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

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Fifteen years in the past, the New York Jets made the splashiest commerce in franchise historical past, buying a legendary, late-30s quarterback from the Inexperienced Bay Packers with the hope of energizing the franchise, saving a third-year coach from doom and satisfying a success-starved proprietor. Brett Favre led them to an 8-3 begin in 2008, however he harm his arm and the entire season fell aside.

The 2023 Jets are in an analogous scenario. This time, the third-year coach is Robert Saleh, however the success-starved proprietor hasn’t modified (Woody Johnson) and neither has the decades-old quest to search out the “missing piece,” as Johnson referred to as it just lately. Which leads us to Aaron Rodgers, the Packers’ present late-30s quarterback who might or might not be traded this offseason.

As Rodgers mulls his future, and because the Packers determine on a course for the group, the commerce hypothesis is rampant. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported final weekend {that a} Rodgers commerce is “a real possibility,” inflicting Jets followers on social media to hyperventilate. The joy climbed to a brand new degree Thursday with the information that one among Rodgers’ former offensive coordinators, Nathaniel Hackett, had been employed by the Jets. Heck, even former Jets nice Joe Namath, in a radio interview, mentioned he’d be keen to let Rodgers put on his well-known No. 12, which has lengthy been retired.

It will be the final word Tremendous Bowl-or-bust transfer for a franchise that hasn’t been there in 54 years. The Jets ended the season on a six-game dropping streak, prepared to interchange Zach Wilson as their starter. There shall be different veteran choices within the quarterback market, maybe Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo, however Rodgers, 39, is an all-time nice (profession report: 139-66-1) with great box-office attraction.

The Jets had the identical emotions about Favre, who was acquired for a third-round choose in coaching camp. Then-coach Eric Mangini, who had his personal six-game dropping streak the earlier yr, was so giddy with Favre’s arrival that he named his third son after him — Zack Brett Mangini, born Oct. 10, 2008, Favre’s thirty ninth birthday. The celebs appeared aligned, however the staff skidded to a 9-7 end, Mangini was fired and Favre was executed in New York after only one season.

Will historical past repeat? Will Saleh have an eighth little one and identify him Aaron? (Or, if it is a lady, Erin?) From a Jets perspective, let’s analyze the professionals and cons of a possible Rodgers commerce.


Good day? He is a four-time NFL MVP: Rodgers would make them higher the second he steps foot within the constructing. The Jets have not had a participant of his stature since … effectively, Favre. He’d present instantaneous credibility and management, qualities they’ve lacked on the quarterback place. He’d demand whole dedication from everyone, particularly the broad receiver room, which skilled dysfunction final season. (See: commerce requests by Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims.)

Rodgers, showing Tuesday on The Pat McAfee Present, bought right into a dialogue about Wilson and the Jets, and he sounded impressed by their skill-position expertise. Unsolicited, with out naming names, he made complimentary references to broad receiver Garrett Wilson, operating again Breece Corridor and tight finish C.J. Uzomah.

Main improve at quarterback (thanks, Captain Apparent): From 2009 to 2022 (Mark Sanchez to Wilson), the Jets are useless final within the NFL in Complete QBR (41.5), landing passes (257) and completion share (57.7), and tied for probably the most interceptions (245). Detect a development? Yeah, they have been dragged down by poor quarterback play, by no means extra evident than in 2022. Rodgers would change that.

“He’s still a top quarterback, behind [Patrick] Mahomes, [Joe] Burrow and [Josh] Allen,” one opposing coach mentioned this week. “He’s not No. 1 anymore, but he can still throw the ball.”

A well-recognized face: Gamers who change groups late of their careers typically search for familiarity and luxury. The thought of enjoying for strangers and studying a brand new system could be a turn-off. That is the place Hackett comes into play. If Rodgers finally ends up with the Jets, he’d be reunited with Hackett — they have been collectively from 2019 to 2021 — and wouldn’t have to fret in regards to the chore of mastering a brand new playbook. Hackett’s presence doesn’t imply Rodgers will find yourself in New York, but it surely may issue into his choice if there’s a selection of locations.

A mentor to Wilson: Group officers insist that Zach Wilson, regardless of his second-year regression, shall be on the 2023 roster. Their goal is to proceed his growth. If the Jets have been capable of pull off this commerce, he’d have the chance to sit down and be taught from his boyhood idol — the best teacher-pupil association.

Wilson grew up finding out Rodgers and attempting to repeat his type, they usually’ve developed a friendship over the previous couple of years. Wilson will not be comfortable on the bench, not after being drafted No. 2 general in 2021, however maybe he’d be capable of abdomen it higher if it is Rodgers forward of him as a substitute of, say, Garoppolo.

Rodgers mentioned Wilson is “super talented,” including, “I think a little humility is good for all of us at various times in our careers.”


Price and compensation: Woody Johnson mentioned he is “absolutely” keen to spend main bucks for a quarterback. That assertion can be put to the check with Rodgers, who signed a three-year, $150 million contract final March.

Any staff that trades for him can be accountable for $59.5 million in 2023 wage (totally assured), which features a $58.3 million bonus payable from March 17 to the beginning of the common season. There’s additionally a $49.3 million wage in 2024 that turns into totally assured if he is on the roster after the fifth day of the 2024 waiver interval (mid-February).

The excellent news is that the cap hits for the brand new staff can be palatable — $15.8 million and $32.5 million in 2023 and 2024, respectively, based on (The 2023 cap cost is so low as a result of the bonus is prorated over 4 years.) On Tuesday, Rodgers mentioned he is open to remodeling his deal, however that would not change the truth that he is owed practically $109 million in ensures if he performs the 2 years.

On the flip aspect, the Packers would get hit with a $40 million useless cost if he is traded earlier than June 1 — a possible deterrent.

Then there’s the commerce compensation. Presumably, the Packers would demand not less than a first-round choose, which is likely to be deemed extreme for a 39-year-old quarterback due to the large contract. There most likely can be a negotiation, with the staff searching for compensation aid based mostly on how a lot of the contract it’s keen to tackle.

Dedication: Taking a web page from the Favre script, Rodgers has turn out to be an offseason waffler, yearly mulling whether or not he needs to proceed enjoying. For the report, he is nonetheless noncommittal about 2023, saying, “All the other ideas about [a] trade and whatnot, that’s all conjecture until I decide what I want to do moving forward for myself.”

In different phrases, Rodgers might be a one-year rental. Would the Jets wish to take that threat? Usually, basic supervisor Joe Douglas is not a quick-fix sort of government; possibly the stress to make the playoffs will change that. If Rodgers have been to depart after a yr or two, the “dead” cap expenses can be monumental. Likelihood is, the Jets would attempt to make it a conditional commerce, with the compensation based mostly on how lengthy — and the way effectively — Rodgers performs. Nonetheless, it will remove the fee profit of getting a beginning quarterback on his rookie contract, which might impair roster constructing.

Age and efficiency: Rodgers shall be 40 by the 2023 playoffs, and he is coming off one among his worst seasons. He threw for the fewest yards (3,695) in any season during which he performed not less than 15 video games and his most interceptions (12) in additional than a decade. He had two fewer 300-yard passing video games than Zach Wilson — zero. To be truthful, Rodgers handled accidents, together with a damaged thumb, and inexperienced broad receivers. Rodgers, who received the MVP in 2020 and 2021, believes he can get again to that degree.

Was 2022 a one-year blip or the beginning of a development?

“I think he’s still elite,” a rival defensive coordinator mentioned. “Rodgers needs to have wide receivers he totally trusts, and that trust didn’t happen until late in the season.”

Technically, Rodgers’ profession started in New York. The 2005 draft was held on the Javits Conference Middle, the place he endured that notorious draft-day fall to the twenty fourth choose.

May it finish there, too?