While the Lions and Vikings have remained relatively silent this offseason, both the Bears and Packers pulled off blockbuster trades. Last month, Chicago parted ways with the first overall pick in exchange for star wide receiver DJ Moore and a haul of picks. Today, Adam Schefter reported the closing of a long-awaited deal sending four-time NFC Championship loser and now former Packer Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets.
Both teams are coming off disappointing seasons and will look to rebound in 2023. Based on their respective circumstances, is it possible to determine who pulled off the better trade?
Yes, so let’s get into it.
Both Chicago and Green Bay had assets they didn’t need. With a franchise quarterback in place, the Bears could shop the first pick around, looking for the highest bidder. General Manager Ryan Poles rode the hype of the NFL Combine to rake in multiple premier picks and a key offensive weapon.
In return for the first pick, the Bears received:
- Pick No. 9 in the 2023 NFL Draft
- Pick No. 61 in the 2023 NFL Draft
- A 2024 first-round pick
- A 2025 second-round pick
- D.J. Moore on a three-year deal worth $52.3 million
Throughout free agency, many fans and pundits expected the Bears to throw big money at offensive and defensive linemen. Despite taking a few swings at players, including offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, Poles refused to overpay and instead stocked up on linebackers and runningbacks. He and Assistant General Manager Ian Cunningham have emphasized bolstering the trenches, so expect Chicago to stock up on linemen this week on all three days of the Draft. After the trade, the team has the Draft assets necessary to round out the roster.
Meanwhile, the Packers had a controversial quarterback past his prime with a franchise-sinking contract. The backup, Jordan Love, is already entering his fourth season with only one start in his career—a loss to Kansas City. The Packers will have to decide whether or not to pick up his fifth-year option without knowing if he has the potential to carry the team.
With extremely little cap space, Green Bay needs young talent to replace players like Adrian Amos, Allen Lazard, and Mercedes Lewis.
At first glance, it appears the Packers got exactly what they need to restock the roster. However, the front office will have to hit big this week for it to pan out as a net positive. The trade looks like this:
- Aaron Rodgers
- Pick 15
- 2023 5th round pick (No. 170).
- Pick 13
- 2023 2nd round pick (No. 42)
- 2023 6th round pick (No. 207)
- Conditional 2024 2nd-rd pick that becomes a 1st if Rodgers participates in 65% of plays.
Moving up from 15 to 13 is negligible. Moving from the fifth round (No. 170) to the sixth (No. 207) is a serious downgrade. Ultimately, the Packers will walk away with one second-rounder this year, the potential for a first next year, and a bill for $40.3 million in dead cap on Rodgers’ contract.
Whichever way you spin it, the Bears have outdone the Packers this offseason, and it isn’t close. Now, the real test will come in the fall when these roster moves manifest on the field.
Featured Image; Pride of Detroit