Two things are true.
One: Aaron Rodgers is clearly unhappy with the Green Bay Packers.
Two: The New Orleans Saints have some uncertainty at quarterback after Drew Brees’ retirement.
With that in mind, there’s been a lot of talk lately about Rodgers somehow ending up in New Orleans.
The operative word here is “somehow.” No matter how unhappy he is in Green Bay, it would take an exorbitant amount of capital to attain him. Capital that the Saints very likely don’t have.
So hold your Photoshops of Rodgers in black and gold. A quarterback of Rodgers’ caliber is yet to be traded. Matthew Stafford being traded to the Rams is, for the time being, an anomaly. These same rumors were swirling around Deshaun Watson early in the offseason, and although circumstances beyond anyone’s control has quelled those talks, the odds of him being traded were always unlikely.
The Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts have changed our mentality about what it looks like to lose a legendary quarterback. Rodgers was waiting in the wings for Brett Favre, whereas Andrew Luck was drafted after a gas leak year when Peyton Manning retired. Now, the Saints are looking at what’s going to happen post-Brees. Whether it’s going to be Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, or someone who isn’t in the building yet.
With that uncertainty, the Saints baseline for a Rodgers trade would involve multiple first round picks, a player of above-average value, and some other later-round picks to sweeten the deal. The Stafford deal made trading a quarterback of Rodgers’ caliber almost impossible. The Rams had to unload, you guessed it, multiple first round picks, a third rounder, and their current starting quarterback.
The Saints roster is, simply put, not in a place to handle that. The Rams have a mostly full roster on long-term deals, they just had a quarterback they had buyer’s remorse with. The Saints have questions at cornerback, linebacker, offensive line come next season and wide receiver. You simply cannot give up what it would take to get a player like Rodgers and address all of those issues.
Furthermore, the salary cap question is a major issue. The Saints had to make several cuts this season just to get under the limit, and Rodgers is reportedly turning down significant money to stay with the Packers.
The reality of the situation is that it’s unlikely Rodgers is anywhere but Green Bay next year. He’s under contract until 2024, and the Packers have that leverage over anyone who would trade for him. As the reigning MVP, they can ask for whatever they want. And even though a great quarterback can mask a lot of team-wide issues, the Saints very likely cannot give the Packers what they want for Rodgers.
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