Aaron Rodgers fueled speculation about his NFL future by declining to swap jerseys and walking out of Lambeau Field with his arm wrapped around the shoulders of wide receiver Randall Cobb on Sunday night.
After the season-ending loss to Detroit, Rodgers said the gesture was about appreciation for his long-time running mate with the Packers rather than symbolic. But he also stopped well short of saying he plans to return to Green Bay for another season.
The four-time NFL MVP said he will take some time away to contemplate whether “it’s time to get off” the carousel.
The odds of Rodgers retiring flipped from likely at SportsBetting.ag last week to being -400 on Monday, versus +250 that he will hang up his cleats.
He said he won’t hold the Packers “hostage” and will make his decision before the start of free agency in March.
Rodgers also acknowledged that Green Bay has a young team, and whether he believes the Packers have the personnel to be a playoff threat could weigh heavily on his next move.
His three-year, $150 million contract calls for Rodgers to make $58.3 million next season. It would be prohibitive for the Packers to cut Rodgers, but they will be on the hook for his $31.6M salary cap figure whether the 39-year-old returns or is potentially traded.
According to OverTheCap.com, Green Bay would incur a $66.99M cap hit should Rodgers be traded before June 1. A post-June 1 trade would provide a $1.215M cap savings but the Packers would still be on the hook for $30.4M in dead money against their cap.
Speculation has already begun about potential destinations, and SportsBetting.ag is offering odds on where Rodgers might end up if he decides to play another season for someone other than the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers Week 1 2023 Team Odds
In Las Vegas, Rodgers would be reunited with wide receiver Davante Adams. Adams’ trade to the Raiders last offseason was a sore spot for Rodgers, who regularly referred to the inexperience and miscues of his young receivers this season.
Las Vegas is also coached by Josh McDaniels, who won six Super Bowls in New England with Tom Brady. The Raiders also have skill position personnel that includes a dynamic running back in Josh Jacobs, an elite receiving tight end in Darren Waller and an excellent slot receiver in Hunter Renfrow.
The sportsbook is also offering odds on who will replace Derek Carr in Las Vegas, with Brady (+275) and the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo (+350) currently ahead of Rodgers at +400.
The Colts and Titans are both in the AFC South, which was won by the Jacksonville Jaguars at 9-8 this season.
Indianapolis has gone the veteran quarterback route three consecutive times, with Matt Ryan following in the footsteps of Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz. The Colts are also in the market for a new head coach, but they do have a talent-laden roster that is primed to be competitive with an experienced quarterback.
The story is similar in Tennessee, where Ryan Tannehill has been at the helm of a run-first offense led by Derrick Henry. Tannehill is under contract through 2025, but he finished this season with an ankle injury and the Titans may jump at the chance to add Rodgers to a roster that boasts a stout defense.
The Jets are another intriguing possibility. After winning four consecutive games to reach 5-2, Robert Saleh’s crew hit the skids, losing eight of its final 10 games to finish 7-10 and in last place in the AFC East.
However, the Jets showed plenty of promise this season, with Saleh’s typically strong defense keeping them in games. It was the quarterback play that let them down, particularly that of 2022 No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson.
With Mike White a free agent, there is little doubt the Jets will be seeking an experienced veteran to lead an offense with promising young playmakers, including wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall, who will be returning from an ACL injury but is expected to be ready for the start of next season.
The Jets are also being offered as the +275 favorite by SportsBetting.ag to be Carr’s next team as the NFL quarterback carousel starts to spin.
Rodgers is being offered at +500 along with White behind Carr and Garoppolo (+375) to start Week 1 for the Jets next season.
–Field Level Media