NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Green Bay Packers are close to finalizing a trade that will see four-time National Football League (NFL) most valuable player Aaron Rodgers join the New York Jets, General Manager Brian Gutekunst said on Monday.
The deal will bring to a close 39-year-old Rodgers’ often spectacular 18-year tenure in Green Bay, where he earned 10 Pro Bowl selections and brought home the Lombardi Trophy in 2011.
Gutekunst told a news conference he expected the deal to be done before the NFL Draft begins on Thursday.
“Obviously Aaron’s up there in age,” said Gutekunst. “I think he’s got some really good football left in him… As we got through the offseason and started talking about where we wanted to go, this made a little bit of sense for us.”
The deal will also see the Packers trade their 2023 first-round pick – 15th overall – and fifth-round pick in exchange for the Jets’ first-round (13th overall), second-round and sixth-round picks, according to ESPN, which first reported the deal.
The Packers ended their 2022 regular season with a mediocre eight wins and nine losses after reaching the playoffs in the three previous years and will now rely on 24-year-old Jordan Love to get the team back on track.
“We’re chasing Super Bowls and that’s an important thing,” said Gutekunst. “We were eight and nine last year and as we move forward it was more about what we’re going to do to get better.”
Rodgers said in March he hoped to leave Green Bay in favor of the Jets, who finished last season 7-10 but boast promising young talent including the Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson and Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner.
The trade gives the Jets, who have not reached the post-season in more than a decade, a prime option at quarterback as their 2021 second overall pick Zach Wilson has failed to impress.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)