On Monday, the Green Bay Packers traded quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets, putting an end to a three-year power struggle between the Packers and one of the game’s best passers.
The Jets agreed to transfer the No. 13 overall selection in this year’s draught, as well as two later-round choices and a conditional second-round pick in the 2024 N.F.L. draught, in return for Rodgers, the No. 15 pick, and a later-round pick, after a rather extensive negotiating process. ESPN initially reported the deal, which was verified by a source with knowledge of the terms who was not authorised to speak publicly.
Rodgers’ signing has been expected since March, when he said on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he planned to play for the Jets this season. In the six weeks before that confirmation, Jets and Packers executives publicly stated that the trade would go place, but the clubs did not reach an agreement until three days before the NFL draught began in Kansas City, Mo.
In a press conference on Monday, Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst said it was “unfortunate and disappointing” that he hadn’t spoken with Rodgers since the season ended, but he was “really excited” to go on with Jordan Love, who had sat behind Rodgers for the previous three seasons.
Since quarterback Joe Namath led the Jets to their sole Super Bowl triumph in January 1969, the team has failed to identify a long-term replacement. Richard Todd in 1976, Ken O’Brien in 1983, Chad Pennington in 2000, Mark Sanchez in 2009, Sam Darnold in 2018, and Zach Wilson in 2021 were all first-round choices.
The Jets started 6-3 in the promising 2022 season, led by one of the league’s strongest defences and a powerful offence. However, the team’s most noticeable weakness was their quarterback performance, which kept the Jets out of the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season. The Jets now have Rodgers, who should elevate the team to championship contention.
Rodgers, 39, played for the Packers for 18 seasons, winning the league MVP award four times, most recently in 2020 and 2021. However, he had been increasingly dissatisfied with the franchise’s trajectory and his lack of say in personnel choices.
Rodgers took over as the Packers’ starting quarterback in 2008, three years after being chosen with the 24th overall selection out of California, Berkeley. He took over for Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, who had won one championship in 16 seasons with the Packers before being dealt to the Jets.
Rodgers rapidly dispelled supporters’ fondness for Favre. Rodgers was named to the Pro Bowl in 2009 after guiding the Packers to an 11-5 record in his first year as a starter. Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers in his third season as a starter.
Following the title, he had what was undoubtedly his finest season of his career. Rodgers was named MVP for the first time, ending with the most passing yards (4,643) of his career and the best quarterback rating (122.5) in NFL history. Rodgers also has the second-highest quarterback rating, 121.5, which he achieved in the 2020 season.
From 1995 through 1997, Favre was the first and only quarterback to earn MVP in three straight seasons. Starting in 2003, the trophy was passed back and forth between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, two generational quarterbacks who won six of the nine M.V.P. Awards until Rodgers arrived.
Rodgers became a face of the National Football League, known as much for his sponsorships with State Farm and Adidas as he was for recording some of the finest statistical performances of any quarterback of his era. But another title eluded him and the Packers, despite the fact that Brady, Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Patrick Mahomes had all won at least two.
The Packers lost in the N.F.C. championship game five times with Rodgers at the helm, a playoff stumbling block that showed a schism between the quarterback and his team starting in January 2020, after a blowout defeat to the San Francisco 49ers in that round.