Should QB-needy New York Jets go all-in for Aaron Rodgers? – New York Jets Blog

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Fifteen years ago, the New York Jets made the most spectacular deal in franchise history, acquiring a legendary quarterback in his late 30s from the Green Bay Packers in hopes of revitalizing the franchise and a third-year coach to save from the downfall and satisfaction of a success-hungry owner. Brett Favre led them to an 8-3 start in 2008, but he injured his arm and the whole season fell apart.

The 2023 Jets are in a similar situation. This time the coach is third-year Robert Saleh, but the greedy owner hasn’t changed (Woody Johnson) and neither has the decades-long search for the “missing piece,” as Johnson recently called it. Which brings us to Aaron Rodgers, the current Packers quarterback in his late 30s who may or may not be traded this offseason.

As Rodgers ponders his future and the Packers decide on a direction for the organization, trade speculation runs rampant. ESPN-NFL insider Adam Schefter reported last weekend that a Rodgers trade was “a real possibility,” causing Jets fans to hyperventilate on social media. The excitement rose to a new level Thursday with the news that one of Rodgers’ former offensive coordinators, Nathaniel Hackett, had been hired by the Jets. Heck, even former Jets star Joe Namath said in a radio interview he’d be willing to let Rodgers wear his famous long-retired No. 12.

It would be the ultimate Super Bowl-or-Bust move for a franchise that hasn’t existed in 54 years. The Jets ended the season on a six-game losing streak and were poised to replace Zach Wilson as a regular. There will be other experienced options in the quarterback market, maybe Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo, but Rodgers, 39, is an all-time star (career record: 139-66-1) with tremendous box office appeal.

The Jets had the same sentiments towards Favre, who was won at training camp for a third-round pick. Then-coach Eric Mangini, who had his own six-game losing streak the previous year, was so thrilled by Favre’s arrival that he named his third son after him – Zack Brett Mangini, born October 10, 2008, Favre’s 39th birthday. The stars appeared to be aligned but the team slid to a 9-7 finish, Mangini was fired and Favre was done after just one season in New York.

Will history repeat itself? Will Saleh have an eighth child and name it Aaron? (Or if it’s a girl, Erin?) From a Jets perspective, let’s analyze the ins and outs of a potential Rodgers trade.


Hi? He is a four-time NFL MVP: Rodgers would improve them as soon as he entered the building. The Jets haven’t had a player of his caliber since… well, Favre. He would offer instant credibility and leadership, qualities they lacked at quarterback. He would demand full commitment from everyone, especially the wide receiver room, who suffered from dysfunction last season. (See: Trade Requests from Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims.)

Rodgers, who appeared on Tuesday’s Pat McAfee Show, got into a discussion about Wilson and the Jets, and he sounded impressed with their talent in the ability position. Unprompted, without naming names, he made polite references to wide receiver Garrett Wilson, running back Breece Hall and tight end CJ Uzomah.

Big upgrade at quarterback (thanks, Captain Obvious): From 2009 through 2022 (Mark Sanchez through Wilson), the Jets in the NFL are dead in total QBR (41.5), touchdown passes (257), and completion percentage (57.7), and share the most interceptions (245). spot a trend? Yes, they’ve been dragged down by poor quarterback play, never more evident than in 2022. Rodgers would change that.

“He’s still a top quarterback, at the back [Patrick] Mahomes, [Joe] digging and [Josh] Allen,” said an opposing coach this week. “He’s not number 1 anymore, but he can still throw the ball.”

A familiar face: Players who switch teams late in their career often seek familiarity and comfort. The idea of ​​playing for strangers and learning a new system can be daunting. This is where Hackett comes in. If Rodgers ends up with the Jets, he’d be reunited with Hackett — they dated from 2019 to 2021 — and wouldn’t have to worry about the task of mastering a new script. Hackett’s presence doesn’t mean Rodgers will end up in New York, but it could influence his decision on whether there’s a choice of destinations.

A mentor to Wilson: Team officials insist Zach Wilson will be on the 2023 roster despite his relapse as a sophomore. Your goal is to continue its development. If the Jets could pull off that deal, he’d have a chance to sit down and learn from his boyhood idol — the ideal teacher-student arrangement.

Wilson grew up studying Rodgers trying to copy his style and they have developed a friendship over the past few years. Wilson won’t be happy on the bench, not after being drafted No. 2 overall in 2021, but perhaps he could take it better with Rodgers in front of him rather than, say, Garoppolo.

Rodgers said Wilson was “super talented,” adding, “I think a little humility is good for all of us at different times in our careers.”


Costs and Compensation: Woody Johnson said he was “absolutely” willing to pay big bucks for a quarterback. That statement would be put to the test in the case of Rodgers, who signed a three-year, $150 million deal last March.

Any team trading for him would be responsible for a salary of $59.5 million in 2023 (fully guaranteed), which includes a $58.3 million bonus, which will be available from March 17th until the start payable during the regular season. There’s also a $49.3 million salary in 2024 that will be fully guaranteed if he’s on the list past the fifth day of the 2024 waiver period (mid-February).

The good news is that cap hits would be palatable for the new team — $15.8 million and $32.5 million in 2023 and 2024, respectively, according to (The 2023 cap is so low because the bonus is prorated over four years.) On Tuesday, Rodgers said he was open to revising his deal, but that wouldn’t change the fact that he has guarantees totaling nearly $109 million is owed if he plays 2 years.

On the other hand, the Packers would face a $40 million charge if it trades before June 1 – a potential deterrent.

Then there is trade compensation. The Packers would likely want at least a first-round pick, which could be considered excessive for a 39-year-old quarterback given the massive contract. There would likely be a negotiation with the interested team seeking compensation relief based on how much of the contract they are willing to take on.

Engagement: Rodgers has taken a page out of the Favre script and has become an offseason waffle, debating annually whether to continue playing. For the record, he’s still noncommittal about 2023, saying, “Any other ideas about it [a] Trading and so on, it’s all guesswork until I decide what I want to do for myself.”

In other words, Rodgers could be a year-long hire. Would the Jets want to take that risk? Typically, general manager Joe Douglas is not a quick executive; maybe that will change with the pressure to reach the playoffs. If Rodgers left after a year or two, the “dead” cap fees would be huge. Chances are the Jets would try to make it a conditional trade, with compensation dependent on how long – and how well – Rodgers plays. Still, it would eliminate a starting quarterback’s cost advantage in his rookie contract, which would hurt rostering.

Age and performance: Rodgers will turn 40 in the 2023 playoffs and is coming off one of his worst seasons. He threw for the fewest yards (3,695) in every season in which he played at least 15 games and his most interceptions (12) in more than a decade. He had two fewer 300-yard passes than Zach Wilson – zero. To be fair, Rodgers has struggled with injuries, including a broken thumb, and inexperienced wide receivers. Rodgers, who won MVP in 2020 and 2021, believes he can return to that level.

Was 2022 a one-year blip or the start of a trend?

“I think he’s still elite,” said a rival defensive coordinator. “Rodgers needs wide receivers that he trusts completely, and that trust didn’t come until late in the season.”

Technically, Rodgers’ career began in New York. The 2005 draft took place at the Javits Convention Center, where it endured the infamous draft day crash through to the 24th election.

Could it end there too? Should QB-needy New York Jets go all-in for Aaron Rodgers? – New York Jets Blog

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