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Bill Barnwell proposes 2 trades sending Aaron Rodgers to AFC West

The NFL.com analyst creates seven scenarios — two of them where Rodgers ends up with AFC rivals.

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

In an ESPN article published on Tuesday, Bill Barnwell lists seven teams that could potentially trade for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. And two of the deals he considers most likely — that the Denver Broncos or Las Vegas Raiders will trade to get the reigning MVP — would be of interest to Kansas City Chiefs fans.

Barnwell has the Broncos ranked first with this fairly complicated trade:

Packers get: CB Patrick Surtain II, WR Tim Patrick, QB Drew Lock, 2022 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick
Broncos get: Rodgers, CB Eric Stokes

Then, he has the Raiders ranked sixth with this deal:

Packers get: QB Derek Carr, 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2023 first-round pick
Raiders get: Rodgers, 2023 fourth-round pick

In a long introduction, Barnwell first acknowledges that the Packers continue to say they have no intention to trade their 37-year-old quarterback. He then assembles his list by first eliminating teams in the NFC North, others that have no need for Rodgers — a list that includes the Chiefs — or are lacking trade capital that would interest Green Bay or the salary-cap space to absorb Rodgers’ existing contract. Then he considers trades that the Packers might consider based on two different scenarios: they think their current backup Jordan Love will be ready to start in 2021 — or that he won’t be.

Rodgers to the Broncos

The proposed trade with Denver presumes that Love will be ready, surrendering Lock to become the Packers backup — or the starter if Love doesn’t turn out to be ready after all — along with the Alabama cornerback they acquired with the ninth pick of the NFL Draft, a wide receiver who quietly had a nice season last year for the wideout-needy Packers... and two first-round picks. The Packers give up Rodgers and their own just-acquired corner, whom they selected with the 29th pick.

Rodgers to the Raiders

But the simpler Raiders deal presumes that the Packers believe Love will not be ready to start in 2021. Barnwell sees Carr as a short-term placeholder who will start until Love is ready to go; the real value is from the two first-round picks (and a second-round pick) the Packers would get for Rodgers and a fourth-round pick two years from now.

Other possibilities

Both of these proposed trades —along with others to teams including the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and the Washington Football Team — are interesting. The one to the Broncos fits in with the draft weekend speculation that Denver had drafted Surtain specifically so they could trade him to Green Bay. Barnwell also notes that Raiders head coach Jon Gruden once called failing to draft Rodgers one of his great regrets — and that Las Vegas is fairly close to Los Angeles, where both Rodgers’ fiancée Shailene Woodley and “Jeopardy!” are based.

But I would guess that to Chiefs fans, these trades sound like behavior we have become accustomed to seeing from two AFC West rivals: in the case of the Broncos, acquiring an aging superstar after being unable to find good quarterbacks in the draft — and in the case of the Raiders... well... simply doing Raider things.

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