aaron rodgers giants
Photo by Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY NETWORK

There’s reportedly a rift between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Could the Giants make a move for the superstar?

Ryan Honey

Thursday, April 29 — it was officially draft day.

Football fans were gearing up to see who their favorite teams would acquire in the opening round; who their teams would add to the organization to potentially be long-term components of the roster.

And then, eyebrow-raising news was revealed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that afternoon. Not in regard to the draft or any of the top players expected to be off the board early in the event. But instead, in regard to Packers superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his future in Green Bay.

There’s reportedly a rift between the longtime signal-caller and the team that drafted him 16 years ago; Aaron is apparently unhappy with the organization and its general manager Brian Gutekunst.

If this is all true, there would be reasonable displeasure on Rodgers’ end — the Packers have constantly ignored the need to draft a wide receiver in the first round and took Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, Aaron’s potential successor, on Day 1 of last year’s draft.

Head coach Matt LaFleur electing to kick a field goal while down by eight points late in January’s NFC Championship instead of putting the ball in Aaron’s hands to possibly tie the game couldn’t have made the three-time MVP too ecstatic either.

Since the news was revealed to the public last week, many have debated potential landing spots for Rodgers should Green Bay actually send him away. Teams possibly in the mix include the Broncos, Raiders, and…the Giants?

Yes, some believe New York could (and should) get on the phone with Green Bay to formulate a trade deal for the superstar.

It hasn’t been reported that a deal is being discussed between the pair of NFC organizations. But if one was to come to fruition, would it be a good move for the Giants when you consider the big picture?

The potential cost?

In a press conference with the media last week, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said it’s “none of my business” when asked about the Rodgers-Green Bay situation. He additionally noted it would cost a “mother lode to get him.”

You never know if this is a smokescreen from the veteran GM though.

Remember when Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said “Josh [Rosen] is our guy” before drafting Kyler Murray No. 1 overall in 2019? Or when the belief was that the 49ers traded up to No. 3 overall this year to draft Mac Jones when they eventually selected Trey Lance? Or when the man himself, Gettleman, said the Giants “didn’t sign [Odell Beckham Jr.] to trade him?”

Gettleman could still attempt to formulate a deal for Rodgers, and he might not cost as much as one may think.

“One high-ranking personnel executive with an NFC team put the value at two first-round picks and a second-rounder. He estimated that Rodgers has four good years left in him,” writes ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

Luckily, the Giants own those resources.

Thanks to the 2021 draft-day trade of the No. 11 overall selection to Chicago, the Giants possess an extra first-round pick in 2022, which they could group with their original 2022 opening-round selection and their 2022 second-round pick to acquire Rodgers.

Of course, the trade value for Aaron may increase if the Packers (who still need to be convinced to move on from the veteran) are dealing their starting quarterback to an in-conference squad.

But for right now, if two first-rounders plus a second-rounder is the potential cost for the 37-year-old, the Giants could indeed dial the phone.

The positives to acquiring Aaron Rodgers

It’s simple: the Giants would be bringing in one of the more talented quarterbacks to ever step onto an NFL gridiron — some would say the most talented.

Right now, everyone knows the Giants could be much better than they’ve been in recent years, especially on the offensive end. They’ve acquired Kenny Golladay via free agency, drafted dynamic Florida wideout Kadarius Toney, and have the highly talented Saquon Barkley returning from an ACL tear. Not to mention, Big Blue also signed Kyle Rudolph and John Ross and additionally employs Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Evan Engram

This offense is loaded with talent. Questions, however, surround quarterback Daniel Jones and his potential to take that on-field leap in year three.

If the Giants were to acquire someone like Rodgers, no one would be questioning the quarterback position. Even at 37 years old, the longtime Packer is coming off one of the best seasons of his career and would instantly make the Giants one of the top teams in their conference.

Rodgers, Golladay, Toney, Engram, Barkley, Shepard, and Slayton? Paired with New York’s strong defensive unit? In a struggling division like the NFC East?

The Giants would carry the potential to win the division by a number of games and return to the postseason for the first time since the 2016 campaign as early as this coming season — no doubt about it.

The negatives

Again, it’s simple: Rodgers is 37 years old.

If he was, say, 32, then this would possibly be a no-brainer on the Giants’ end. But then again, if he was five years younger than he currently is, his potential trade value wouldn’t be two first-rounders and a second-rounder (it would obviously be more).

Acquiring a quarterback of that age, regardless of his superstar status, would put the Giants in a 3-4-year title window (Rodgers will be 40-41 years old following that time period).

I understand Tom Brady just won a Lombardi Trophy at 43 years old, but you must realize his and Rodgers’ playstyles are different. Brady has always resided in a system that includes above-average offensive line play and short, high-percentage throws.

Rodgers is more athletic and extends plays outside of the pocket more often. Thus, his increase in age will coincide with a decrease in his on-field effectiveness. The Giants, or any team that could trade for him, would need to keep this in mind.

Not to mention, there’s the price-related concern — Rodgers would introduce a $22.85 million cap hit in 2021 if he’s traded. The Giants, at the moment, possess just $3.84 million in cap space, so Dave Gettleman would need to make a number of moves in order to ensure there’s enough financial leeway to even employ Rodgers.

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU