5 Jets players the Green Bay Packers could target in an Aaron Rodgers trade
It feels a little like déjà vu. The Green Bay Packers are set to trade their longtime future Hall of Fame quarterback to the New York Jets. After 18 years, Aaron Rodgers will no longer be in green and gold, following in the path set by his predecessor and continuing the next phase of his career in the Big Apple (or rather, New Jersey, but semantics).
When Brett Favre was traded to the Jets in 2008, it was for a package of conditional draft picks. The two teams are still hammering out the details and logistics of the Rodgers trade, trying to find a compromise between the recent market for eye-popping quarterback trades and the reality of Rodgers' age (39) and likelihood of playing past next year. But could the Packers, officially moving into rebuilding mode, ask for a Jets player to be packaged in the deal as well?
From veterans who got lost in the roster depth behind star rookies, to young players unhappy with their situation, the Jets have a contingent of trade possibilities. Here are five options the Packers could target in a trade package.
Corey Davis, wide receiver
There are three receivers on this list. The Jets aren't going to part ways with all of them, through a trade or otherwise, but thanks to the advent of Garrett Wilson and the recent addition of former Packers receiver Allen Lazard, the chances are high at least one of these pass catchers leaves New York this offseason. So let's start with Davis. The veteran receiver saw his production nearly cut in half with the Jets the past two seasons, following four years with the Tennessee Titans. Over his six seasons in the league, Davis has averaged 45 receptions, 647 yards and three touchdowns a year. He could be the answer to the Packers receiving unit questions though. Christian Watson has shown the ability to be No. 1 for his second season, and Romeo Doubs has significant potential to be a solid second receiver. Davis' experience and past production could provide the veteran presence the Packers want for their trio of young receivers. It will come at a price though, with a cap hit of $11.2 million in 2023, according to Spotrac.com.
More:Aaron Rodgers says Packers 'dragging their heels' on potential trade to Jets
Elijah Moore, wide receiver
Moore is an intriguing and enticing option. He's young (23 on March 27), has shown promise and there is a documented history of discontent. The former Ole Miss player is heading into his third year and started 17 games over his first two seasons. As a rookie, he finished with 43 receptions, 538 yards and five touchdowns (plus a rushing TD). He took a downturn with a sophomore slump, finishing with 37 receptions, 446 yards and one touchdown. Some of that was due to inconsistent quarterback play as the Jets struggled with Zach Wilson before moving on to Mike White. But it's hard to completely attribute his output to that, considering the play of his teammate, Garrett Wilson, who put together a rookie of the year season.
Frustrated with the way the season was going, Moore requested a trade in October. The Jets refused and he returned to play in the last eight games, hauling in 21 receptions and a touchdown. He's not quite the veteran receiver the Packers unit still needs and is losing in Lazard (and possibly Randall Cobb), but he's speedy, shifty and still on his rookie deal. He could be a good piece to build around quarterback Jordan Love.
Bryce Hall, cornerback
Hall went from being a starting cornerback in 2021 to playing a mere 15 defensive snaps in 2022, after the Jets drafted rookie Sauce Gardner. Hall gives New York quality depth at a position that needs it, having finished the 2021 season (in which he started every game) sixth in the league in passes defended. But he's also consistently listed among players the Jets could move on from. As the Packers look to shore up their safety unit, the option to move Rasul Douglas back in the secondary looks more and more enticing. If that happens, having someone with experience to rotate with Jaire Alexander and a recovering Eric Stokes outside could be crucial.
Still in his rookie contract and entering his fourth year, Hall carries a $2.8 million cap hit in 2023.
Carl Lawson, defensive end
This one is tough. It's pretty much a given that the Jets are either going to rework his contract or, the more likely scenario, move on completely from the veteran defensive end. The club needs to make room for Rodgers' massive contract and Lawson is simply too expensive, carrying a $15.7 million cap hit for 2023. The Jets have an out in Lawson's contract, meaning if they trade or release him, he'll cost them only a little more than $300,000 in dead cap money. If the Packers are looking to add a player in the trade deal, Lawson would be one of the best possible options for the Jets to offer. From the Packers' perspective, they'd be picking up a big contract and an older player (28 in June) who is only one year removed from an Achilles injury (he missed all of the 2021 season); but they'd also be gaining a former standout end and pass rusher.
Lawson hasn't been able to fully replicate his rookie season, in which he notched 8.5 sacks. But he's still averaged 5.8 sacks and 31 tackles a year over the past three seasons in which he played. The Packers aren't hurting at the position and they'd have to rework Lawson's contract, but the veteran is too talented to say no to if offered.
Denzel Mims, wide receiver
Like Moore, Mims also requested a trade from the Jets. Also like Moore, it was denied. Mims' request actually came before the 2022 season; whether that factored into his playing time is something only Jets coaches know, but Mims didn't see any game action until Week 7, and even then it came due to injuries to those ahead of him on the depth chart. Mims never had more than three receptions in a game last season and he hasn't yet registered a touchdown through three seasons. He's cheap, though, with a $1.7 million cap hit in the fourth year of his rookie contract and can provide depth behind a young Packers corps.