Jets – Aaron Rodgers latest trade update: Joe Douglas “optimistic” deal will get finalized with Packers

Jets - Packers Rodgers trade update
FILE – New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh, center, laughs with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, right, during a joint NFL football training camp practice Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. Rodgers says his intention is to play for the New York Jets in the coming season as the four-time NFL MVP quarterback waits for the Green Bay Packers to trade him. Rodgers made his comments Wednesday, March 15, 2023, during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show.” (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke, File)
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No, Aaron Rodgers is not yet a member of the New York Jets, but Monday afternoon’s media availability at league meetings in Arizona certainly shed more light on the situation. 

Among a bevy of reporters, New York general manager Joe Douglas spoke in depth on the updated negotiations between his team and the Green Bay Packers. While a trade has not been finalized, there isn’t a need for concern in Florham Park. 

“There’s been some productive conversations. We’re not where we need to be yet but I feel we’re in a good place. There’s no hard deadline. There’s not a ton of urgency from our standpoint but very optimistic.” Douglas explained. 

The Jets front office leader echoed comments made by his head coach just hours before when Robert Saleh touted that he wasn’t “hitting the panic button” with negotiations seemingly stalling in recent weeks. 

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has insisted that talks with Douglas are still ongoing, but the team is leaving a lot of options on the table – even if they weren’t too thrilled with how Rodgers has handled the last few weeks following his darkness retreat. Gutekunst explained that the team tried to reach out to Rodgers but did not receive that from their former four-time NFL MVP.

“Certainly whenever a player may have issues, you prefer that they talk to you directly and not do it in the media, but that’s not necessarily the way he goes about it and that’s OK,” Gutekunst said. 

Gutekunst’s explanation Monday goes against what Rodgers had said on the Pat McAfee show two weeks earlier. Rodgers had made his intentions clear on the eccentric former punter’s show 13 days ago when he explained that he wanted to play for the Jets in 2023. He also explained that “something had changed” between the Packers organization and him following his darkness retreat at the end of February. 

The dust has settled since Rodgers’ intentions were made. Green Bay and Gang Green are still in the process of negotiating a deal that would send the Super Bowl MVP to New York – even if negotiations have gone slowly over the last week or so. 

And while there isn’t any particular hard deadline either team needs to follow, the hope is that a trade is handled soon with other disgruntled franchise quarterbacks reportedly looking for ways out of their current team. 

The Lamar Jackson Conundrum

Lamar Jackson has won a league MVP with the Baltimore Ravens but has been looking for a fully guaranteed contract for the better part of two seasons now. It seems negotiations with the club that drafted him have gone so far south that the scrambling quarterback is taking matters into his own hands and directly implicating the Jets. 

Jackson announced on Twitter Monday morning that he requested a trade from Baltimore after talks regarding an extension haven’t reached the money he expected to be worth. 

For the Jets, Jackson’s apparent demands could have altered the course of how they wanted to handle Green Bay and this Rodgers situation. They could back out of negotiations with the Packers and instead give a large offer to the Ravens and Jackson. But those ideas were shot down relatively quickly by Douglas trying to remain steadfast in wanting Rodgers. 

“It would be disingenuous and negotiating in bad faith if we went down that path. Right now, we have our plan, we have our process and we’re sticking to that.”

New York has been careful not to directly mention Rodgers’ name in discussions with the media for fear of tampering. The Jets and Packers are both looking to gain as much leverage as possible with a trade of this magnitude in the balance. 

And while it may not take a first-round pick to complete a trade according to the Packers’ front office, it seems that there is still plenty to do for the Jets and their front office to make sure Rodgers is their quarterback in 2023. 

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