Don’t look now, but Aaron Rodgers might request a trade out of Green Bay this offseason. Colts, you listening?
Remember when there was concern about which direction the Indianapolis Colts would choose — free agency, the trade market or the draft — in terms of addressing the quarterback position this offseason?
Well, that feels like ages ago, because now it would appear that Indy’s decision has been made for them: trade for an established veteran that will give them the best chance to compete for a championship. Luckily for them, the trade market, already poised to be littered with options, could add another box-office name before long.
Aaron Rodgers was visibly frustrated after Green Bay crashed out of the playoffs on Sunday, and he refused to commit to another year with the team during his postgame presser. His comments predictably sparked speculation that he’ll demand a trade this offseason, and the Colts just so happen to have the requisite draft capital and assets to complete such a deal.
So, what would it take to trade for the nine-time Pro Bowler?
In a vacuum, giving up draft picks and an impact player to acquire a leader of Rodgers’ caliber would be a no-brainer decision. However, his contract situation really complicates things as he’ll account for approximately $105 in cap hits over the next three seasons, which equals an average of $35.2 million per year.
That’ll no doubt reduce the Packers’ asking price, but since we’re talking about Rodgers, he should still go for two first-rounders and a second, plus a valuable asset. We’re not sure who the Colts would be willing to unload, but it helps them knowing that Green Bay, which is still in win-now mode, could prove to benefit from bolstering their secondary, pass rush and skill positions.
With that in mind, Indy could sign free agent Denico Autry, who logged 7.5 sacks this season, to a contract extension and include him in a potential return package. Kenny Moore is somebody who would also entice the Packers, but in light of Rock Ya-Sin’s regression in Year 2, the Colts would likely need assurance that one of Xavier Rhodes or TJ Carrie (both free agents) would re-sign before they trade a cornerback.
Indianapolis doesn’t really have much to offer at the WR position — TY Hilton will hit free agency, and trading somebody like Michael Pittman would defeat the whole purpose of trading for Rodgers in the first place — so perhaps the Packers can use one of the three acquired picks to address that glaring need after opting against doing so in recent drafts.
Nonetheless, the bottom line is that the Colts have the necessary assets to complete such a trade. It remains to be seen if Rodgers will actually demand a trade, but the fact that Indy could have the luxury of choosing between him, Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford is amazing given where they stood at this time last week after Philip Rivers announced his retirement.