The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly a potential dark horse option to acquire Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers if a deal with the New York Jets falls through, according to FS1's Craig Carton.
“Aaron Rodgers would absolutely want to play for this franchise. The franchise is the San Francisco 49ers," Carton said. "They have Trey Lance coming off a broken ankle. They’ve got Brock Purdy, who’s not going to be throwing the ball until August or September. And they signed Sam Darnold. They do not have a quarterback right now. Maybe Trey becomes a stud, we don’t know. Aaron Rodgers is from the area, and has always said ‘I might want to go home one day.’ He also famously said ‘I want to screw it to San Francisco for not drafting me.’”
The 49ers don't have a first-round pick, but have seven compensatory picks, include three in the third-round. San Francisco had previously reached out to the Packers regarding a possible trade involving Rodgers two years ago, but Green Bay declined at the time.
On March 15, Rodgers publicly acknowledged his intention to play for the Jets next season.
"Since Friday, my intention was to play and play for the NY Jets," Rodgers said during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.
On Monday (April 3), NBC Sports' Peter King predicted the Packers and Jets would have a trade finalized by April 28, the night of the second-round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
"Since Rodgers would be unlikely to be at the dawn of the Jets offseason program April 17, the big date is the 28th because that’s when it’s most realistic the first draft choice would be exchanged between the teams," King wrote in his latest Football Morning in America column.
Rodgers met with Jets owner Woody Johnson and a contingent of team representatives in California on March 7. New York had previously acquired Rodgers' predecessor, Brett Favre, in a trade with the Packers in 2008, which led to the eventual four-time NFL MVP taking over as Green Bay's starting quarterback for the remainder of his tenure with the franchise.
Last month, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Jets were "a very real scenario" in a possible trade for Rodgers even prior to the hiring of Hackett, who the quarterback had publicly praised following his hiring as the Denver Broncos' head coach last offseason. Rodgers led the NFL's top scoring offense during the first of two consecutive Associated Press Most Valuable Player award-winning seasons in 2020, both of which took place during Hackett's tenure with the Packers.
Rodgers signed a three-year, $150 million extension with the Packers last offseason amid previous reports of being disgruntled with the franchise. The 39-year-old was coming off back-to-back MVP seasons ahead of the 2022 NFL season, which resulted in Green Bay missing the playoffs after clinching a postseason berth during the previous three consecutive seasons and 11 of the past 13 years.
Rodgers leads all Packers quarterbacks with 475 touchdowns and ranks second in franchise history behind only Favre in QB wins (147), completions (5,001) and passing yards (7,660).
Butler spent his entire 12-year NFL career with the Packers, which included winning a Super Bowl, as well as being selected as a four-time first-team All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowler, a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
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