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Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers to Raiders? Does It Make Sense?

  • Justin Melo
  • February 2, 2023
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is rumored to be potentially on the move this offseason. While Rodgers is being routinely tied to the New York Jets due to his existing relationship with new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, the Las Vegas Raiders could emerge as a potential darkhorse for Rodgers’ services. Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams recently commented on the possibility of teaming up with Rodgers once again.

Although Adams was clearly having some innocent fun on social media, the Raiders should at least consider the possibility. General manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels are going to trade or release Derek Carr this offseason. Carr has already said his goodbyes to the Raiders organization. Vegas will have a new starting quarterback in 2023, and a Carr-for-Rodgers trade has been alluded to by national reporters.

The 2022 Raiders were one of the league’s biggest disappointments. Ziegler and McDaniels inherited a playoff-ready roster from interim head coach Rich Bisaccia. They also upgraded the roster by adding Adams and Chandler Jones in the offseason. McDaniels’ complicated offensive system ultimately lowered Carr’s ceiling, and the Raiders crawled to a 6-11 finish in the AFC West. Finding a quarterback that gels with McDaniels is of the utmost importance this offseason.

McDaniels and Ziegler were arguably lucky to retain their roles after their first-year disappointments. The impending 2023 season may decide their fates moving forward. The Raiders can’t afford to experience another lost campaign.

That sense of urgency makes the Raiders unlikely to draft a rookie quarterback. If an experienced veteran like Carr required time to acclimate to McDaniels’ preferences, a rookie signal-caller would be ill-suited to do the same. McDaniels’ presence should take the Raiders out of the running for Bryce Young, Will Levis, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson. In-house scout Joe Marino has the Raiders drafting Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. in his latest NFL mock draft.

The Raiders don’t have a ton of exciting options at quarterback. They were expected to aggressively pursue Tom Brady in free agency, but Brady announced his retirement earlier this week. Free-agent-to-be Jimmy Garoppolo is another intriguing option as a bridge-type starter that’s familiar with McDaniels’ scheme. Acquiring Rodgers becomes more intriguing with each passing day.

Trading for Rodgers is financially possible despite the three-year, $150 million extension he signed last offseason. The Raiders would inherit a cap charge of $48.3 million combined across the next two campaigns, per OverTheCap. Acquiring Rodgers isn’t financially impossible, especially when considering the salary the Raiders are about to trim.

Feb. 15 is a “firm deadline” for the Raiders to trade Carr. Ian Rapoport reports that Carr’s $40.4 million in salary across the next two campaigns becomes guaranteed on that day. Trading Carr prior to a deadline nets the Raiders nearly $30 million against the 2023 cap with minimal dead cap chargers, per Spotrac, with a trade becoming official when the league year begins on March 15.

And finally, there’s Adams himself to consider, who recently admitted he’d like to have a say in Vegas’ next quarterback. The Raiders acquired Adams in a blockbuster deal with the Packers and immediately signed him to a five-year, $140 million extension that made Adams the highest-paid receiver in the league from a total contract value standpoint. Adams and Rodgers enjoyed a historic amount of success together in Green Bay. 

Adams recorded a career-high 18 touchdowns in 2020 and totaled a personal-best 1,553 receiving yards in 2021. The Raiders are committed to Adams, and they must commit to a quarterback that can help Adams reach his ceiling again. There’s no better candidate than Rodgers.

Rumors continue to swirl regarding Rodgers’ future. The Raiders are in the market for a veteran quarterback. Don’t discount the possibility of Rodgers and Adams teaming up in Vegas next season. Stranger things have happened.

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Justin Melo