It's hard to believe that it's been almost exactly a month since we learned the reason the Aaron Rodgers trade to the Jets had stalled was due to Green Bay's exorbitant asking price:
And since then, no one has budged. Teams are starting their minicamps in the next week or so, and still the Jets are without their presumptive QB1. In all likelihood, Rodgers hasn't received a Jets playbook. Nor can we assume he's had any conversations with Robert Saleh and his staff about how he plans on running things once he gets to New Jersey and assumes complete command and control over all operations. (I mean, who are we kidding? He's not leaving Green Bay to go elsewhere and be told what to do.)
The two sides have remained deadlocked in negotiations that have dragged on longer than the Paris Peace Accord, in which North and South Vietnam famously spent months arguing over what shape the table should be while thousands were dying. And speaking of politics, the only update we've had in a month is one candidate for President capturing the coveted Aaron Rodgers Endorsement:
Historically, the endorsement of a hallucinogen enthusiast quarterback with a penchant for hanging out in dark places and one Super Bowl ring has been good for about 300 electoral votes. It's believed that's how Joe Namath won Dick Nixon 49 states back in '72. So congratulations to future President Elect Robert Kennedy Jr.
Apparently we now know the reason for the lack of news. The last month has seen a total stalemate:
Source - Yahoo Sports NFL reporter Charles Robinson appeared on the Wilde and Tausch podcast on ESPN Radio and shared some insight into the trade talks. He reports that the Packers’ asking price for Rodgers is a second-round pick in 2023 — of which the Jets have two of thanks to the trading of Elijah Moore to the Cleveland Browns — and a straight first-round pick in 2024. That means no “graduating picks” or anything of that sort. Green Bay wants a first-round pick next year, no questions asked.
Green Bay is also willing to include some sort of compensation pick in 2025 for the Jets if Rodgers decides not to play in 2024, per Robinson.
The Jets, and specifically owner Woody Johnson, are saying no. They do not want to budge immediately off of a first-round pick in 2024 and part of that has to do with what happened this past season with the Denver Broncos and Russell Wilson with all the picks the Broncos traded to the Seattle Seahawks for Wilson only for him to lead Denver to a 5-12 record and give the Seahawks the 5th pick in the upcoming draft.
Robinson also mentions Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and how his elbow injury helped play a role in Los Angeles crumbling in 2022, also finishing 5-12 and allowing the Detroit Lions to end up with the 6th overall pick.
I say again what I said last month:
Good on Green Bay. You've got to give Brian Gutekunst credit for taking advantage of the Jets' desperation. And make no mistake; they're the desperate party in all this. Not the Packers and certainly not Rodgers. Green Bay is committed to making the transistion to Jordan Love, with or without Rodgers. Rodgers meanwhile, doesn't need any of this gas. He's been publicly debating whether he wants to keep playing football for years now. If he wanted to get into broadcasting or start his own YouTube channel or whatever, he can name his price. Or he can sit in a hobbit hole somewhere going on an ayahuasca-fueled voyage of personal discovery. The only one in this love triangle whom you can honestly say needs this to happen, it's Woody Johnson's little Pit of Despair.
In any negotiation, there's someone who wants a thing, and someone who needs a thing. And if the former is not forcing the latter to bend to their will, they're just not doing it right. Whether you're negotiating a contract, a real estate deal, haggling over a pair of matching end tables at a yard sale, or trying to relocate a football player at the end of his career, it's all about leverage, in every case. And when you're going up against someone who's desperate, you have the leverage every single time. It's the difference between selling your house to someone who's kind of, sort of, thinking about moving, and someone whose company just transferred them to the area and they have to have a place to live so they can get their family out of the LaQuinta Inn next to the interstate.
And the only party to these discussions that is desperate are the Jets. They're the ones who have to make a deal. Woody Johnson's minions can prattle on all they want about what happened to the Broncos or Rams. But all the Packers have to do is send them a link to a Twitter search of "Elijah Moore Zach Wilson":
I say again that part of me wants to see Rodgers come to the AFC East, for the pure heart-pounding excitement of it. But it's hard not to imagine the pure joy of knowing the Jets blew this negotiation and Rodgers being forced to go back to Green Bay as Jordan Love's backup, or retire. Either way, us Jets haters win. As always.