Why the Packers won’t be trading Aaron Rodgers

Will Rodgers be a Packer next season?

By: Skyler Waterman

All we’ve been hearing since April 29th is that Aaron Rodgers no longer wants to be a member of the Green Bay Packers and has asked to be traded this offseason. It’s been almost two weeks now though and it seems like there’s more smoke than actual fire to these rumors. Adam Schefter originally broke the news on April 29th that team and league sources had informed him that Aaron Rodgers no longer wanted to play for the Green Bay Packers. However, since then, Schefter has backtracked on that statement. He openly admitted a week after the draft, on the Dan Patrick Show, that there was no source and that it was “just an accumulation of information throughout the course of the entire offseason.” Which essentially means this article was founded on nothing more than rumors and speculation. It is true that multiple teams have contacted the Packers regarding the availability of Aaron Rodgers, yet the Packers have held firm that they have no interest in trading the reigning league MVP.

Other teams’ interest in Rodgers

Tom Pelissero tweeted on April 29th that the 49ers reached out to the Packers on potentially trading for Aaron Rodgers, but no offer was made, and a source stated that “there is a zero percent chance” that Green Bay trades Aaron Rodgers. Additionally, there were multiple reports that the Rams reached out to the Packers on the availability of Rodgers. In the same interview with Dan Patrick, Adam Schefter stated that the Rams were quickly rebuffed by the Packers front office, which eventually led to the Rams instead trading for Matthew Stafford. Many media outlets reported that multiple teams were reaching out to the Packers on draft day about a possible Aaron Rodgers trade, but Brian Gutekunst essentially debunked those myths in an interview with Peter King. Gutekunst stated that he received one phone call on Thursday, April 29th, after the first round had concluded. He told them Rodgers wasn’t available via trade, and that was the end of the conversation.

            The Packers have stood their ground and for good reason. Aaron Rodgers still has three years remaining on his contract with the Green Bay Packers and was the MVP of the league in 2020, receiving 44 of the 50 MVP votes. The Packers also still have no idea what they have in quarterback Jordan Love. Despite being drafted 26th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Packers have yet to see him take a snap in a Packers uniform. Love was inactive for every game of the season and remained the third-string quarterback behind Tim Boyle as a rookie. The Packers have also never seen Love in action during a preseason game, as the preseason was canceled last season due to COVID-19. For this very reason, the Packers front office is especially hesitant to the idea of moving on from Aaron Rodgers.

What would it cost to trade Aaron Rodgers?

            The financial ramifications of an Aaron Rodgers trade are yet another reason why it is extremely unlikely that he would be traded anytime in the near future. If the Packers traded Aaron Rodgers today, they would carry a $38,356,000 dead cap, while also losing $1,154,000 in cap space. If the Packers considered trading Aaron Rodgers on June 2nd or later, they would still create a dead cap of $38.3 million, but would now spread it out between the 2021 and 2022 seasons. They would carry a $21,152,000 dead cap in 2021, as well as a $17,204,000 dead cap in 2022. Meanwhile, the Packers would only gain $16,050,000 in available cap space in 2021. None of those are ideal scenarios for the Green Bay Packers. If the Packers do intend on eventually trading Aaron Rodgers, it will almost certainly not be until the start of the 2022 NFL league year. If the Packers traded Aaron Rodgers during the 2022 league year, they would carry a $17,204,000 dead cap, but would also create $22,648,000 in available cap space. If Brian Gutekunst has plans of trading Aaron Rodgers in the future, this is when it will happen. This was most likely his original plan when he drafted Jordan Love twelve months ago. Rodgers’s completion percentage, passer rating, and QBR had decreased in efficiency for three consecutive seasons when Gutekunst decided to draft Love. However, since then, Rodgers produced one of his greatest seasons as a Packer, and Love has failed to impress.

            For those very reasons, we have seen the Packers re-affirm their desire to continue with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback. Back in January, Mark Murphy stated “We’re not idiots. Aaron Rodgers will be back, he’s, our leader.” Brian Gutekunst has been firm on his stance that Aaron Rodgers is not available via trade. The Packers know Rodgers gives them the best chance of success both in 2021 and beyond. Now they need to commit to him long-term. Rodgers knows they’re only technically committed to him through the 2021 NFL season with how his contract is structured. He wants a longer commitment from the Packers, and they’ve begun to address this issue. According to Bob McGinn of The Athletic, the Packers have offered Rodgers a deal that would make him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. The question now is whether this deal has guarantees beyond the 2021 NFL season. Rodgers stated back in 2017 that he plans to play in the NFL through the age of 45, just like Tom Brady. That means he could potentially play eight more seasons in the NFL. He’s currently only 37 years old. Thus, understandably, he wants the Packers to commit to him beyond the age of 38.

The Drafting of Jordan Love

Herein lies the greatest issue. The Packers spent a first-round pick on Jordan Love. Jordan Love will be entering year two of his four-year contract (not including his fifth-year option) as Aaron Rodgers backup once again if they do not trade either player. If the Packers commit to Aaron Rodgers long term, they’re essentially giving up on what Jordan Love could become. So much of Aaron Rodgers frustrations can be attributed to Brian Gutekunst’s selection of Jordan Love. Rodgers made public statements that he wanted to play for the Packers until he was 45, and yet despite that commitment to the franchise, the Packers drafted his successor only four months after his 36th birthday. Rodgers led the Packers to the NFC Championship for the fourth time in his career, and instead of improving the Packers championship hopes in 2020, they traded up in the first round for a quarterback.

Drafting Love to replace Rodgers vs Drafting Rodgers to replace Favre

            Now some people might foolishly state that he should have expected this and that it was no different than when Ted Thompson drafted Aaron Rodgers while still having Brett Favre under contract, and those people couldn’t be more wrong. As was previously stated before, Aaron Rodgers fully intends to play football until at least 2028. The Packers drafted Jordan Love in 2020. Whereas Brett Favre had been flirting with the idea of retiring ever since 2002. In December of 2002, Favre hinted that he might retire if he won his second Super Bowl with the Packers that year. Two years before they drafted Aaron Rodgers. In January of 2005, after a playoff loss to the Vikings, Favre told the Packers he needed time to ponder his future. It wasn’t until March that Favre announced he would return for the 2005 NFL season. The uncertainty of Favre’s future in Green Bay after 2005, was what led to the eventual selection of Aaron Rodgers. Again, in 2006 Favre didn’t announce he would return to the team until April. It wasn’t until Favre officially announced his retirement in March of 2008 that Aaron Rodgers was named the starting quarterback. It was only then after Rodgers had been handed the keys, that Favre decided he wanted to return to the NFL. Ted Thompson responded by saying that Favre would be the backup quarterback if he returned, and thus Favre asked to be traded.

            Now how does that sound in any way similar to the quarterback, who states at the age of 34, that he wants to play until he’s 45? Only to then see his organization draft his eventual successor two years later. Not only did they draft his successor, but they also traded up four spots in the first round of the NFL Draft to do so. Some Packers fans will foolheartedly try and tell you that Gutekunst wasn’t doing anything that Ted Thompson wouldn’t have done, however, Ted Thompson never once traded up in the first-round of the NFL Draft. He did trade for an additional first round pick once, but that was a move to acquire outside linebacker, Clay Matthews. A move that filled a large hole on the defensive front seven as they transitioned from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense.

When Brian Gutekunst traded up for Jordan Love it was reckless and irresponsible. When Aaron Rodgers fell to the Packers at 24th overall it came as a shock to everyone. Many expected him to be one of the first players selected in the 2005 NFL Draft. The same cannot be said for Jordan Love. The opinions on Love were drastically varied. Some didn’t believe he was worthy of a first-round selection while others thought he could be a top ten pick. The Packers have always been a team whose philosophy has been to take the best player available, but it has always been the best player available who fits a team need. Gutekunst strayed from this formula in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The rift between Aaron Rodgers and Brian Gutekunst

            It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that there is a stern distrust between Aaron Rodgers and Brian Gutekunst. Not only did Gutekunst go behind Aaron Rodgers back when he drafted Jordan Love, but he also went behind the back of head coach Matt LaFleur. It’s never a good sign when the General Manager isn’t even incorporating the opinion of his play-caller when decided to draft a franchise quarterback. The Packers named Brian Gutekunst the Packers General Manager in January of 2018, and his first action as GM was to release Aaron Rodgers most trusted wide receiving target in Jordy Nelson. This decision was likely made without the approval of Rodgers and likely was not a good first impression. The next thing he did was trade for a quarterback. Giving up starting cornerback Damarious Randall for backup quarterback DeShone Kizer. Looking back, I think we all know who won that trade, and it wasn’t Green Bay. The following year the Packers failed to offer Randall Cobb a contract when he entered free agency, something that I’m sure also disappointed Rodgers.

The Packers had a chance to make up for that in the 2019 NFL Draft. They had parted ways with both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, two of Rodgers favorite targets, but had a chance to draft their successors, yet failed to do so in 2019 by not drafting a single receiver. The Packers again could have addressed wide receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft, but instead drafted a quarterback, running back, and fullback in the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. They once again didn’t draft a single wide receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft. The final straw that broke the camel’s back, was when the Packers released wide receiver Jake Kumerow, only one day after Rodgers praised Kumerow as one of the four receivers who would be a lock to make the roster.


            Ultimately the Packers aren’t going to trade Aaron Rodgers. He can either retire at the age of 37 or continue to play for the Packers in 2021. What should happen, is the Packers should extend Aaron Rodgers, guaranteeing his contract for multiple seasons and make him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. Matt LaFleur should be given full control of the Packers player personnel decisions. The Lafleur-Rodgers marriage has been successful the past two years. Together they’ve accomplished a 26-6 win-loss record in the regular season and reached two consecutive NFC Championship games. Brian Gutekunst can head the scouting department and have the final say on players selected in the NFL Draft, meanwhile, Lafleur will be in charge of cutting the roster down from 90 to 53 each season. These changes should mend the bridge between Rodgers and the Packers and allow for continued success in Green Bay. Will that happen? Probably not, but should this happen? Absolutely.

            If we see no organizational changes to the Green Bay Packers and a disgruntled Aaron Rodgers returns this season, expect this to be Aaron Rodgers “Last Dance” in Green Bay. Making one final attempt to win a Super Bowl before getting traded in 2022 and thus beginning the Jordan Love era in Wisconsin.

Top Candidates for Packers first round pick

By: Skyler Waterman

The 2021 NFL Draft is upon us and that begs the question, who will be the first player selected by the Green Bay Packers? This article will detail three different scenarios that could take place on draft night. The first scenario would be the Green Bay Packers trading up in the draft with the Indianapolis Colts for the 21st overall pick. The second scenario would be the Packers sticking and picking at 29th overall in the draft. the third and final scenario would be the Packers trading out of the first round, potentially with the Philadelphia Eagles, and putting off their first selection until Friday afternoon. In all three of these scenarios, I will be listing the three most likely players to be drafted by the Packers at that selection.

21st overall selection

In this Scenario the Packers have traded up eight selections, sending picks 29, 94, and 142 to the Indianapolis Colts for the 21st overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Greg Newsome Jr.– Newsome is exactly the type of player the Packers would target with the 21st overall pick. He is one of the most dynamic cornerbacks in the 2021 draft class. When you take into consideration his age and athleticism he very well may be the Packers favorite prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Packers have consistently prioritized younger players with elite athleticism. Newsome gives the Packers just that and would provide an elite tandem between himself and All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander.

Teven Jenkins-Jenkins is hands down the best right tackle prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. If the Packers trade up to 21st overall and Jenkins is still available he very well could be the pick. The Packers will have a dynamic one-two punch in the running game with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. Drafting Jenkins would provide the Packers with a nasty run blocker who will pave running lanes for those two backs. Jenkins, like Newsome Jr, is also an elite athlete at his position and thus is an ideal selection for the Green Bay Packers.

Rashod Bateman-Bateman is clearly the 4th best wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft and will likely be targeted by the Chicago Bears at 20th overall, and the Tennessee Titans at 22nd overall. If the Packers would like to give Aaron Rodgers a dependable receiver who can play opposite Davante Adams then Bateman would be the ideal selection at 21st overall.

29th overall selection

Caleb Farley-Farley was at one point considered the top cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft, but injury concerns have caused him to fall down draft boards. Even with his two back surgeries, if Farley is available at 29th overall the Packers will have to strongly consider drafting the elite prospect despite his injury concerns. If Farley can enter the 2021 NFL season with a clean bill of health the Packers will have one of the best cornerback duo’s in the NFL.

Jamin Davis-Davis is an elite linebacker prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. He possesses a rare combination of size and speed at the linebacker position and could be an immediate upgrade to the ILB position on the Packers defense. Davis has an almost perfect RAS (Relative Atheltic Score), which is the second-best RAS among all linebackers in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Terrace Marshall-Just like Greg Newsome, Terrace Marshall is one of the youngest players in the 2021 NFL Draft. Marshall also has an outstanding combination of size, speed, and athleticism. He is exactly the type of player the Packers would target with the 29th pick in the NFL Draft.

37th overall selection

In this scenario the Packers trade the 29th overall selection to the Philadelphia Eagles for picks 37, 123, and 150.

Alex Leatherwood-The Packers need a long term solution at the right tackle position and Alex Leatherwood could be the man for the job. Leatherwood played right guard as a sophomore at Alabama, so the transition from left tackle to right tackle should be a fluid transition for him. Leatherwood is a three year starter from Alabama, thus should be able to contribute as a day one starter for the Packers. Leatherwood, like the other previously listed options, would be an ideal fit for the Packers due to his athletic scores.

Ifeatu Melifonwu-No matter when the Packers make their first selection of the 2021 NFL Draft, cornerback will be one of the top positions under consideration. Thus Melifonwu would be the next corner on the list for the Packers to consider with the 37th overall pick. Like Newsome, Melifonwu is an elite athlete. A cornerback who possesses a tremendous combination of size, speed, and leaping ability.

 Elijah Moore-Last on this list is Ole Miss receiver, Elijah Moore. Moore would provide the Packers with a dynamic slot receiver with elite speed. Moore measures in at 5’9″ tall and 185lbs. He also possesses 4.32 speed. The Packers made the mistake of passing up on Ole Miss receivers D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown in the 2019 NFL Draft. Hopefully, they won’t pass up on this Ole Miss product, who led all receivers in college football with 149 receiving yards per game in 2020.

The 10 Most Controversial 2021 NFL Draft Prospects

By Skyler Waterman

Every year a multitude of players are controversial for one reason or another. Sometimes a player is considered a 1st round talent, but then they return to college for another season and fall to day 3 in the subsequent NFL draft. other times a player is a premier NFL prospect but suffers a gruesome injury and as a result, teams are afraid to draft them. The most controversial of all is when an elite NFL prospect has damning off the field concerns. The 2021 NFL Draft is no different, and this list contains each of the previously listed scenarios. This article will count down the top ten most controversial players in this draft, and when you finish reading this article you can decide for yourself who you think is the most controversial of these ten.

10. Paulson Adebo

Before the 2020 College Football season both Mel Kiper Jr. and Matt Miller considered Paulson Adebo a first-round talent in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, now most NFL Draft analysts expect that he will fall to day three of the NFL Draft. You’re probably wondering what caused such a dramatic fall from grace. Well for one, more scouts got ahold of Adebo’s game film against UCF and watched Adebo get torched by Gabriel Davis on multiple occasions. Secondly, and arguably, more importantly, COVID-19 hit and with the expectation that the Pac-12 wouldn’t have a season, Adebo decided to opt-out of a potential 2020 College Football season. This decision cost Adebo the opportunity to improve the weak points of his game as a defensive back. Opting out may have been the better decision for Adebo and his family, but it undoubtedly hurt his draft stock.

9. Dylan Moses

Like Adebo, Dylan Moses was considered by Matt Miller and others to be a potential first-round pick before the 2020 College Football Season. Now, most people would agree that he will not be drafted in the first or second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Some don’t think he will get drafted until the 4th round or later. Why is this? Because Moses seemingly has never fully recovered from the ACL injury that caused him to miss the entire 2019 college football season. Moses himself even admitted that he was still experiencing pain in his knee throughout the 2020 college football season. Injury concerns and a drop in productivity have led to his descent down draft boards.

8. Shaun Wade

In 2019 Shaun Wade played solely as a nickel cornerback, with Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette serving as the outside corners at Ohio State. He played so well in the slot, that before the 2020 NFL season he was considered a first-round talent. Those opinions quickly changed after analysts watched Wade attempt to play outside cornerback during the 2020 College Football season. The final nail in the coffin was when Wade attempted and miserably failed to cover DeVonta Smith in the National Championship game. many now believe Wade will need to play solely in the slot/and or transition to playing safety to be successful at the NFL. As a result, most believe he will hear his name called no earlier than the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

7. Andre Cisco

Some consider Andre Cisco to be the best safety in the 2021 NFL Draft and his college statistics do a pretty good job of backing that up. In 2018, as a freshman at Syracuse, Cisco recorded 7 interceptions. He continued to impress in 2019, recording 5 interceptions in 9 games played. Cisco is hands down the best ball-hawking safety in the 2021 NFL Draft. Sadly in 2020 Cisco only managed to play in two games, missing the other nine to injury. In three seasons at Syracuse Cisco has missed 14 games due to injury. His most recent injury was an ACL tear, suffered early in the 2020 season. As a result, any hope of Andre Cisco getting drafted in the first round has vanished into thin air. Now Cisco can only hope that a team will still take him in the second round, despite his injury concerns.

6. Gregory Rousseau

Rousseau is one of the most fascinating 2021 NFL prospects. He only played one season of college football. He has also only played DE for a short period of time, as he played wide receiver and safety in high school. What Rousseau did in that 2019 season though, had many believing he would be a first-round pick. Some even considered him a top-10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Time, however, has not been in his favor, as most no longer view him as a first-round talent. Many believe the 15.5 sacks he racked up as a 19-year-old redshirt freshman should be credited to the defensive system run by the University of Miami, rather than Rousseau himself. Rousseau lost the opportunity to prove his doubters wrong though, when he opted out of the 2020 college football season, due to Covid-19 concerns. In time, we will discover whether Rousseau is a diamond in the rough, or simply fool’s gold. For now, we must simply wait to see what happens.

5. Caleb Farley

Caleb Farley was considered by many to be the best cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft for most of the 2021 draft cycle, but recently the report of a microdiscectomy has caused his stock to plummet. Back injuries are always concerning and needing to undergo a back procedure months before the NFL Draft is going to scare a lot of people. As a result, Farley may be the 3rd or 4th cornerback taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s even possible that Farley falls outside the first round altogether and isn’t selected until day 2 of the NFL Draft.

4. Trey Lance Jr.

Trey Lance might be the most unique quarterback prospect in NFL History. He only played one season of college football, which was at the D1-AA Level. As a result, he’s never in his lifetime, faced the speed and athleticism that almost every other NFL quarterback prospect has faced at this phase in their career. Lance, however, did dominate the competition he faced at the D1-AA level. In 2019 he threw for 2,786 yards 28 touchdowns and 0 interceptions with a 180.6 passer rating. It’s worth noting though, that he only averaged 174 yards passing per game during that 2019 season. Lance isn’t just elite at throwing the football, he’s also excellent at running the ball. In that same 2019 season, he ran for 1100 yards and 14 touchdowns on 169 rushing attempts. Trey Lance will likely be drafted with a top 5 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. If he does get drafted in the top five, it will likely be the greatest risk-reward scenario in NFL history. Lance could be a complete bust. He could become a dynamic weapon who dominates the NFL for years to come. Any true fan of football should be excited to watch his career and see what becomes of him.

3. Devonta Smith

Devonta Smith is one of the best wide receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Some even consider him the top wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, concerns about his weight, and specifically his weight in correlation to his height, have raised concerns around the NFL. At 6’1” tall and only 170lbs, Smith will be one of the skinniest players in the NFL. This begs the question; will he be prone to injuries in the NFL? In the NFL availability is the best ability, and if Smith’s slight frame causes him to be at a higher risk for injury than other players, it could lead to his downfall. If Devonta Smith can stay healthy, he could become one of the next dominant receivers in the NFL. He has received comparisons to NFL greats Chad Johnson (aka Chad Ochocinco) and Marvin Harrison. If Smith does stay healthy throughout his career, he could be seen wearing a gold Jacket in front of a crowd of thousands in Canton, Ohio about 25 years from now.

2. Mac Jones

Michael McCorkle Jones is one of the most controversial football players in the 2021 NFL Draft. Some believe he will get drafted 3rd overall to the San Francisco 49ers this year, others don’t believe that he should be drafted within the first 32 selections. Some claim that Jones doesn’t have the arm strength or the mobility to be an elite quarterback in the NFL. For what it’s worth, Mac Jones was the most dominant quarterback in college football last season. He had a season eerily similar to that of Joe Burrow in 2019. In 2020 he led the NCAA in completions (311), completion percentage (77.4%), passing yards (4,500), yards per passing attempt (11.2), and passer rating (203.4). He also had the second-most touchdown passes in college football with 41. Additionally, he was the 4th most accurate deep ball passer among draft-eligible quarterbacks, ahead of both Justin Fields and Trey Lance. The controversy around Mac Jones doesn’t end there though, when he was 19 years old, he was arrested and charged with a DUI. He was also charged with improper ID by a minor. To spell it out plainly, he was drinking and driving while also possessing a fake ID. Clearly, Jones made some very poor decisions early on in his career at Alabama. That incident occurred almost three and a half years ago, so hopefully, Jones has matured and learned from the poor choices he made in his past. NFL teams, however, cannot have that same hopefulness, they will need to have done a throughout background check on Jones to ensure they feel comfortable making him their franchise quarterback come draft day.

1. Micah Parsons

Lastly, and certainly the most controversial on this list, is linebacker Micah Parsons. On the field, there are no concerns with Parsons. He is widely regarded as the top linebacker prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft, and many also consider him a top 10 talent. Off the field, however, is where the concerns begin. Former Penn State defensive back Isaiah Humphries filed a hazing lawsuit against Penn State University, Head Coach James Franklin, and former teammate Damion Barber. In the lawsuit, Humphries alleges that he was subject to hazing and harassment from four players, on an average of 2-3 times per week for nine consecutive months. Those four players were Damion Barber, Micah Parsons, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Jesse Luketa. In the Lawsuit, Humphries claims that on March 26th, 2018, Parsons attempted to strangle him and that he had to pull out a knife, which forced Parsons to release his grip on Humphries neck. When Humphries reported this information to his head coach, James Franklin’s response was “you should have just gotten your ass beat and not pulled a knife.” Additionally, Humphries claims that Barber, Parsons, and Gross-Matos did the following to him and certain other players:

  • Took their clothes and did not return them.
  • Told them they intended to make them “their bitch because this is a prison.”
  • Wrestled them down and simulating a humping action while on top of them.
  • Placed their penis in their faces while simulating ejaculation.
  • Placed their penis on and in their buttocks.

All of this can be read in full detail here. If true, these are all damning accusations for Micah Parsons. I would assume quite a few teams have already removed Micah Parsons from their big board completely. Obviously, the Carolina Panthers won’t be one of those teams, as they were comfortable drafting Yetur Gross-Matos last year. Any NFL teams even remotely interested in drafting Micah Parsons will need to have completed an extremely thorough background check on him, otherwise, they would be making a foolish decision. Micah Parsons the player might be an elite football player, but Micah Parsons the player, might be un-draftable. Hazing is a cancerous culture and can quickly lead to an inhospitable environment for players. If an NFL team hopes to bring a winning culture to their franchise, they should avoid drafting a player as volatile as Parsons if the accusations are true.

This concludes my article on the top 10 most controversial players in the 2021 NFL Draft. If you think there’s anyone that should have been included in this article but wasn’t, let me know in the comments section.

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