Photograph: Mike Roemer/AP
Last year the player empowerment movement that has swept across sports finally arrived in the huddle. Quarterbacks throughout the NFL started to flex their power. Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, and Deshaun Watson all suggested (or demanded) trades; all four were stars at the peak of their powers.
It will be much the same this summer. Rodgers, Wilson and Watson will be joined in trade discussions by Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan, and the domino effect of any moves will be felt around the league.
Some decisions have already been reported. The Giants are intent on riding the Joe Judge-Daniel Jones partnership over the waterfall. The Dolphins have been the most active team in pursuit of Watson. If that plan comes to nothing, they will continue to build around Tua Tagovailoa. The Falcons should stick with Ryan, rather than jumping into a rebuild of their own.
That leaves seven (obvious) quarterback-needy teams heading into the offseason: The Broncos, Browns, Saints, Panthers, Steelers, Lions, and Saints.
So, let’s play pin the trade on the quarterback – a quick note that these are fun trades we think should happen rather than ones we think will happen.
Aaron Rodgers to the Denver Broncos
Who knows what Aaron Rodgers will do? He could stay with the Packers. He could walk away from the game altogether. Most likely: He pushes through a trade away from Green Bay.
Let’s take a step back to understand exactly how bonkers that is. Rodgers is on his way to winning back-to-back MVPs. He’s playing the best all-around football of his career, balancing his tap-dancing style with Matt LaFleur’s carefully choreographed system. And yet, there’s a chance that he may not play the sport next season. And there’s an even stronger chance that if he does play, it will not be in Green Bay. And this is because the Packers front office drafted Jordan Love in 2020 without consulting their Hall of Famer and refused to allow further roster input…