If the Denver Broncos are serious about acquiring Aaron Rodgers, they should also be serious about not drafting in the first round for the foreseeable future.
As the dots continue to connect the Green Bay Packers quarterback to the Mile High City, CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin presented four "potential offers" that could close arguably the biggest trade deal in NFL history.
QB Drew Lock, 2022 first-rounder, 2023 first-rounder, 2024 first-rounder, 2022 second-rounder, 2023 third-rounder
WR Courtland Sutton, 2022 first, 2023 first, 2024 first, 2022 second
OG Graham Glasgow, 2022 first, 2023 first, 2024 first, 2022 second, 2023 second
OLB Von Miller, 2022 first, 2023 first, 2024 first, 2022 second, 2023 fifth
The Broncos reportedly engaged in talks with Green Bay during last Thursday's inaugural night of the 2021 NFL Draft — talks that fizzled as quickly as they sizzled. Interestingly, the team did not select a QB or sign one as a college free agent, willing (or so they say) to let Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock battle for the starting job over the summer.
“I like our room right now. I think I said that last night. With [QBs] Teddy [Bridgewater] and Drew [Lock], they’ll have a competition, and that’s what we’ve wanted all along," general manager George Paton told reporters Saturday. "We’ll let them compete. I like the room. Does it mean we won’t continue to look? No, but I say that about every position. I look forward to getting Teddy here, and he and Drew having a great competition.”
Rodgers, meanwhile, remains disenfranchised in Green Bay. Rumor has it, he's informed teammates of his imminent departure unless CEO Mark Murphy fires GM Brian Gutekunst, apparently the bone of contention. Rodgers is open to “hardline options” — from skipping training camp to retiring — to achieve his desired result, Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported Saturday.
Packers brass recently visited Rodgers in California in hopes of mending this relationship, to no avail. On the record, head coach Matt LaFleur claimed he "wants nothing more" than for Rodgers to return in 2021 and "can't imagine" the future Hall-of-Fame field general playing elsewhere.
“I’d like to keep every conversation that Aaron and I have had up to this point between us,” LaFleur said, via NBC Sports. “I know the report’s out there. But this guy’s our quarterback. He’s our leader. I want nothing more than to see him back in a Packer uniform. In my eyes, he’s the greatest to ever do it. I don’t care about Super Bowls or what not. But we want him back here.”
If Green Bay ultimately decides the situation is irreparable and opts to divorce, a trade would not go down until after June 1, when the associated salary cap hit drops from an untenable $31.55 million (pre-June 1) to a palatable $14.352 million.
After which point the Broncos must decide whether they want to fork over the proverbial farm for a disgruntled 37-year-old who may soon enter the back-nine of his illustrious career.
Follow Zack on Twitter @KelbermanNFL
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