Alternate Headline: Clayface considering bold move to join team with Batman building nearby
The NFL combine was going on this week, and of course Aaron Rodgers couldn’t let the rookies have their own spotlight. The attention whore himself, and the most hated NFL figure, found a way to get himself talked about.
It all started with a tweet from NFL Network’s own Ian Rapoport on Friday where he states that Rodgers is truly torn on where he wants to play in 2022. He goes on to say that many expect him to return to Green Bay, he is going back and forth on what he wants.
Let me take a moment and get out my Rodgers translator: “I see no one has talked about me for a couple of days, so let me get someone to leak to Ian that I am indecisive, lolz.”
This report is followed up by ProFootballTalk putting out a report that says as they “understand it”, Rodgers has four options: Green Bay, Denver, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh. ProFootballTalk, who is known for being incredibly wrong all the time and having some of the worst sources in the business, goes in further detail in their article.
They say that Rodgers already has specific deals lined up with the teams involved, and that the Packers have the trade terms set up with those teams as well. Everything is arranged, it’s just up to Rodgers where he plays.
Keep in mind this the same sports group that said the Titans were 100% confirmed going to see suspensions and forfeiture of draft picks for a COVID outbreak in 2020. It’s funny how Titans fans quickly change their tune about ProFootballTalk’s credibility, but I digress.
This comes on the heels of many, many teams putting out info during the combine disputing this. One being the Packers themselves went on the record on Tuesday stating they have not received a trade offer at all. Not a single team. Now obviously things can change, and change quickly in the NFL, so keeping the nature of the NFL business in mind is important.
As the week on, other reports and team executives basically all agreed that Rodgers return to Green Bay is likely, and even went further to say, they don’t expect any major quarterback trades this offseason. Then you have what the Titans said all week.
Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel have both been adamant in their belief that Ryan Tannehill is their guy. It started with an interview between Ben Arthur and Robinson for an article at the Tennessean, where he says: “He’s our quarterback. I don’t know how many more times I gotta say it.”
The combine brought in more seemingly definitive remarks about Tannehill’s status in the eyes of the head coach and general manager. Robinson on Wednesday said in a press conference, that they haven’t had any discussions with any other teams about any other quarterbacks.
Vrabel was a little more coach speak in an interview with Peter Schrager by saying that they always evaluate the roster and look to improve the roster, and that quarterback play is critical. However, “Tannehill has won a lot of games for us, and he’ll win a lot more.”
Pretty definitive, but like I said earlier things move fast in the NFL. Things are constantly evolving and changing. However, local cat herder and Titans reporter, Buck Reising, went on to quote tweet the report released by ProFootballTalk putting some doubt about the validity of said report:
I have already seen people commenting and stuff saying: “Yeah like the Titans are gonna tell some media bro their plans”. The worst kept secret in the NFL is that a lot of the information from teams being thrown out there during the combine come from sources of the team at St. Elmo’s and Prime 47.
Some of the best, and most accurate reporting comes from the “conversations” being had at a bar over whiskey in a room filled with cigar smoke, and a bunch of men with meat sweats. Remember, this is the same time of year we all found out that the Titans had been kicking the tires on Antonio Brown a few years ago in the same manner.
Also, 3:03a and sending a tweet? Props to Buck.
What a Trade Could Look Like
I thoroughly enjoy a good hypothetical. It’s also the offseason, so let’s play the role of general manager and see how this implausible trade could happen.
I have been on the record saying that while it’s not impossible, it’s highly improbable that the Titans trade for Rodgers. There are a lot of moving parts necessary to happen, but there is a possibility the Titans could trade for Rodgers, and trade Tannehill to a team that is desperate for a quarterback: The Washington Football Team. (I will not use Commanders)
Ok, so thats fantastic. Essentially everywhere should include the Titans, and if it didn’t before, I bet on the heels of the reports the last 24 hours, Washington may be calling Tennessee. So, let’s look at two things first before diving into trade details: the two contracts.
- Green Bay Salary Cap: ($29.8m)
- Trading Rodgers Numbers: $19.8m savings/$26.8m dead cap
- GB Salary Cap After Trade: ($10m)
- Tennessee Salary Cap: ($6.9m)
- Trading Tannehill Numbers: $10.2m savings/$28.4m dead cap
- TEN Salary Cap After Trade: $3.3m
Now these numbers, courtesy of spotrac.com, are just if they traded the quarterback away to another team and got nothing in return. Obviously the Packers, in the scenario, wouldn’t get Tannehill in return, so then where does Tannehill go.
Obviously, like I said, he goes to WFT. WFT has a $30.3m in cap space, so they could easily take on the Tannehill number, and being they seem to be desperate it should be an easy sell for a team that went 7-10 with Heinickie at quarterback. So we got ourselves a three-way of sorts, and here’s the reasonable offers for all teams:
- Green Bay: Tennessee’s 2022 1st Round Pick, 2023 1st Round Pick
- Tennessee: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay’s 2022 2nd Round Pick
Then the next part:
- Washington: Ryan Tannehill
- Tennessee: Washington’s 2022 2nd Round Pick, 2023 2nd Round Pick
Seems like a logical trade for all parties involved. Now there’s the lingering issue of the salary cap for the Titans. In this scenario this would put the Titans in a serious bind cap wise putting them at $16.5m over the cap. Now that sounds like a major issue, but it’s not that hard to fix.
Obviously, I have already covered how the Titans can achieved $84.5m in cap space. You’d think players would be lining up to restructure or renegotiate to be able to play with Rodgers. However, we already know that the teams involved, according to PFT, have days on the table with Rodgers. So he would be renegotiating his contract.
Depending on the type of extension the Titans would negotiate with Rodgers, they could gain around $21.1m in cap space. That gets the tam back under the cap easily by the time the league year starts. There is also another way: Getting WFT to eat some of the dead cap.
When Robinson traded for Tannehill he somehow convinced the Dolphins to keep some of Tannehill’s salary on the books. I don’t think WFT is smarter than the Dolphins, and to be honest the reports above from Rap make them sound desperate, so it’s highly plausible that Robinson could convince them to eat some of that dead money, thus providing the Titans more cap space.
This is all extremely hypothetical and unlikely, but a trade scenario like this would make a lot of sense for all of the teams involved, especially the Titans who gain Rodgers, and, in my opinion, improve their 2022 draft capital in a deep draft class.
Thoughts on the reports and trade? Questions? Reply below!