The long wait is officially over, Jets fans. Aaron Rodgers will be your starting quarterback after New York and the Green Bay Packers finally agreed to a trade. And they even did it before the 2023 NFL Draft got started! How nice of them to not keep us in suspense until then.
This deal changes several things for the Jets. Now that it’s happened, they swapped their 13th overall pick for the 15th overall pick. Gang Green will also be able to approach their selections already knowing Rodgers will be lining up under center for them.
But now that a trade has been agreed to for a little more than 12 hours, there are two more things to know about it.
While both sides are in agreement, the deal is not yet final. That will happen once Rodgers takes (and passes) a physical on Wednesday, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. As he said in his own tweet, this gives New York plenty of time to make everything official before the NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.
Based on the activity on the Jets’ social media accounts, it doesn’t seem like they’re worried about anything unexpected happening. The other thing New York has to do is sort out the salary cap situation.
Gang Green entered the offseason over the NFL’s $224.8 million salary cap for 2023. Although they’ve made acquisitions, they’ve also spent plenty of time shaving money in strategic spots to create space. That was mostly because Rodgers was coming with a $58.3 million price tag for the 2023 season.
However, this payday for Rodgers is a guaranteed option bonus. The Jets picking it up means it immediately turns into a signing bonus (for cap reasons). That creates a ton of financial flexibility for the club:
For his 2023 salary, the #Jets picking up Aaron Rodgers’ already guaranteed option bonus of $58.3M means that it converts to a signing bonus for cap reasons — creating $43.7M of cap space and making his 2023 hit $15.7M.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2023
His contract is expected to get re-worked, but that certainly helps. I think most people associated with the Jets are just happy this thing is literally on the one-yard line at this point. Any added benefits — outside of the one thing everyone wants Rodgers to do on the field — are just gravy at this point.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.