Review of Aaron Rodgers-Packers saga as one of two key dates arrives – Sterling Journal-Advocate

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Ever since Aaron Rodgers apparently drew a line in stone and expressed his desire to leave the Green Bay Packers, June 1 has been called a milestone.

On Tuesday, the salary cap on loads of “dead” money changes to a new format, allowing the Packers to absorb Rodgers’ departure.

In fact, July 27 is the biggest day.

Most of the NFL teams, choreographed by the league office, will show up to training camp that morning. Veteran players who fail to show up will be fined $ 50,000 per day, penalties that “will not be reduced,” according to the collective agreement. If a veteran is not in camp for a preseason game, he will be fined a regular season game check; for Rodgers, $ 918,750 based on his 17-game base salary.

With 35 days of camp and three preseason games, Rodgers is said to be on the hook for more than $ 4.5 million (estimated).

Until then, the Packers have no reason to trade Rodgers and he has no reason to run for the team’s off-season program; his fine for skipping the mandatory minicamp from June 15 to 17 would be $ 95,877.

Both sides are hollowed out and what makes this drama more difficult to project is its uniqueness – a reigning most valuable player in the later stages of his career.

Six more things about Rodgers and the Broncos:

1. The math of June 1st.

According to Over the Cap, the Packers would absorb “dead” hits of $ 14.352 million this year and next and $ 2.852 million in 2023 by trading Rodgers on Tuesday or later. They would create $ 22.85 million (this year), $ 25.5 million (next year) and $ 25.5 million (23) of ceiling space.

If the Packers had traded Rodgers before Tuesday, they would have felt the hammer this year ($ 31.556 million in “dead” caps).

2. The Broncos’ perspective.

GM George Paton should have his offer ready for the Packers (picks, players or a combination of the two) and Rodgers (contract restructuring to make it work immediately and the parameters of an expansion).

As soon as Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst makes Rodgers available, Paton has to build an offer so compelling Green Bay isn’t buying him from other teams.

Why go all-in on Rodgers? Only to make the Broncos evenly competitive and relevant again. Good enough for you?

According to the NFLPA, the Broncos have $ 19,377,668 of available ceiling space. But if the Rodgers deal is imminent, the Broncos could approach expensive veterans to convert money into a signing bonus (lowering their cap). Rodgers currently has a cap of $ 37.202 million.

3. Unprecedented situation

Almost 30 years ago, 14 MVPs changed teams – 12 as free agents. All were at least three years after the MVP season.

In 1993, San Francisco traded quarterback Joe Montana (1989-90 MVP), cornerback David Whitmore and a third-round pick in Kansas City for a first-round pick. In 2008, Green Bay traded quarterback Brett Favre to the New York Jets for a possible third-round pick; Favre was 11 years removed from his third MVP and danced with retirement throughout the 2008 offseason.

Rodgers enters his 37-year-old season and will be the oldest starting fourth quarterback in Week 1 behind Tom Brady (44, Tampa Bay), Ben Roethlisberger (39, Pittsburgh) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (38, Washington).

4. The Broncos’ offer

This is where Paton and Co. plays a guessing game. What is the acceptable value for a player of Rodgers age and caliber? What do the Packers want? Can the Broncos make a trade without jeopardizing their chances of winning with Rodgers?

Let’s start with the first round picks in 2022-23. If Rodgers is healthy and productive, it will be in the late 1920s … so the Packers will need more.

We won’t go so far as to say to Gutekunst, “Pick any two players from the Broncos roster.” But we would offer two groups of players and let the Packers choose one from each.

The untouchables (non-rookies): outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, receiver Courtland Sutton, goalkeeper Justin Simmons and left tackle Garett Bolles.

Paton can also get creative by conditioning additional draft picks based on the Broncos’ success or making trades of picks (the Packers’ third to the Broncos’ second, for example).

5. Biggest NFL Trade Ever?

There will be plenty of time to dig into this if the Broncos acquire Rodgers, but it would easily be one of the biggest trades in league history, regardless of the pay.

The New York Giants acquired quarterbacks YA Tittle, 34, and Fran Tarkenton, 27, in 1961 and 67, respectively. The Chicago Cardinals traded running back Ollie Matson, 28, to the Los Angeles Rams for seven, a draft pick and a player to be named later in 59. And the Dallas Cowboys have built their dynasty for years. 1990 by trading running back Herschel Walker, 27, to the Minnesota Vikings in 89.

6. Rodgers’ impact on the Broncos

Last month we predicted a Broncos record of 15-2 if Rodgers was there by Week 1. Maybe a little aggressive, but another look at the schedule reveals that just one game the Broncos would be a match for. final outsider – in Kansas City.

If Rodgers is here for the preseason his goals should be: Making sure the attack is suited to his strengths, creating chemistry with players in skill positions, avoiding 0-4 and 0- starts 3 of the Broncos the past two years and teaching the young core of the team how to win in Kansas City at the end of January (playoffs).

Would a Rodgers-Broncos arrangement succeed? Who knows, but it will be spectacular theater anyway.

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