While cautioning a would-be deal is likely weeks away — if it ever materializes — NFL Network's James Palmer reported Monday the Denver Broncos are a "legitimate landing spot" for disgruntled Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers and have begun piecing together trade packages to acquire the reigning NFL MVP.
"I've talked to people inside the building who have told me it's a real possibility Aaron Rodgers could end up with the Denver Broncos," Palmer said. "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. At the same time, you need the Packers to make him available.
"But let's just talk about how the Broncos are a legitimate landing spot. Remember how aggressive [general manager] George Paton has been at the quarterback spot and how he's talked about how aggressive he's going to be about improving the quarterback spot. ... When they 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. Obviously, the Packers on draft day weren't picking up the phone and talking about those discussions."
The Broncos are the current betting favorite to obtain Rodgers, assuming he's indeed made available by Green Bay. And though rumored suitors like the Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Football Team are expected to inquire, Denver holds the trump card in two major departments: salary cap and roster flexibility.
"Very few teams have the capability to land Aaron Rodgers. The Broncos do; they have the second-most cap space in the NFL," Palmer noted. "And then, 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 — and Drew Lock's below that.
"They don't have these constraints that a lot of other teams have in landing Aaron Rodgers. That makes them a suitable spot."
Palmer's furtherance of the sport's juiciest storyline comes on the heels of previous reports which claimed the Broncos will "put the most in front" of the Packers in terms of trade capital and are "buzzing" over a potential trade for the 38-year-old future Hall-of-Famer, who reportedly "wants to be out West."
Meanwhile, NBC Sports' Peter King reported Monday, somewhat contrarily, that the Packers "are dug in, and they’re looking for a way to olive-branch a peace treaty" with Rodgers.
“It’s the calm after the storm,” King wrote in his latest column. “Don’t look for anything significant to happen for the next couple of weeks or so. The Packers are dug in, and they’re looking for a way to olive-branch a peace treaty. Rodgers is dug in, too, and likely still wants a new start somewhere. Funny thing: I thought about digging into this and writing about how significant it is that Rodgers allies like James Jones think this is fixable.
“But the reality is that nobody really knows right now, and human nature needs to take its course for a few weeks. How will Rodgers feel once the reality of the Packers being unwilling to trade him sets in? Will the Packers budge if Rodgers skips the mandatory June minicamp and the start of training camp in late July? Let’s see.”
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