A Dark Horse AFC Team Could be the Perfect Aaron Rodgers Trade Destination

When Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams asked Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for his jersey after the Packers’ heartbreaking Week 18 loss that ended their season, Rodgers told the rookie, “I gotta hold on to this one.” And with that, the Aaron Rodgers last game in Green Bay rumors went into overdrive. There are plenty of Aaron Rodgers trade destination rumors as to where he’ll go next if he leaves Wisconsin this offseason, but the one dark horse that no one is talking about is the Miami Dolphins.

Aaron Rodgers is likely out with the Packers

The road to Aaron Rodgers’ last game with the Packers started three seasons ago when the franchise traded back into the first round of the NFL draft to pick quarterback Jordan Love. From that moment — just like when the team picked Rodgers almost two decades ago with Brett Favre in his prime — the countdown to Rodgers leaving the Packers was on.

With Rodgers’ skills slipping slightly at 39 and the Packers trying a soft reset on the fly, now is the time for the team and the QB to part ways. Staying together for the (recently-drafted) kids doesn’t make sense for either side of this long-time marriage.

Despite his age and declining ability, there are plenty of teams that would love to be an Aaron Rodgers trade destination. On the right squad with the right roster around him, the four-time MVP still has several productive years left in him.

Teams like the Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, and even the San Francisco 49ers (although less now with the emergence of Brock Purdy) have been pegged as Rodgers’ landing spots.

However, there is one AFC team no one is talking about for Rodgers, and this team — the Miami Dolphins — might be the best fit of all.

The Dolphins are a perfect Aaron Rodgers trade destination

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers greets Miami Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater following the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Miami Dolphins | Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

No one is talking about the Dolphins as a potential Aaron Rodgers trade destination if he does decide to leave the Packers because Miami already has a quarterback.

Tua Tagovailoa had a career year in 2022, leading the league in yards per attempt (8.9), yards per completion (13.7), and Quarterback Rating (105.5). He also put up career highs in passing yards (3,548) and touchdowns (25).

However, the upsetting fact is that Tagovailoa may never (or at least maybe should never) play another NFL football game after three concussions in 12 weeks.

If this is the case, the Dolphins need to react swiftly and decisively from a football perspective.

The team is built to win now, with the trades for Tyreek Hill and Bradley Chubb, the free-agent signing of Terron Armstead and Raheem Mostert, and the recent successful first-round draft picks like Jaylen Waddle, Jaelan Phillips, and Christian Wilkins.

Rodgers would fit in well with that level of talent and two of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL in Hill and Waddle. He’d also be able to pick up the system quickly, as Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel comes from the same Kyle Shanahan coaching tree that Packer coach Matt LaFleur does.

The reason the Dolphins need a QB stinks, but grabbing Rodgers this offseason could make some of the on-field pain go away.

If not the Packers or Dolphins, then where?

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The Dolphins make a lot of sense as an Aaron Rodgers trade destination and are worth keeping an eye on. However, there are several other possible landing spots as well.

As far as the teams listed above, the 49ers are now the least likely. Kyle Shanahan will have plenty of problems on his hands next season trying to decide between Brock Purdy and Trey Lance. He doesn’t need Rodgers in the mix, too.

The Patriots and Titans are interesting, and the hard-nosed, veteran QB would fit in nicely with Bill Belichick or Mike Vrabel if we have, in fact, seen Aaron Rodgers’ last game in Green Bay. However, those two rosters have some major holes, just like the Packers’ does.

That leaves the Jets and Raiders. Of those two teams, the Raiders are the best fit. Not only would it reunite the QB with his superstar receiver, Davante Adams, but it would also get him to a warm, domed stadium that could prolong his career and make him look like an MVP-level signal-caller again.  

So, while we don’t know yet where Rodgers is going in 2023, one thing we do know is that he’ll take his time deciding. That means Aaron Rodgers Watch 2023 has just begun.