Decision Day for Aaron Rodgers: Will He Stay or Will He Go?
The NFL world eagerly awaits a decision from quarterback Aaron Rodgers regarding his future plans. The 39-year-old and his team of 18 years, the Green Bay Packers, have come to a crossroads, with the Packers wanting to move on to the Jordan Love era and Rodgers needing to decide if he wants to retire or agree to be traded to the New York Jets.
On March 8, 2023, the legal tampering period before the official start of NFL free agency begins and teams can begin negotiating deals with unrestricted free agents. Deals cannot be officially signed until the new league year begins on Wednesday, March 15th.
Despite reports to the contrary, the Packers and Jets have not agreed to the framework of an Aaron Rodgers trade. Both sides are waiting for word on the signal-caller's future plans before they work together to make it happen, should he desire to play for the Jets. The Jets have been working to clear out space under the cap, both through outright cuts and contract restructurings, in order to make room for Rodgers' cap hit of over $31M.
Green Bay needs available cap space for free agency, both new additions and re-signing their own, along with signing their draft class and practice squad. Green Bay has an estimated $16 million in available funds to trade, however, if they choose to accept any of the guaranteed salary, their budget will be reduced. After David Bakhtiari's contract was restructured, the Packers had around $24 million in salary cap space. However, this amount will decrease by about $9 million due to the trade and could be reduced even more if any of the $59.5 million guarantee is paid out.
Aaron Rodgers spoke to former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall on Saturday, saying his decision would be coming soon. “It's always interesting meeting important figures in the sport. Yeah, it's always interesting. That's all I'm giving you,” Rodgers told Marshall, a co-host of the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast.
Free agents such as wide receiver Allen Lazard are also waiting to see where Rodgers intends to play in 2023. Garafolo stated that Rodgers' future team will have an influence on Lazard's decision. The Jets have been restructuring contracts to clear out room under the cap, re-doing contracts of guard Laken Tomlinson, cornerback D.J.
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