We know Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants to go to the New York Jets. We know the Packers want to trade Rodgers to the Jets, and we know the Jets want Rodgers. So, what’s the hold-up? Former Jets QB Boomer Esiason thinks it’s the “goofy” Packers’ ownership situation that is currently preventing an Aaron Rodgers trade from getting done.
Is the Packers’ ownership situation slowing the Aaron Rodgers trade?
As the No. 1 sports talk morning show host in New York City and a former Jets quarterback himself, Boomer Esiason has a big voice on all Gang Green matters. And the biggest topic of conversation surrounding the team right now is a looming Aaron Rodgers trade.
Rodgers went on the Pat McAfee Show last week and announced his interest in joining the Jets, and confirmed the mutual interest from the team. However, several weeks after privately discussing his intentions with New York, he is still a Packer.
Esiason took to the airwaves of his show, Boomer and Gio, to talk about why the deal isn’t done. He blames it on the fact that there is no real Packers owner (more on that below) and “the little, private fiefdom” of decision-makers, President/CEO Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst.
“I think in June, or July [the Packers] have their ‘shareholder’ meeting where about 8,000 people show up, and it’s like a little bit of a goofy thing,” Esiason noted. “And they give the state of the team, and they act as if they are the owners when, in fact, they’re not. They are just the stewards of the franchise.”
With that as the situation, Esiason says that for Jets owner Woody Johnson, “there’s nobody for him to call.”
The former MVP signal-caller used the example of a hypothetical Jets-Dallas Cowboys trade, where Johnson would call Jerry Jones and hash out a deal.
Boomer Esiason also played Jets GM himself and said the team should tell the Packers, “we’ll swap first-round picks, maybe we’ll give you a second-round pick, and a conditional third, and let’s call it a day.
Instead, Esiason believes, “Whatever Brian Gutekunst’s ego is telling him, or Mark Mrphy’s ego is telling them, and making the Jets and Aaron Rodgers sweat this thing out all the way until the draft is ridiculous.”
How Packers ownership works
There are 31 NFL owners, and then there is the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers have no true “owner” in the sense that the other franchises do. For 100 years, the Packers have sold ownership shares of stock. The shares go on sale every few years, with the last one ending in February 2022.
In that last round of sales, the Packers sold nearly 200,000 shares for $300 each, which raised $65.8 million for the organization. Following the sale, the Packers claimed more than 537,000 shareholders, per Packers.com.
This was the fifth stock sale in team history, with the others happening in 1923, 1935, 1950, 1997, and 2011.
These half-a-million owners don’t get to make football decisions like other owners, though. “A board of directors and a seven-member executive committee” led by Mark Murphy runs the organization.
Together with GM Brian Gutekunst, they make the football decisions for the Packers. And as Boomer Esiason notes, there is no powerful final voice to make decisions or for another owner to call and negotiate with.
It’s impossible to know if the Aaron Rodgers trade would already be done if the Packers had a single owner. However, it’s not hard to believe that it is a factor in the seemingly slow pace of negotiations.