Aaron Rodgers desires to join the New York Jets instead of the Green Bay Packers. The Jets also desire that. The Packers are eager to complete a trade.

What is the problem then?

It’s a complicated transaction—possibly the most intricate ever. You’re bringing up a legendary quarterback with a huge deal. That in itself would make it challenging. It’s more difficult to calculate a reasonable price given that he’s 39 years old and has already stated that he strongly pondered retiring last month. He might leave after a year. The Jets don’t want to give up their first-round draft pick in 2023 for this reason (13th overall). Yet, the Packers are unwilling to exchange a franchise pillar for second- and third-round draft picks.

The perception of leverage varies. Because they don’t see a good alternative on their roster and the quarterback market is thin, the Jets appear to be forced to go with Rodgers. (Lamar Jackson, a star with the Baltimore Ravens, is available but has the nonexclusive franchise tag.)

The Packers are constrained because they seem committed to Jordan Love, a fourth-year quarterback, and want to replace Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers’ hand was just disclosed by team president Mark Murphy, who said of him in the past tense: “He had a tremendous career here.”

One AFC executive described it as “a unusual circumstance,” adding that he would anticipate the two sides to reach a compromise before giving out deadlines.

Let’s look at the main issues raised by the Jets-Rodgers-Packers saga:

Is everyone under any time constraints to reach a deal?

Actually, no. There are no impending financial obligations, and the Jets’ offseason program doesn’t start until April 17. Real practices don’t begin until the end of May. Mid-June is when the required minicamp is held.

It would be in everyone’s best interest to complete the project as quickly as possible. Usually, a deadline is required. Perhaps the first deadline is the offseason program.

The Jets would ideally like to have Rodgers in the building by the end of the month so he can settle in, begin developing a rapport with new teammates, and assist in the implementation of a new offense. At the same time, if he skips the optional workouts, nothing terrible will happen. He played for the Packers under offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, so he already has a sense for the offense.

Even if he did decide to come, there is no certainty. Rodgers, who has recently opted out of the offseason’s voluntary activities, was evasive when asked if he will take part with the Jets, stating “It’s one step at a time, Pat McAfee said on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday. I’m still bound by my Packers contract.”

The piece of mind that comes from knowing their starting quarterback is secured is the benefit of closing a deal sooner rather than later for the Jets. No headache, no worry.

How soon will there be a true pressure point?

The opening night of the draft is April 27. If it comes to this, the Jets will be in a stronger position because the Packers are expected to want compensation in the form of a draft pick that will benefit them in 2023. The Packers may receive a smaller return if they have to wait until 2024 to start benefiting from a trade, presuming the Jets improve their record and have a lower draft pick than the 13th overall pick in 2024.

It probably wouldn’t be a good look for the Packers from a PR perspective. In essence, they would be passing up immediate draft capital while letting one of the most recognizable players in team history twist in the wind.

They must decide by May 1 on Love’s fifth-year option (2024), which is worth $20.3 million and is fully guaranteed, in the midst of all of this. This deadline is really crucial. The Packers may try to argue that if they sign Love for 2024, it will allow them to maintain Rodgers for one more year before switching to Love. That would be difficult to convince people of given their positive remarks towards Love and Rodgers’ reluctance to come back. In the McAfee interview, he made it abundantly plain that he was done with Green Bay.

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The Packers aren’t getting hammered on the cap by waiting, are they?

In no way. The truth is that waiting has a positive financial impact.

Rodgers now has $31.6 million available under the salary cap. His cap charge rises to $40.3 million if the Packers move him before June 1; they would be required to pay that cost for the full campaign. The cap hit is split over two seasons—$15.8 million this year and $24.5 million in 2024—if they wait until after June 1 to trade him. They would then have an additional $25 million in 2023 cap space to bolster other roster areas.

In other words, the Packers won’t be motivated to make a trade before June 1 if this stare-down continues past the draft. What’s to stop them from waiting until the start of training camp in late July if they wait that long? The Jets would suffer if they didn’t have their presumed starting quarterback in camp.

When is the hard deadline for a trade that needs to be met?

the opening contest of the regular season (Sept. 10).

Rodgers has a fully guaranteed $58.3 million option bonus under his current contract, which must be exercised before to the first game. (The actual funding is distributed in two installments, the last of which is due on September 30.) It’s difficult to picture the Packers giving a player that kind of money if they don’t want him on the team. The cap hit if they don’t pay would be enormous.

Could they grit their teeth and accept his return while paying the bill? Technically, sure, but it’s challenging to envision it occurring.

It is quite improbable that the impasse will continue past this stage. If it occurs, the Packers will be in a risky situation and have no options. Also, Rodgers’ value to the Jets would be reduced because he wouldn’t have attended training camp. No one could understand this situation.

What does Rodgers deserve in terms of compensation?

Everyone appears to have a point of view.

The two teams will have to think outside the box to make it work if the Jets are adamant about keeping their first-round pick in 2023. A firm pick (or picks) in 2023 as well as a conditional pick (or picks) in 2024 or 2025 may be required. Such conditions might depend on how well each player and the club performs as well as whether or not Rodgers plays in 2024.

For a conditional fourth-round pick in 2009, which would have improved to a third-round pick based on playing time, the Packers traded Brett Favre to the Jets in 2008. The pick would have gone to a second-round pick if the Jets had advanced to the playoffs. It would have been in the first round had they made it to the Super Bowl. For Rodgers, they might be open to doing something similar.

According to Tannenbaum, who negotiated the Favre contract for the Jets, Rodgers should receive a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 conditional second- or third-round pick as reasonable compensation.

Players could potentially be involved at any time. Given that the Packers lost Allen Lazard to the Jets, they might use a wide receiver. When they were teammates with the Tennessee Titans, receiver Corey Davis was coached by Packers’ Matt LaFleur. Davis might be viewed as unnecessary given Lazard’s arrival.

There’s also the idea that the Packers would request a player who once scored highly on their draft board in exchange for a first-round pick. There are a number of Jets players who they might find interesting. Jermaine Johnson, a late first-round pick in 2022, might work given the abundance of defensive ends.

The money left on Rodgers’ deal is a significant topic of controversy. His total guaranteed income for 2023 is $59.5 million, and the Jets very surely want the Packers to cover some of that. The Packers will receive more compensation in the form of draft picks and, presumably, players, the more they agree to pay.

On Wednesday, Rodgers stated, “I still have that desire and I want to play, and I would like to play in New York. At this moment, finishing that task is all that remains.