Leverage. That's been the hot-topic buzzword as the NY Jets and Green Bay Packers continue to engage in Aaron Rodgers trade talks. Who has the leverage? Which team has the edge in trade negotiations?
On Monday, the Jets gained a bit of an advantage in those trade talks following Lamar Jackson's official trade request.
Jackson penned an open letter to "fans" on Twitter in which he detailed his official trade request. The former MVP insisted that he requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens on Mar. 2.
So how does this impact the Jets and their pursuit of Rodgers? It's simple. It gives them a potential fallback option to dangle in trade negotiations. The Jets now have a perfectly acceptable backup plan if the Packers continue to be stubborn.
Green Bay's backup plan is to keep Rodgers on the roster against his wishes as QB2 and pay him $60 million in the process. The Jets' backup plan is to pivot to a former MVP who, while risky, offers more long-term upside than the 39-year-old Rodgers.
The NY Jets now have more leverage thanks to Lamar Jackson's trade request
Of course, in reality, neither the Jets nor the Packers have a ton of leverage. Rodgers has already publicly expressed his desire to play for the Jets, and both teams recognize that a trade is the only logical outcome to this situation.
The Jets can identify Jackson as a contingency plan all they want, but that doesn't mean they're serious about pursuing him. They don't necessarily have to be, however. Just the possibility that they can target Jackson is enough to give them some leverage.
Perception is more important than reality sometimes, and that definitely applies to this scenario.
The Jets and Packers will continue to go back and forth in trade negotiations, and both teams look to extract any form of leverage they possess from the situation. Jackon's trade request does give the Jets more ammunition, though.
Even if the Jets aren't actually going to trade for Lamar Jackson, his public trade request does offer more leverage for Gang Green. As the old adage goes, it's the thought that counts.