Aaron Rodgers said Wednesday he intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023 after 18 seasons in Green Bay and the four-time NFL MVP quarterback is waiting for the Packers to trade him.
The 39-year-old Rodgers, speaking during an appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" on YouTube and Sirius XM, said he believes the Packers want to move on and make 2020 first-round draft pick Jordan Love their starting quarterback.
"At this point, as I sit here, I think since Friday I've made it clear that my intention was to play and my intention was to play for the New York Jets," Rodgers said. "I haven't been holding anything up at this point. It's been compensation the Packers are trying to get for me, kind of digging their heels in."
Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy has acknowledged the team granted the Jets permission to talk to Rodgers, the face of the franchise since Hall of Famer Brett Favre was traded to the Jets in 2008. The Jets sent a contingent that reportedly included owner Woody Johnson, Coach Robert Saleh and General Manager Joe Douglas to Rodgers' home in Southern California last week.
Rodgers expressed his appreciation for his 18 seasons in Green Bay but added that it's time for the Packers "to do the right thing."
"I have nothing but love in my heart for every Packer fan and everybody who works in the organization," Rodgers said. "My life is better because of my time in Green Bay. But we've just got to look at the reality. They want to move on. They don't want me to come back and that's fine. They're ready to move on with Jordan. That's awesome. Jordan's going to be a great player."
The Packers declined to comment on Rodgers' remarks, which follow days of speculation that his time in Green Bay might be done.
Murphy spoke of Rodgers in the past tense while discussing the quarterback's future with Green Bay TV station WBAY last week.
"Very few players play for only one team," Murphy told WBAY. "Obviously Brett had a great career. Aaron had a great career here. Regardless of what happens, Aaron will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He'll be in our Hall of Fame. We'll bring him back, retire his number. This is just one of the things that we go through as a team. We want to try to achieve something that's good for both Aaron and us."
The Dallas Cowboys released running back Ezekiel Elliott on Wednesday, ending a seven-season run for a two-time rushing champion who never regained the form of his dominant early years.
Elliott will be designated a post-June 1 cut, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team didn't reveal details of the decision. The move will save Dallas about $11 million under the salary cap this season.
Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones said the decision was mutual to let the 27-year-old Elliott pursue another team in free agency and give the Cowboys more financial flexibility in building a roster.
"This is one of the toughest parts of operating a team," said Jones, who issued similarly heartfelt statements after the salary cap-related releases of defensive end DeMarcus Ware and receiver Dez Bryant in the past decade.
While Elliott finished with 12 rushing touchdowns in a second consecutive playoff season for the Cowboys in 2022, his overall production never matched the value of a $90 million, six-year extension he signed to end a preseason-long holdout in 2019.
PANTHERS ADD RB, TE
The Carolina Panthers added two significant offensive weapons to help out their incoming rookie quarterback.
The Panthers announced Wednesday they agreed to terms with former Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders and former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst, both unrestricted free agents.
The Panthers plan to select a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft after trading away four draft picks and wide receiver D.J. Moore to the Chicago Bears to move up eight spots. They've also added quarterback Andy Dalton as a backup QB.
Sanders ran for 1,126 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, helping the Eagles reach the Super Bowl. He has run for 3,708 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns in his first four seasons in the league, all with Philadelphia.
EAGLES, COX REACH DEAL
The Philadelphia Eagles and six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox have agreed on a $10 million, one-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
A first-round pick in 2012, Cox has been one of the league's best inside defensive linemen for a decade. Cox has 65 sacks in 11 seasons, including seven in 2022 for the league's No. 2 ranked defense.
Keeping Cox helps the NFC champion Eagles offset the loss of defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in free agency.
Earlier Wednesday, the Eagles informed five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay that he will be released, a person with knowledge of that decision told the AP.
RB JOINING SAINTS
A day after the Detroit Lions agreed to a deal with his replacement David Montgomery, Jamaal Williams has come to terms on a three-year contract with the New Orleans Saints, according to multiple reports. While there had been reported interest from AFC Super Bowl contenders Buffalo and Cincinnati, it was the Saints who stepped in to secure the Williams' services.
Turning 28 years old next month, Williams is coming off the best year of his career, rushing for 1,066 yards and a NFL-leading 17 touchdowns. The move ends a two-year run in Detroit where he emerged as a fan and locker room favorite.
According to ESPN, the three-year pact is worth $12 million, including $8 million in guarantees.
CB OUT IN MIAMI
The Miami Dolphins released veteran cornerback Byron Jones in a cost-cutting move.
Jones missed the entire 2022 season after having surgery on his lower left leg last March. He started 30 games for Miami, which in 2020 made him the highest-paid cornerback in the league at the time after signing him to a five-year, $82.5 million contract.
In two seasons with the Dolphins, Jones had 95 tackles, 2 interceptions, 14 passes defensed and 2 forced fumbles.
Jones is designated a post-June 1 cut, which clears $13.6 million in cap room for Miami, while creating nearly $10 million in dead money, and allows Jones to sign with any team.
PATRIOTS SIGN WR
The Patriots made their first big pickup of free agency Wednesday, adding free agent wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Smith-Schuster confirmed the move in a post on Twitter saying he was "Excited for my next chapter in New England!"
"I will give this organization everything I have, thank you for believing in me!" he wrote.
A person with knowledge of the deal said it is for three years and could be worth as much as $33 million.
Smith-Schuster also expressed thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs, where he won a Super Bowl last season after spending his first five NFL seasons in Pittsburgh.