nfl mvp odds aaron rodgers
Syndication: Arizona Republic

Stephen A. Smith says bring him in!

“If Aaron Rodgers went to the Jets, they can win it all,” the star of ESPN First Take opined Wednesday. “They can win it all. With that defense, if he went to the New York Jets, Aaron Rodgers in the AFC, against (Patrick) Mahomes, against (Joe) Burrow, against Josh Allen, against Tua Tagovailoa, I’m telling you, the Jets have got a chance now. I’m not saying I’d pick them. But they’ve got a chance now. They’re in the mix.”

That all may be true. But the only way the Jets trade for Rodgers is if Rodgers allows the Packers to trade him here.

MORE: Breaking down Jets’ 2023 free agents: Who stays, goes?

Rodgers does not have a no-trade clause. But he is due $58.3 million in guaranteed money in 2023, and that is all he needs to control the board. If the Packers do not want to pay that bill in full, they need to trade Rodgers. And the only way they will find a trade partner is if the other team knows Rodgers will show up and play for them.

Rodgers suggested retirement was a possibility during his latest appearance on buddy Pat McAfee’s show. But it is hard to believe he would actually hang it up with close to $60 million coming his way. Which means he either stays in Green Bay or asks out. And if he asks out, he will more or less get to choose his destination. The Packers and his new team will then hammer out the particulars.

Put aside whether the Jets would want Rodgers (for now). Would he want the Jets? There are a lot of things to like about the roster if you are a veteran quarterback looking to win one more Super Bowl. We’ve said as much when discussing the Tom Brady Dream. But Rodgers may not be as equipped for handling New York as Brady would be. That could end it all right there.

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James Kratch can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.