How the Aaron Rodgers-Packers drama will likely end


I have a bridge-building idea for the Aaron Rodgers dilemma. The more I think about it, the more I think, Why not?

The idea: The Packers commit to trade Rodgers, pacifying the angry quarterback—but the deal would not happen till next spring. Rodgers, in turn, agrees to give the Packers one more season in exchange for being allowed to transition to a new team before the 2022 draft.

Packers president Mark Murphy, who’s got to be Henry Kissinger here (look it up, kids), must be searching for an exit strategy. If I were in Murphy’s chair, I’d undertake another secret mission to meet with Rodgers and agent David Dunn, just the three of them, and propose one more year of Green Bay employment with the knowledge that Rodgers and Dunn could give the Pack a list of teams the QB would be willing to play for in 2022.

I think Rodgers and Dunn would want the quarterback’s freedom if he’d give the Pack one more season. And maybe that’s not entirely out of the question. But there is an historical omen that I think would make Murphy draw the line at 2022 freedom for Rodgers. Unlikely though it is, imagine Rodgers being a free agent next March, and Minnesota GM Rick Spielman swooping in to sign a player who’d love to stick it to the Green Bay front office by playing for the arch-rival—a haunting memory-relic from 13 years ago with Brett Favre. My bet is that would make Murphy say, “No chance we’re releasing him.”

When Favre was demanding his freedom from Green Bay after coming out of retirement in July 2008, then-GM Ted Thompson insisted he wouldn’t cut Favre loose. He knew Favre would likely sign with Minnesota or Chicago, and Thompson didn’t want to be hung in effigy in Wisconsin. He held firm, and Favre got traded to the Jets before eventually ending his career as a Viking. So wouldn’t it make sense for Rodgers, after this season, to give the Packers four destinations in the AFC, and let Green Bay GM Brian Gutekunst make the best deal for the franchise?

If all sides agreed, the deal could be announced in mid-June. The Pack could enter training camp with the MVP in place, in his prime.

I would bet Rodgers, today, is solid on never playing for the Packers again, so maybe this is useless. But Rodgers might view this as the best way to get through an unfortunate situation.

Why I think it makes sense for Rodgers

• His words. He told Kenny Mayne two weeks ago he loves his coaches, his teammates and the fans, and he has spoken with reverence about the history of the Packers. This compromise allows him to prove it. Lots of fans would find his words to Mayne hollow if Rodgers is home in California in September and Jordan Love gets blown out on opening day at New Orleans. I doubt Rodgers wants a bridge-burning exit from Green Bay.

• His best championship chance. The Packers are 28-8 in Rodgers’ last two seasons in Green Bay, and there’s little doubt Green Bay is the place he’d have the best chance to win a Super Bowl this year. With Rodgers, I’d say it’s a Tampa Bay-Green Bay tossup for home field in the NFC playoffs. Is there any place in the AFC where Rodgers would have as good a chance to win his second ring in 2021? No, and it’s not close.

• His personal fortune. Rodgers won’t subject himself to massive fines and money losses if he reports and placidly goes on with a final year in Green Bay. This isn’t the biggest thing with him, but imagine his boycotting the Packers and the team coming after his $6.8-million roster bonus from the spring. It’s one thing to not earn money in the future. It’s another to pay back millions.

• His management of a bad situation. If he shows up, there’d be a relatively peaceful season. Rodgers could talk about the situation once, then no-comment everything else the rest of the season. The story would be wallpaper. Loud wallpaper, but wallpaper.

• His last big contract. Rodgers gets one more payday, a big one, with his new team in 2022. (More in a minute on that.)

Why it makes sense for the Packers

Murphy’s a pragmatist, and he has to be that above all as the caretaker of this franchise. No matter how many times he thinks, Aaron would never hold out and hold us hostage, does he know that? No. Rodgers is willful. Back him against a wall, and Murphy doesn’t know how he’d react. But it would not be good for the team.

Beyond that, the prospect of quarterback certainty in 2022 would motivate Green Bay to do what every team should be doing in the first 17-game season anyway. Whenever the Pack is up by 20 or down 20 in the last 10 minutes, give Jordan Love the last two or three series of the game. Give Love the Week 18 game if the Packers’ playoff spot in secure. That prevents overuse of a 37-year-old quarterback and could give Love 100 or so important snaps entering 2022.

The Packers need to extend an olive branch for a situation—whether they acknowledge the reality of it—that could turn into a football and fan disaster in 2021. This is that olive branch. It’s a face-saving thing for both sides.

Contractually, too, it makes sense. Rodgers was paid that $6.8-million roster bonus in March, and he’s due a base salary of $14.7 million this season. He has two years after this season left on his contract. If he’s traded next spring, the dead cap hit for Rodgers on Green Bay’s cap in 2022 would $17.2 million. Rodgers would have two seasons left at $25.5 million per. But it’s probable, in the event of a trade, a team would sign Rodgers to a big deal putting him somewhere north of $40-million a year, and I’d guess the term would be three or four years, perhaps with some cap-easing phony years on the end of the contract.

If the offer is made and Rodgers says yes, it’s a win-win for everyone. If the answer’s no, well, Murphy tried. And then we’d know exactly how much Rodgers dreads putting on the green and gold ever again.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

19. Kyler Murray (AZ)

18. Derek Carr (NO)

17. Jared Goff (DET)

16. Ryan Tannehill (TEN)

15. Geno Smith (SEA)

14. Russell Wilson (DEN)

13. Dak Prescott (DAL)

12. Kirk Cousins (MIN)

11. Daniel Jones (NYG)

10. Matthew Stafford (LAR)

9. Deshaun Watson (CLE)

8. Aaron Rodgers (NYJ)

7. Jalen Hurts (PHI)

6. Trevor Lawrence (JAX)

5. Lamar Jackson (BAL)

4. Justin Herbert (LAC)

3. Josh Allen (BUF)

2. Joe Burrow (CLE)

1. Patrick Mahomes (KC)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!