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Niners, Patriots lead best trade destinations

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Aaron Rodgers
Big news about a potential Aaron Rodgers trade broke hours before the NFL Draft. Photo from CBS Sports.

On the day of the 2021 NFL Draft, the biggest news to break was about Aaron Rodgers. A Rodgers trade has gone from rumor to serious possibility.

According to Adam Schefter, Rodgers is “so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team”.

Of course, this is not only an opportunity to cue up Jeopardy puns. This would be a league-altering trade. Rodgers being dealt would eliminate the Packers as a contender. He would become the first NFL MVP ever to be traded the offseason after winning the award.

Aaron Rodgers trade rumors have swirled for months. Since drafting Jordan Love, it’s been a question of when, not if, Rodgers leaves the Packers. On the back of an MVP season, though, it always seemed improbable he would depart before the 2021 campaign. That has changed. Schefter’s report flips everything on its head.

The potential Rodgers trade destinations are obvious. The Niners could work a deal around the third overall pick, perhaps sending Jimmy Garoppolo the other way. San Francisco is ready to win now. Rodgers is the ultimate win-now quarterback, deep into his thirties, but still at the top of his game.

The #Packers remain committed to Aaron Rodgers. @TomPelissero said there is “zero” chance of trading him. It’s all about getting an extension done… and if that happens, this should take care of the matter (until next time). https://t.co/Lv56tHCC6M

Any team drafting high up in a QB-heavy draft could change their mind and swing for Rodgers. Building a trade around a top 10 pick and future draft assets seems the most likely path if Rodgers is traded in the next few days.

The Patriots and Bears do not fall into that category, but they are both teams with uncertain quarterback futures. The prospect of Bill Belichick working with Rodgers will scare the NFL. Green Bay would not be keen to trade to Chicago, but their apparent interest in Deshaun Watson earlier this offseason suggests they could swing for the fences on a Rodgers trade.

Given the dead money, given the Packers’ apparent reluctance to trade Rodgers, the most likely outcome remains a contract extension. If Rodgers is really available, though, half of the league will at least consider it. That includes the Jets, the Dolphins, the Broncos and Giants. Don’t forget about the Philadelphia Eagles, too, who flipped Carson Wentz earlier this offseason.

Franchises have their plans heading into the draft. Rodgers’ availability would force many a front office to rip it all up and go all-in for the future Hall of Famer.

If we had to predict, this is probably just part of the contract extension game. If Rodgers does move, however, the Niners and Patriots are the most likely destinations.





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