The Denver Broncos are waiting on standby in case the Green Bay Packers change their mind about trading franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Based on conversations with people inside Denver’s organization, NFL Network’s James Palmer reported Monday morning there is a “real possibility” that Rodgers could end up with the Broncos next season and revealed the team has already been concocting potential trade packages to offer the Packers for the NFL’s reigning MVP — should he become available.
The Packers have been adamant they are not interested in trading Rodgers ever since ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s bombshell report on April 29 uncovered the larger-than-expected rift between the two sides, but they could be persuaded to consider their options if Rodgers — who has not yet spoken publicly on the matter — is dug in on not wanting to return to the team.
Here’s what Palmer said Monday on NFL Network about the Broncos’ trade interest:
“I’ve talked people inside the building who have told me it is a real possibility that Aaron Rodgers could end up with the Denver Broncos. Those same people have told me that, remember, deals of this size with players of this nature, MVPs, are difficult to get done and you don’t know if they’re going to get done until you get to the finish line. And at the same time, you need the Packers to make him available.”
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) May 10, 2021
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Palmer: Broncos Remain ‘Suitable Spot’ for Rodgers
The Broncos aren’t a new name to the Rodgers trade speculation. They were involved in numerous draft-day rumors about the reigning MVP, several of which were denied or debunked within hours. A separate ESPN report also indicated the Packers believe the Broncos may have been one of two teams that tampered with Rodgers; though, the report went on to say the team is not planning on filing charges against them with the league.
The Broncos have more going for them than rumored inquiries about Rodgers, though, with more than $20 million in available salary-cap space, a stockpile of potential assets to offer and two rostered quarterbacks who can both be offloaded rather easily. For those reasons and more, Palmer expanded, the Broncos could become a “suitable spot” for Rodgers to land:
“When (the Broncos) heard the news about Aaron Rodgers and his uncomfortable situation with the Green Bay Packers, they started thinking about what a package would be if they were going to try to put something together for Aaron Rodgers, and obviously, the Packers on draft day weren’t picking up the phone and talking about those discussions. But (what) also comes into play is their cap situation. Very few teams have the cap ability to land Aaron Rodgers. The Broncos do. They have the second-most cap space in the NFL. And a lot of teams would have to unload an expensive quarterback to make room for Aaron Rodgers. The Broncos don’t have that. Teddy Bridgewater, because of the way George Paton played it, they only have him for about $3-4 million dollars and Drew Lock is below that. So they don’t have these constraints that a lot of other teams have in landing Aaron Rodgers, and that makes them a suitable spot.”
How Much Would Broncos Need to Offer?
So far, the Packers have shown no indication of wanting to entertain trade offers and continue to hold most of the cards in the situation. Rodgers is under contract for another three years and will face large financial repercussions if he insists on holding out in training camp or playing the retirement card to force a trade. Even if he were so bold as to go with the latter option, the Packers have first-round quarterback Jordan Love on the roster and can attempt to call his bluff.
At the same time, the Packers are built to win now and could get a king’s ransom for Rodgers while his trade value is potentially at its highest as the league’s reigning MVP. So, what could the Broncos feasibly offer to land Rodgers if Green Bay opens that door?
No doubt, Denver would need to give up multiple first-round picks and maybe some other draft assets in whatever deal they consider offering Green Bay, but an impact player would also likely factor into the equation. The Broncos have a new and valuable rookie in Patrick Surtain II (No. 9 overall selection in 2021) who is probably unrealistic as trade bait, but second-year wide receiver Jerry Jeudy could be a young option with the Packers set to see all their starters at the position become free agents in 2022.