OPINION: Aftermath of the Rodgers trade

After weeks of negotiations, the much anticipated trade that sends four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets has been completed.  

The trade package consists of: the Jets getting Rodgers, the 15th pick in the 2023 NFL draft and a 2023 fifth-round pick. The Packers get the 13th pick in 2023, a 2023 second-round pick, a 2023 sixth-round pick and a conditional 2024 second-round pick that becomes a first-round pick if Rodgers plays 65% of the plays this season. 

The quarterback follows in the footsteps of another legendary Packers quarterback that got traded to the Jets after 15 seasons of starting, Brett Favre. 

I already touched on the Rodgers and Jets side of things a number of weeks ago when the QB first made it public his desire to be traded to the franchise. Please go read it on the Reporter website. Here are some people that I think this trade most affects. 

Matt LaFleur 

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has had a red-hot start to his coaching career. LaFleur has a record of 47-19 in his four seasons as head coach. The “boy-genius” that was a part of that now famous Washington Commanders staff under Mike Shanahan that included the likes of, Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay and Mike McDaniel. He has gotten a lot of deserved praise since he was hired. LaFleur revitalized the career of Rodgers by helping him win back-to-back league MVPs in 2020 and 2021, after Rodgers had a few down years prior to his arrival. As unfair as it may sound, now we get to find out how good of a head coach LaFleur really is. Having a future hall of fame QB can mask your flaws as a coach. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in crucial moments, a team needs their head coach to make the difference in those spots. Unfortunately for Packer fans, Lafleur has been unable to make that difference in certain playoff games. His first two seasons saw the Packers go to the NFC Championship game and lose. In 2020, they got molly-whopped by the 49ers 37-20. In 2021, they lost a close game to the Buccaneers where LaFleur made a huge blunder by not going for it on fourth down when his team was down eight late in the fourth quarter. Perhaps the most disappointing playoff loss in the LaFleur era came in 2022 at the hands of the 49ers again in the Divisional Round. Shanahan schooled LaFleur once again and the 49ers somehow won that game in Lambeau Field after failing to score a touchdown on offense. LaFleur now has the task of developing Jordan Love and keeping the storied franchise competitive without a superstar at QB.

Jordan Love 

While LaFleur may be responsible for developing him, the burden to go out on the field and fill the boots of Rodgers rests on Love’s shoulders. The Packers shocked the world in the 2020 NFL Draft when they selected Love with the 26th overall pick. This indicated the Packers were preparing for life after Rodgers. Due to Rodgers winning two consecutive MVPs after they drafted Love, he never sniffed a chance at becoming the starter. Apart from mostly garbage time minutes, the only start Love has had in his career thus far was when Rodgers missed a game due to testing positive for COVID against the Chiefs in 2021, where he was atrocious. In 2022, Love showed for the first time in his career real promise at being a NFL starter. This came in against the Eagles in a game where Rodgers was injured and had to leave the game. He came in and looked composed. Love completed six of nine passes, threw a touchdown and had a passer rating of 146.8. With Rodgers out the door, Love now has the chance to show why the Packers traded up to get him in the first-round of the draft. He has a lot to live up to as Packers fans have enjoyed nearly three decades of excellent QB play. 

AFC East former Alabama QBs 

Now that Rodgers has joined the AFC East, this puts Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa on notice. With Josh Allen being the king of the division, Rodgers immediately leapfrogs Jones and Tagovailoa as the second best QB in the division. It’s hard to compete to make the playoffs when you have the third and fourth best QBs in your division. Luckily for the Patriots and Dolphins, they have plenty of help for their QBs. The Patriots of course have Bill Belichick and his consistently good defense. Jones will now have a “real” offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien, after the trainwreck that was Joe Judge last season. The Dolphins have a wizard as their head coach and play caller in Mike McDaniel, to go along with a track team they have at wide receiver, with guys like Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They’ve also put in the work this off-season to improve the defense by trading for Jalen Ramsey. Both QBs have the help to compete and will have to have good seasons to prove they are the long-term solutions at the QB position for both franchises respectively.      

Header Photo: Aaron Rodgers salutes the fans after a game against the Chicago Bears.. Rodgers is leaving behind his legacy in Green Bay and heading to the bright lights. (Rex Arbogast/The Associated Press)

Write to Mohamed Warsame at

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