Why the Washington Football Team should push hard to trade for Aaron Rodgers

Washington perhaps has the best roster in the NFC East, but they should go all-in to make a trade for Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, Washington Football Team, Green Bay Packers
NFL Analysis Network

Aaron Rodgers has made sure it’s known he’s unhappy with the Green Bay Packers’ management, and the standoff may or may not end soon. If a trade were to happen, due to cap considerations, it makes sense for it to go down after June 1. The Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders linger as the top two suitors if the Packers embrace what feels inevitable and trade the reigning NFL MVP.

Because someone had to, the Washington Football Team won the NFC East last year with a 7-9 record. In the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, with Taylor Heinicke starting in place of an injured Alex Smith, they gave the eventual Super Bowl champion Buccaneers a stern test. They’ve added pieces in free agency and the draft to fill needs and add depth. Most notably, after signing Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency and re-signing Heinicke, they did not draft a quarterback-or trade up for one. They clearly weren’t going to force the issue on a quarterback in the draft just to take one, which was a wise strategy.

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus has pointed to Washington as a possible Super Bowl contender, despite having Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback.

Fitzpatrick is obviously not a long-term solution, so Washington is lined up to be in the quarterback market on all fronts again next offseason. But what if they could still make a move for a signal caller?

Why Washington Should Make A Push To Trade For Aaron Rodgers

As cited previously, June 1 is a key cut-off point for a hypothetical Rodgers trade. Doing so after that date allows the Packers to spread out a dead money hit over 2021, 2022 and 2023, while clearing $22.85 million in cap space this year (according to Over The Cap).

Rodgers has a $37.2 million cap number for 2021. But his base salary average from 2021-2023 is a little over $21.5 million right now. Washington has just over $16 million in cap space for 2021 right now, with draft picks to sign. So they, like any other team that would trade for Rodgers, would have do to some financial offloading/gymnastics.

The NFC East, as always, looks wide open this year. The Dallas Cowboys will be counting on Dak Prescott’s return and a draft focused on defense to produce better results. The New York Giants are hoping quarterback Daniel Jones takes a big leap forward in his third season. The Philadelphia Eagles are trying to recover from a dysfunctional 2020 campaign, with Jalen Hurts as their new starting quarterback. Then there’s Washington, lingering as the defending division champs; off the radar by comparison.

Rodgers would theoretically hold down the quarterback spot for Washington through the rest of his contract (through 2023). If they use a premium draft pick on a quarterback, say in 2022, that would look like a step down the same path that brought the Packers to where they are now with Rodgers. But that’s something to worry about on another day. Washington is a top-end quarterback away from being a serious Super Bowl contender this year, and Rodgers’ hypothetical availability opens up the idea he can be that quarterback.