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What an Aaron Rodgers trade would look like if he returns

If the Packers QB wants to return and leave Green Bay, we take a look at what a deal may look like or entail.

Davante Adams #17 and Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field on December 25, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The world is patiently awaiting word on QB Aaron Rodgers’ future. The Green Bay Packers are hopeful Rodgers will return for another season. There are also rumors swirling that Rodgers wants to go elsewhere. There is also the chance A-Rod retires. All of this is on the table and we don’t know when he’ll announce his decision. We do know it should come before March 16, which is the deadline for teams to franchise tag a player.

Given how the Packers’ season ended and everything that went down this year, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the QB requests a trade. If that happens, what’s next? We take a look at his contract and how a potential deal would look.

Aaron Rodgers contract

Rodgers is under contract at least through the 2022 season at a salary cap hit of $46.1 million. That is a very hefty number for any team to take on. There’s always the chance the Packers restructure Rodgers’ deal to make it easier for him to be dealt. Green Bay could also retain some of Rodgers’ salary in a trade to make things work while recouping additional assets.

The most talked about destination in the rumor mill is the Denver Broncos. At this point, the Broncos wouldn’t need to do anything to add Rodgers’ contract, as the team has $44 million in cap space. That means one minor move and Rodgers can be traded to Denver.

However, the Broncos may also get back WR Davante Adams in said deal. If that’s the case, Adams would likely be signed by the Packers — to a franchise tag at $20 million — then traded to Denver. In that case, the Broncos would likely send a WR back in the deal, perhaps Tim Patrick ($9.25M) or Jerry Jeudy ($4.1M). Veteran WR Courtland Sutton is also under a long-term contract at a cap hit of $13.2 million in 2022. Sutton is signed through 2025 as well, which may be appealing to a rebuilding Packers team in need of a top WR with Adams gone.

Denver could also cut some salary on defense to clear way for Adams. If the team were to part with one of those WRs, chances are Adams would need to be signed to a long-term deal and not the tag.

If it’s another team, Rodgers and Adams together would likely carry a joint cap hit north of $60 million. So any team looking to add the pair needs to fit that much salary in under the cap, which isn’t going to be easy. Even Green Bay will struggle to do so. The Packers are well over the cap without Adams signed to a new deal. If Rodgers leaves, that makes things a bit easier. If he wants to stay, restructuring and moving/cutting of contracts will need to take place to keep Adams.