After months of speculation, the Aaron Rodgers deal has finally been made. Aaron Rodgers is a Green Bay Packer no more, as he joins the New York Jets. The trade is not exactly shocking, though, as Rodgers made it his intention to play in New York earlier in the year.
The problem has been finding trade compensation. Let’s get into the deal itself, what Rodgers brings to the table, how he can help them on the field, and what kind of impact he can have for NFL bettors everywhere.
Breaking down the Aaron Rodgers deal
This is the second time in 15 years that the Packers have traded a potential Hall of Fame quarterback to the New York Jets. Rodgers succeeded Brett Favre as the starter after the latter was dealt to New York in 2008, paving the way for Rodgers to take the reins.
Now, Rodgers follows in Favre’s footsteps by being dealt to the Jets himself. The Jets get Rodgers as well as the 15th and 170th picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Packers move up two slots to 13th overall while getting picks 42 and 207 in return as well as a conditional 2024 second-round pick. That pick can become a first-round pick if Rodgers plays at least 65% of the snaps for the Jets this year.
Things have not exactly been great between Rodgers and the Packers in recent years. Rodgers had expressed frustration with the decision-making of the front office and the lack of weapons placed around him. Coaching decisions have left Rodgers vocal about his frustrations, as well.
On paper, it doesn’t seem like that much for a multiple-time MVP and legendary quarterback with plenty left in the tank. Then again, it may be more than enough for Green Bay to get out from the drama that Rodgers has brought to the table in recent years. Getting out from the $59.5 million in compensation Rodgers would be due for 2023 doesn’t hurt, either.
What Rodgers brings to the table
Whatever you can possibly do in a career as a quarterback, Rodgers has done it. He will go down as one of the game’s all-time greats, already making all-decade teams for some publications. But even more impressive are the accolades he has earned.
Rodgers has won four AP NFL MVP awards (’11, ’14, ’20, ’21). He has 10 Pro Bowl selections and four First-Team All-Pro nods. He also has a Super Bowl title, in which he was crowned MVP of the game (2010).
Statistically, there aren’t many who have done what Rodgers has. He is currently fifth all-time in passing touchdowns and is the active leader with 475 (the next active is Matt Ryan with 381). He is ninth all-time in passing yards with 59,055, sitting only behind Ryan (62,792) on the active list. Rodgers is tied for 14th in career completion percentage but many of the names on the list began their careers in 2016 or later; Rodgers has been doing it since 2005. He has every stat, award, and accolade that you could ask for. And he isn’t the kind of player that becomes available very often.
Impact for the Jets on the field
Despite finishing the season with a 7-10 record, it is not as if Rodgers was dealt to a team bereft of talent. As a matter of fact, it looks as though Rodgers could be missing piece to a team that has struggled to find a quarterback for decades.
All talk about the upside of the Jets begins with the defence. Much of the early success of the team, including a 6-3 start, had to do with that side of the ball. The defence finished the year fourth in points allowed per game, fourth in total defence, and third against the pass. Only a 17th-place rank against the run can be counted as anything resembling a negative.
Many of those pieces return. “Sauce” Gardiner is a true lockdown corner, eliminating half the field and the opposition’s top receiver. The pass rush proved deadly, tied for seventh in the NFL with 45 sacks. If only the offence could have kept pace last season.
On the offensive side of the ball, there is dynamic talent. Receiver Garrett Wilson won the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year honour, proving himself to be a true No. 1 receiver for the Jets. Rookie running back Breece Hall was displaying explosive ability of his own before an injury ended his season prematurely.
Weapons like Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Michael Carter could all stand to benefit from a player like Rodgers, both on and off the field. With the draft still to come, the Jets could add another piece to the offensive puzzle, building around Rodgers for this year and the foreseeable future.
Betting impacts of the Rodgers trade
Perhaps the most interesting thing of note is the impact that the deal has already had from a betting perspective. The Jets weren’t a pushover in 2022, but it became a case of a tale of two halves of the season.
Losing six in a row and eight of 10 to finish the year, the odds before Rodgers arrived were understandably mid-level at best. Before Rodgers, the Jets were +500 (according to BetMGM) to win the AFC East, +1400 to win the AFC outright, and +2500 to win the Super Bowl.
Those numbers have drastically shifted since the announcement of the trade. They are now +225 to win the AFC (behind only the Buffalo Bills, who are at +130), +700 to win the AFC outright (with 17.1% of tickets being placed on them, the most of any team), and +1400 to win the Super Bowl.
At BetRivers, New York’s original +3000 odds to win the Super Bowl plunged to +1600 in mid-March when it was heavily speculated that Rodgers would be traded to the Jets.
Adding a superstar quarterback to the mix certainly has the attention of bettors. With a pretty tough schedule this coming season, it remains to be seen how many games the Jets will be favoured in. After all, the Cowboys, Dolphins, Bills, Chiefs, Chargers, and Eagles are all going to be mentioned as contenders leading up to and throughout the season.
Bettors clearly believe that Rodgers is the missing piece for the Jets. Many sportsbooks have received an influx of bets since the news broke. At PointsBet, 75% of the money and tickets on Jets’ futures have arrived since official news of the trade broke on April 24th.
This much is true: Rodgers is already making an impact as a Jet. Whether he can continue that impact on the field will have to wait until the fall. But his arrival certainly has fans of the J-E-T-S ready to get the season started.