The Las Vegas Raiders are searching for a starting quarterback, and Aaron Rodgers fits the bill as well as anyone.
On Sunday, while the rest of the NFL world waited for the Conference Championship games to kickoff, Adam Schefter was giving an update on the Green Bay quarterback’s future. Per Schefter, league sources believe the Packers “prefer” to move on from their four-time MVP signal caller, with intentions to officially begin the ‘Jordan Love-era’.
While this statement seems to prove Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay is all but done, it’s important to take these words exactly as they are – a prediction from league sources, who are neither the Packers organization nor Aaron Rodgers.
Furthermore, league sources have led Schefter down the wrong path with Rodgers as early as two years ago. During the 2021 offseason, sources around the NFL flooded Schefter with a belief that the five-time All-Pro quarterback was so “disgruntled” with the organization that he had no desire of returning to the Packers. In the end, this was never true, and Schefter later apologized for the mistake.
“The Packers, based upon the conversations they’ve had, have made a commitment that if he wants to go some place else, they will work with [Rodgers] on a trade,” Pelissero stated. “The Packers at this point.. Based on my understanding, they would like Aaron Rodgers to be back; they would like him to be their quarterback, but if he’s ready to move on, they are also ready to examine their options.”
Pelissero’s version of the situation is wildly different from what league sources predict to Schefter. We’ll see in due time what’s what.
Raider Nation, rejoice: Aaron Rodgers’ contract is not what you think it is
For many fans of the Silver and Black, the positive of landing Aaron Rodgers is just that; landing Aaron Rodgers. The negative is his intimidating contract.
This upcoming season, in 2023, Rodgers is set to hold a cap hit of $31.6 million. For reference, Derek Carr‘s upcoming cap hit in 2023 is $34.8m on his current deal; over $3 million more than Rodgers’.
The scary part of the 39-year-old’s contract comes in 2025, when Rodgers’ cap hit reaches an astronomical $59 million. Not everything is as it seems, though.
While Rodgers is indeed under contract until 2026 as a Packer, his deal is just that – under contract until 2026 as a Packer. As it turns out, the ’24, ’25 and ’26 seasons are all player options to continue playing in Green Bay, meaning these years automatically become void should the future Hall of Fame quarterback land on a new team.
Ultimately, if the Raiders were to acquire Rodgers, his contract would only last until 2023. At that point, the two sides will be negotiating an entirely new contract, and that $59 million cap hit down the line is history.
The QB-plan in Las Vegas
It’s hard – impossible, really – to know exactly who general manager Dave Ziegler has in mind for the team’s next QB1, but it seems all but guaranteed it’ll be a veteran quarterback. We can conclude this based on the way the Derek Carr situation was handled.
Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler had fully bought into Carr, but their belief slowly faded as the season went on, per multiple reports. Eventually, McDaniels thought it best to end the experiment for good, starting Jarrett Stidham for the remaining two contests.
The Raiders were all-in on Carr, but still thought it best to move on before the season concluded. This can only mean one thing: the front office was absolutely positive there was a sure fired upgrade available this summer. As fans should know – Raider Nation, especially – the draft is anything but a sure thing. A player who’s already shown what they’re capable of at the pro-level, however, fits that bill.
Insert the four-time NFL MVP who has a rich history with Davante Adams, the team’s franchise wideout.
Is Rodgers the quarterback who Dave Ziegler and the Raiders will chase this offseason? No one can say for sure, but it certainly makes sense for both sides. For Rodgers, he joins a high-powered offense that features Pro Bowlers Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow, and his old buddy Davante Adams. Of course, there’s also this season’s rushing king, Josh Jacobs, should he return to the team.
For the Raiders, they get a proven winner who has a lower cap hit in 2023 than Derek Carr would’ve had.