Aaron Rodgers reportedly could be traded this offseason. Could he really wind up in New England?
FOXBORO — It was an incredible 20 years for the New England Patriots with Tom Brady under center. Deep playoff runs year after year and winning six out of nine Super Bowl appearances.
As we are seeing in the 2023 NFL Playoffs, the last teams' standings generally have an elite quarterback leading the way.
The Patriots finished the 2022 season with a disappointing 8-9 record, then, to add insult to injury, missed the playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons.
Could the Patriots replace Mac Jones with a veteran future Hall of Famer this offseason?
According to NBC Sports’ Peter King , Aaron Rodgers to the Patriots could actually be a possibility.
After ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday reported a Rodgers trade is a “real possibility,” King listed New England among the possible landing spots for the Green Bay Packers star.
“Or Rodgers to the Patriots,” King wrote. “Which seems very Belichickian, to perhaps give Mac Jones two learning seasons in the shadows.”
In one aspect Kings' idea seems logical as Bill Belichick holds Rodgers in the highest regard.
A prime example of Belichick's admiration for Rodgers came when the Patriots played at Lambeau Field in October and Belichick raved about the 10x-Pro Bowler in his postgame news conference.
“I’d say in the end, Rodgers is just too good,” Belichick said after the Packers won 27-24 in overtime. “He made some throws that only Rodgers can make. We had pretty good coverage on some of those, and he’s just too smart, too good, too accurate, and in the end, he got us. We just couldn’t quite do enough in the other areas to quite offset it. … He’s just a great, great player, and he made some great plays.”
Yet, there is also the financial aspect that could make getting Rodgers to New England tricky.
Miguel Benzan, who tracks the Patriots' salary cap developments on his @patscap Twitter account, has their projected space pegged at $34.3 million.
However, Rodgers signed a three-year, $150,815,000 contract with the Packers, including a $40,800,000 signing bonus. He is also set to carry a salary cap hit of $40.7 million next season.
Certainly, that contract does not seem very 'Belichickian' however it is possible that he changes his ways in an attempt to get his team back up there with the upper echelon of the NFL.
Meanwhile, Jones is still on his rookie deal, keeping him as a cheaper option even if he took a year-two decline as opposed to a year-two leap.
It remains to be seen who will be the Patriots' starting quarterback next year. Perhaps Jones will get another shot with a real offensive coordinator? Or maybe the Patriots bring in a proven star like Rodgers. Regardless, we should get some more clarity after March 15 when trading begins at 4:00 p.m.
You can follow Kevin Tame Jr. on Twitter @Kevin_Tame
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