New York Jets could’ve been the year’s most significant and earth-shattering sports event.

If your phone buzzed in February or so and declared Rodgers traded to the Jets sans any isolation retreats, appearances on The Pat McAfee Show, or generalized lollygagging, you would’ve been utterly stunned.

The Aaron Rodgers Mystery Is Endless

Instead, the “Will he be traded to New York?” saga has dragged beyond belief — and may even be at a stalemate.

Aaron Rodgers Mystery
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter opined Wednesday on the latest developments inside the Packers-Jets trade talks or lack thereof, “Both sides now appear to be dug in.”

“My understanding is there hasn’t been a whole lot of conversation, if any, over the last couple of weeks,” Schefter added.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports.

And as the doomsday clock ticks toward the 2023 NFL Draft, the Packers especially must find out what draft capital they own to fortify a rookie class with presumed new starter Jordan Love. On the Jets side, well, if Rodgers-to-Jets falls through — then what?

The clubs are evidently snagged on trade compensation, with the Packers wanting the Jets No. 13 pick at the end of the month, and naturally, Jets general manager Joe Douglas would just prefer to hang onto that while not sending it elsewhere for a soon-to-be 40-year-old.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Schefter also added, “Amazingly if the two sides can’t figure out a deal by the time the draft comes Aaron Rodgers will then have a decision to make rather or not to show up to the Packers mandatory minicamp in May.”

Generally speaking, one item is apparent — for the first time ever, Green Bay is outwardly done with Rodgers. They found him in the 2005 NFL Draft, mandated a spot on the bench for three seasons, sent then-QB1 Brett Favre to these same Jets, ripped off the Band-Aid with Rodgers, and the rest is history. Rodgers guided Green Bay to one Super Bowl win and tends to get mentions as a Top 3 quarterback of all time. Now, though, the franchise is ready to move on — even after awarding Rodgers a now-unthinkable contract less than a year ago.

For New York, it wants to end recent quarterback skullduggery involving Sam Darnold and Zach Wilson, two mammoth swings-and-misses via the draft. Rodgers — even a geriatric version — is the Jets way of guaranteeing 2023 relevance.

But the teams just cannot meet in the middle, creating undying mystery of “What is the hold-up?” and “When will this thing eventually happen?”

Revived Packers Next
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.

Interestingly, if this situation continues to sour or the teams merely do nothing, the Jets would need a quarterback because a Wilson do-over probably isn’t happening. Some believe the Minnesota Vikings are still listening to Kirk Cousins trade offers, so, in theory, New York could “come ‘a callin'” if Rodgers retires or mind-bogglingly returns to Green Bay.

All of it, however, is a giant unnecessary mystery. The trade could’ve been orchestrated behind closed doors two months ago. But that really isn’t Rodgers’ modus operandi.

The Jets haven’t reached the playoffs since 2010.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by