Aaron Rodgers Will Return for 2023, Wants to Play for Jets

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers announced that he intends to return for the 2023 season and his "intention" is to play for the New York Jets during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show. 

According to Rodgers, he entered his darkness retreat "90% retiring," but after coming out realized that the Packers were looking to move on from him.

While Rodgers and the Jets are mutually interested, there is no deal imminent as of yet. Rodgers emphasized that while he made the decision to return as early as Friday, the Packers and Jets still need to resolve compensation for both the trade itself and Rodgers' contract. 

Rodgers also denied any reports that he provided a "wish list" of personnel to the Jets that he wished to play with. On Tuesday, ESPN's Dianna Russini reported that Rodgers gave New York brass a list of potential free-agent teammates, which included former Packers Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Marcedes Lewis as well as wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Rodgers was drafted by the Packers in 2005 and took over as full-time starter in 2008. Over 18 season, Rodgers won four MVPs and a Super Bowl with Green Bay. He holds the franchise all-time record for touchdown passes (475) and yards per game (256.8) and single-season records for passing yards, touchdowns, and completion percentage. 

Since 2004, the New York Jets have had two quarterbacks finish a season with a positive passing DVOA. Zach Wilson's 27th place finish is the best placement by a Jets quarterback since Josh McCown in 2017. For reference, Rodgers has one season with a negative passing DVOA and never ranked lower than 21st. 


45 comments, Last at 20 Mar 2023, 11:28am

#1 by Pat // Mar 15, 2023 - 1:38pm


According to Rodgers, he entered his darkness retreat "90% retiring," but after coming out realized...

  1. $60M is a whole, whole lot of money to walk away from.
  2. if he retired this year, he'd be up against Brady for the Hall.

I'm still figuring that Green Bay's holding out for a guaranteed first, and the Jets aren't budging. This is seriously the weirdest game of chicken I've ever seen. I don't even know which team I'd say has the better leverage. They're both being like "no, really we're okay with being totally broken this year, just try us!"

Points: 1

#8 by Sisyphus // Mar 15, 2023 - 3:13pm

A form of justice perhaps but Green Bay would still have tp pay Rodgers. I think despite the embarrassment he would still cash the checks.

Points: 1

#13 by Cythammer // Mar 15, 2023 - 5:06pm

It would also be incredibly stupid for the Packers, obviously.

Points: 2

#15 by Pat // Mar 15, 2023 - 5:45pm

I really, really don't think Brady's playing again.

Then again, I also didn't think Rodgers was going anywhere. So, not much.

Points: 0

#16 by PackerPete // Mar 15, 2023 - 6:05pm

XM Radio's NFL Network's Pat Kerwin made a good point this afternoon. The Packers' $59 million option for Rodgers, per contract, can be exercised anytime between March 17 and the first week of the 2023 season. The Packers aren't facing any imminent timeline or expense during these Jets negotiations. The Packers have moved on from Rodgers and have five months to resolve Rodgers' situation.

The Jets, on the other hand, have watched every other capable QB get signed; have signed Rodgers' fave WR Lazard; hired Rodgers' fave Nathaniel Hackett (despite Hackett crashing and burning in Denver); have a fan base desperate for a quality QB. To Kerwin, the Packers have more leverage in this deal. The pressure is on the Jets to get the deal done. 

If Packer GM Gutekunst can finagle a Jets Round One pick and offload that $59 million (with another $40 million in 2024), that'll be top notch general managing!

Points: 3

#18 by theslothook // Mar 15, 2023 - 7:00pm

If Packer GM Gutekunst can finagle a Jets Round One pick and offload that $59 million (with another $40 million in 2024), that'll be top notch general managing!

Timing may be on the Packers side, but the Jets would be basically bidding against themselves. Rodgers has made it now explicitly clear he wants to go to the Jets and only the Jets. I can't think of another team that is prepared to commit themselves financially to a 39 year old guy whos already a bit flighty in his behavior.

Meanwhile, as fans, we love the drama but that doesn't mean the front offices do. Zach Lowe confirmed in his podcasts that drama can sap real energy from an organization; having a figurative cloud hanging over the building becomes an ongoing distraction. Do the Packers really want Love and LaFleur constantly peppered with questions about Rodgers over and over long into training camp?

Points: 2

#21 by guest from Europe // Mar 16, 2023 - 4:46am

i agree with this. What PackerPete wrote is a lot of wishfull thinking.

The only team left is the Jets. If Packers demand too much, Jets can sign L. Jackson for such price of draft picks and a cheaper guaranteed salary than Rodgers. 

Points: 0

#22 by theslothook // Mar 16, 2023 - 10:56am


Per some insiders, the typical package is some combo of conditional mid rounders

Points: 2

#24 by Pat // Mar 16, 2023 - 11:11am

It's insane, those offers are lower than what I suggested (something around Favre's trade value), and I was pretty universally met with derision when I made it.

I have no idea why some people think that Rodgers is worth that much with that contract.

Points: 1

#23 by Pat // Mar 16, 2023 - 11:09am

The Packers have moved on from Rodgers and have five months to resolve Rodgers' situation.

This is why I said it's the weirdest game of chicken I've ever seen.

I've seen the argument regarding the Packers leverage, too, and they're all forgetting one thing. The Jets can wait until after the draft. It's only one month. There are no offseason camps that Rodgers would miss. And if they do wait until after the draft, now 2 things happen. First, obviously, the draft pick compensation gets pushed a year, and the Jets are likely to have a worse pick next year (they have #13 this year).

Even if the Packers were OK with next year's picks as compensation, they have no idea how the top of the draft is going to unfold. One of the top QBs could fall straight to the Jets... and the Jets could draft a QB. And tell the Packers eh, not interested anymore. And now what are the Packers going to do? They have to pay Rodgers that option. It's guaranteed. Now they need to find another trade partner, or eat the salary, which is even worse.

That "leverage" is a house of cards. They've both got the ability to wait.

Points: 0

#25 by theslothook // Mar 16, 2023 - 11:46am

That "leverage" is a house of cards. They've both got the ability to wait.


There is no reason the Jets should feel boxed into anything. Rodgers has already telegraphed he wants to come to the Jets. And the Packers and their fans can a balk all they want, but there is no way Rodgers is going back to the Packers at this point. Paying 59 million to a disgruntled backup is bad business on top of the fact that it would turn the Packers into the TO drive way situps Eagles. They can talk tough all they want, but absolutely no team is going to willingly sign up for that.

If the Jets brass calms down for a minute instead of acting like 17 year old virgins about to score with the prom queen; they would realize this basic calculus. There is no other market out there for Rodgers.  None. 


Points: 2

#26 by mehllageman56 // Mar 16, 2023 - 11:59am

"If the Jets brass calms down for a minute instead of acting like 17 year old virgins about to score with the prom queen; they would realize this basic calculus."

You mean Woody Johnson.  Saleh wanted Carr, and Joe Douglas has a history of getting the best out of trades.  Woody is the one with no patience; after all, he got trolled in the UK for looking at his phone in his pocket while the Queen was speaking.

Points: 4

#2 by theslothook // Mar 15, 2023 - 1:43pm

If you are the Jets, wouldn't you rather fork over two first for Lamar instead, considering Aaron is 39, coming off a bad year and has entered the Favre phase of back and forth retirement.

To me, anything more than a conditional second is too much.

Also does anyone believe he'd actually leave that money on the table? A couple years ago he claimed money didn't matter as much as quality of life and how he was being treated. A year later, a boatload of money seemed to assuage his hurt feelings.

I don't hate the guy, but he seems way too caught up in spinning the victim narrative.

Points: 6

#3 by halfjumpsuit // Mar 15, 2023 - 1:55pm

If you are the Jets, wouldn't you rather fork over two first for Lamar instead

If you're Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas, yes.

If you're Woody Johnson, absolutely not, you're not breaking the unspoken ownership pact to not sign other team's tagged player, especially a QB who wants a guaranteed contract.

Points: 4

#5 by Aaron Brooks G… // Mar 15, 2023 - 2:13pm

This is where we miss Al, who would do something like that just to spite the league office.

Points: 2

#6 by KnotMe // Mar 15, 2023 - 2:46pm

People laughed in Discord when I mentioned just going the Lamar route, but if I'm not only giving up a first for Rodgers, talking on his albatross contract and also signing all his buddies to above-market contracts(due to 0 leverage)...yeah, I can see betting that Lamar can do better with a change of scenery and actual WRs is starting to seem appealing. 

Rodgers reaction to such a development would be priceless. 


Points: 0

#28 by mehllageman56 // Mar 16, 2023 - 12:01pm

Joe Douglas was in the Ravens organization, he might not want to do them dirty like that.  Saleh would be fine with it, I think.  

Woody Johnson thinks he knows what he wants, but he has no idea how to get it.  He might not know who Lamar Jackson is.  I'm still expecting something to happen and the Jets to be screwed.

Points: 0

#9 by Joey-Harringto… // Mar 15, 2023 - 3:42pm

I had the exact same thought.  The Jets going through all of this angst and drama just to have the third best offense in the division.

Points: 3

#7 by KnotMe // Mar 15, 2023 - 2:48pm

Big props to whoever found the perfect lead pic for this. 

Points: 4

#10 by Misho // Mar 15, 2023 - 4:05pm

Next year he goes to Vikings because time is flat circle.Is it kind of tradition for GB QBs?

Points: 3

#11 by riri // Mar 15, 2023 - 4:16pm

As a Vikings fan, I hope they don't consider doing that. It made sense for the Vikings to go get Favre back in 2009 because they were a "set everywhere except for QB" team. The 2023 Vikings...are not that

Points: 1

#14 by BroncosGuyAgain // Mar 15, 2023 - 5:37pm

Who knows if the "two first round picks" reportage is true.  We have certainly seen plenty of reportage around this situation which was clearly false.

But, if true, the Packers are delusional.  The Packers have absolutely no leverage.  None.  They need a trade partner who wants ARodg and ARodg is willing to play for.  That Venn diagram appears to include one team.  They can only trade him for a stick of gum.  Sure, there are scenarios of eating salary or unwanted contracts in exchange for non-premium draft picks.  Green Bay can wait to release him after June 1 for no compensation and some salary cap relief. But those are the alternatives.  If Jets management capitulates to significant draft compensation, then immediate termination is justified.

Points: 0

#17 by BigRichie // Mar 15, 2023 - 6:42pm

See what PackerPete says up there. The Pack can hold onto Rodgers all the way up to the regular season without paying him a penny. They can also fine him for not reporting to camp.

The Jets meanwhile have dug themselves into quite a hole.

(I'm guessing you have no business experience in the field of negotiating)

Points: 0

#19 by KnotMe // Mar 15, 2023 - 7:47pm

No way the packers get 2 first round picks. (If the Jets wanted to go that far they would just go after Lamar, who has his own question but the upside is way higher also)

Points: 2

#20 by guest from Europe // Mar 16, 2023 - 4:40am

Such disputes happen a lot in Europe. European soccer contracts are guaranteed, so that is a general difference. However, in this case Rodgers' contract is guaranteed. Packers cannot just fine him. He would report to them, and not do much, train poorly, sulk around, ... and they can't do anything. They would have to pay him! And hope that some team needs an emergency starter.

Which team would pay the highest salary in the league in August or September? Such a team would hopefully get someone cheaper on 1-year contract such as Bridgewater or Darnold from 49ers. 

How do i know this? We have a lot of experience with such disputes in Europe. In smaller leagues, in top teams. Real Madrid has such problems for years. They don't go away until the contract expires. Some players after a few years of these disputes appear with small bear bellys. 

Why do people side with the team and not the player is baffling to me! They, the teams, signed these contracts and don't want to honor it and want to wiggle out by fines, restructures, cuts... would any commenter here want to this happen to him/her?

Points: 0

#39 by BroncosGuyAgain // Mar 16, 2023 - 7:07pm

Yes, the Packers can hold Rodgers through camp.  They can even release him after June 1 with diminished salary cap ramifications versus releasing him now.  So what?  Not trading him in either time frame is crippling and brings back no return.  The Jets have not dug a hole.  The Packers have. And since you cannot perceive that, I will negotiate against you any time. I'm guessing your business experience involves no negotiations at all.  If, I'm wrong, God help those you misrepresented.

Points: 2

#27 by theslothook // Mar 16, 2023 - 12:01pm

A further comment. Just why is Rodgers viewed as such an attractive asset anyways? If I am reading correctly, Rodgers is owed north of 40 plus million dollars for the next three season; not including a giant balloon payment this year. 


Now consider. Hes 39!!!! years old. Yes, I know Tom Brady has warped everyone's mind into thinking 39 is the new 29, but there's hardly any guarantee Rodgers will come close to approximating that longevity. On top of the fact that he just posted a season where he was 21st in DVOA.


Even if you believe all of that is a function of the supporting cast; just how many years are you really expecting to get out of Rodgers especially when he's threatening to retire every offseason at this point. 


People can point to Tom Brady in 2019, but as Pat reminds, that contract was far friendlier than Rodgers' albatross contract. Frankly, if this wasn't the Jets, I could envision a universe where the Packers should have to pay to get off Rodgers contract. 

Points: 5

#30 by Pat // Mar 16, 2023 - 12:43pm

Next two seasons. The third and fourth seasons are functional void years, albeit in the total weird fashion that they have artificially low values so that Rodgers can pretend he's not obscenely overpaid. And if that makes no sense to you, yeah, I don't get it either, but Rodgers isn't playing for $20M after being paid $40M, $60M, $50M in the three prior seasons.

I've been extremely clear that Rodgers is by far the most expensive QB in the league, which is why I typically throw out his contract when talking about things because it's just goofy.

So yeah, I don't understand the idea that Rodgers is worth buckets. He's coming off a worse year than Favre (and debatably worse than Brady's 19), and Favre only netted roughly a second (actually a third, but it was between a third and a first on conditions) and Brady was free. And neither of them had the most expensive contract in football.

Frankly, if this wasn't the Jets, I could envision a universe where the Packers should have to pay to get off Rodgers contract. 

Well, it'd have to be an asymmetric trade, like the Osweiler trade. You can't just give away players, you have to get something back.

Points: -1

#31 by guest from Europe // Mar 16, 2023 - 2:09pm

Third and fourth year are probably added in order to perform some kind of contract adjustments for cap shenanigans if he keeps playing.

So what do you think he should be paid the next 2 years? (Keep in mind: this contract was made last year for 2-time MVP) You can write cap % or dollars.

Not what Packers had to or something. What should any team with enough cap space pay to 38 year old MVP in next 3 seasons? Let's imagine he was a free agent last year. Free agent contract in 2022, he says i will play for 3 more years. How much do you pay? Or any other commenter?

There is no right or wrong. I am just curious how much would anyone offer.

Points: 0

#32 by Pat // Mar 16, 2023 - 2:58pm

All the cap contract-y people say it's there with the understanding that the Packers would just renegotiate it. I don't really buy that - they could've put any value there. The only reason to put a low one is if you put those years there to encourage Rodgers to retire. It's a contract. He's required to play on it - the only other option he has is to retire. So if it's too low for him to play on, he'd have to retire.

So what do you think he should be paid the next 2 years?

Just take Brady's contract and push it forward. Brady's contract effectively was 3 yrs, 87.3M, beginning in 20. Pushing forward 3 years, that's between 3 yrs, 104M-116M. So on a 2 year basis? Probably more like $75-80M. Which is oh, 35-40M less than he's scheduled to make.

Points: 0

#34 by guest from Europe // Mar 16, 2023 - 4:05pm

Brady was older and not MVP in 2019.

So, you are saying 110M over 3 years. Fully guaranteed?

And if such MVP was 31 years old? You can offer only 3 years for whatever reason... how much do you offer then?

Points: 0

#40 by Pat // Mar 17, 2023 - 11:23am

Brady was older and not MVP in 2019.

You're comparing the wrong year.

Rodgers got a new contract with two years remaining. You'd need to compare to Brady in 2017. When he was (checks notes)... the MVP of the league. The Patriots didn't give him a new contract, they just let him ride it out. They still won the Super Bowl in 18, things went downhill in '19, and they let him leave.

Rodgers had both '22 and '23 remaining on his contract, at salaries of 25.5M/yr.

And if such MVP was 31 years old? You can offer only 3 years for whatever reason

If you can only offer 3 years for whatever reason, you don't. You franchise them and trade them and move on, because you can't work with a quarterback you can't negotiate a reasonable contract with.

Points: -1

#41 by guest from Europe // Mar 17, 2023 - 6:11pm

in comment no. 32 you wrote that you are basing your offer on Brady's 87M contract from 2020. That's why i wrote he was no MVP in 2019. (But this is not important pedantry.)

Imagine it is free agency period. MVP Rodgers doesn't want to play for Packers. They have drafted someone. He is 31 years old. Year is 2023. You are a GM of some other team. You can only offer 3 years because owner says so. What do you offer? You have 100 M cap space. But you want to offer fair price or outbid someone slightly. Let's say there are 2 or 3 teams with cap space. Or in another words, at what price do you get out of negotiations and don't want to bid more? 

Points: 0

#45 by Pat // Mar 20, 2023 - 11:28am

Yes, I am. Because that's what the value of Rodgers in an open market, today, is. The fact that the Packers had to give Rodgers a bajillion-dollar contract in 2022 to keep him happy doesn't change the fact that it was a mistake. Again, they had him under contract for multiple years. They should've just sat on it. If he retires, he retires. If you need to throw $50M+ at a guy to get him to play when he's already under contract (so you're not competing against anyone)... you shouldn't take him. He doesn't want to be there, he's not going to want to be elsewhere either. It's not going to work.

The reason I brought up the Brady comparison is because that's a situation where you'd go after a guy in free agency. He wanted more from the Patriots, they weren't interested in hitting his price, and so the player just... played out his contract. This is someone you know you can work with.

MVP Rodgers doesn't want to play for Packers. They have drafted someone. He is 31 years old. Year is 2023. You are a GM of some other team.

I wouldn't offer a damn thing. I'd stay incredibly far away. If another team's drafted a replacement quarterback and the QB's being pissy and whining he doesn't want to be there, there's no way in hell I'd want him. He's not going to become magically Super Happy Camper as soon as he goes to a new team.

Especially with a team like the Packers. I mean, I don't actually even think there's a team in the league that's that stupid at negotiations that I wouldn't nope myself out of negotiations.

Points: 0

#33 by theslothook // Mar 16, 2023 - 2:59pm

Given the circumstances, the contract Rodgers got made sense. It looks bad now given new information, but like you said, he was coming two MVP campaigns and frankly was the best QB in football over that period. You pay that dude whatever he wants. How much Mahomes could credibly ask for in an open market remains one of the most interesting topics of discussion. I bet he could get a 6 year, 360 million dollar contract fully guaranteed if he wanted right now.

However, the issue is how and why the Packers ended up in that situation. As Mahomes and others have shown, top tier QBs aren't going to ask for the farm. They will often give relatively team friendly deals. I think the reason Rodgers did not was because he felt betrayed by the organization for drafting Love. And of course, not giving him some input into personnel.

I think all of this stems from the Jordan Love draft decision. I've written about in the past. You can understand why they made it even though I think they didn't sufficiently identify the probability that instead of declining, Rodgers might in fact revert back to his MVP days.

Points: 0

#35 by guest from Europe // Mar 16, 2023 - 4:21pm

so you offer 180M over 3 years?


On your last paragraph, this is a good example of what i was writing in our discussion: Rodgers in 2018-2021. He didn't improve himself talent-wise. The rest of the roster was quite consistent. The Packers are conservative. They drafted defense. What changed was the coach and offensive scheme. 2017-2018 with McCarthy there was some friction. "They were going through the motions". In 2019 new coach and scheme. Rodgers is unhappy and doesn't understand or like some parts of it, but begrudgingly accepts. There is some progress and some lucky wins to 13-3. Team not as good as record. In 2020 Rodgers fully accepts the scheme and MVP seasons follow.

I am oversimplifying to get over the point: coaching matters a lot. Here LaFleur didn't develop Rodgers or improve his abilities or talent, it was just his scheme, game-management and interaction of coach and players.

Points: 0

#36 by theslothook // Mar 16, 2023 - 4:25pm

What do you expect from LaFleur and the Packers going forward? Do you think he's a good coach? Why do you suppose he deserves the credit for Rodgers rebounding and yet someone like John Fox does not with Manning going to Denver and elevating himself above his last year in Indy?

I am not opposed to crediting coaches, but as I've written in the past, its very hard to prove it and often takes many years and many cycles of personnel before I believe it. For LaFleur to get any credit from me, I'd need to see it with Love and the Packers offense in the next few years. 

Points: 0

#37 by guest from Europe // Mar 16, 2023 - 5:28pm

Manning was his own coach, he ran his offense. Fox was defense, player motivation etc. Somewhere in 2014 or 2015 Kubiak tried to install a Shanahan offense and Manning didn't want it. He accepted it only at the end, maybe after 2014 injury. Why was Manning better with Broncos than in 2010 with Colts? Colts O-line was supposedly bad. Not even he was a constant. Player performance does go up and down year-to-year.

Anyway, Manning was an outlier. There never was such a player. You really shouldn't use him for any comparison. You can use Reich and his various QBs at Colts. He managed them all in various ways. Lawrence improved under Pederson. Patriots offense this year was much worse than last year because M. Patricia is much worse than McDaniels. Coaches can do a lot of damage, too.

There are examples in this thread comments 32-51 of all QBs in Shanahan system:


Mike Shanahan outside-zone system was famously great for RBs. Every year after T. Davis they had a different no-big-name RB put career-years.

I am not saying a coach deserves all the credit. How much %? I don't know. I am just saying it is interaction with players: for young players coaches should develop, teach them; for older ones more motivation, add something new, different.  Also game-preparaation and game-management . An OC coach and QB have to fit together scheme-wise and as human beings.

To see it over long time is difficult because coaches do get fired, age, retire etc. Then you have only got in this century Reid on offense, Belichick on defense, Tomlin on defense and Shanahan father-and-son. Or Lombardi in 60's. I don't know about Shula and Halas. If you did a model since Super Bowl I, maybe you studied them. Tom Landry? Paul Brown? Such coaches were there for a long time with various personnel.

Perhaps in a decade you will have some data about McVay or LaFleur.

Coaches do work 60-70 hours/week because it is really details and there is so much to do, management-wise.


Points: 0

#38 by guest from Europe // Mar 16, 2023 - 5:41pm

What i expect from Packers? I don't know. They will have a lot of young players. Love and WRs. They should be worse offense in 2023 and then maybe grow in 2025 if they get the time. Young players make more errors. Coaching veterans like Rodgers &Adams is more scheming and motivation, coaching young players like Love &Doubs is more teaching... during all this time O-line is like an engine in a car. If O-line breaks down quickly and allows pressure, all QBs are much worse. That's what DVOA says. It goes to like -100% DVOA under pressure. But Packers O-line is usually very good for years.

Points: -1

#43 by LionInAZ // Mar 18, 2023 - 11:28pm

Not to mention Rodgers has a longer injury list than Brady had: two broken collarbones, at least one, maybe more, concussions. Too lazy to look up if there are others.

Points: 0

#29 by mehllageman56 // Mar 16, 2023 - 12:03pm

I just thought of a worst case scenario; the deal doesn't get done before the draft, Stroud falls inexplicably.  The Jets pass on him, and then don't get Rodgers, and the Patriots get Stroud.

Points: 0

#44 by LionInAZ // Mar 18, 2023 - 11:35pm

Proof that the world has fallen into a black hole would be:

Rodgers gets traded to the Jets;

Signs with the Vikings a year later, gets his brains knocked out by the Bears pass rush;

Retires to his home state and ends up being investigated for taking taxpayer money intended for the poor to build a facility for volleyball players on ayahuasca.

Points: 0

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