From ESPN’s Dianna Russini:
I am going to go ahead and assume that during their sit down, Rodgers promised them that he would be willing to play for at least two more seasons. I know the Jets are desperate but I doubt they’re dumb enough to trade for just one season of Aaron Rodgers.
I am also going to assume they got some assurances from him that he will be fully committed to the off-season program as well: attending all the “voluntary” events and going above and beyond to build up rapport with his new teammates, particularly Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore and Corey Davis.
Because those would be my only two hang ups when it comes to Aaron Rodgers: I’m not trading for the dude if it’s just for one season, and I’m also not trading for him if he’s going to skip the whole offseason and then just show up in August having done nothing to integrate himself into the offense and the team in general.
My only concern with Rodgers would be that he is 100% committed and bought in. Because over the past year in Green Bay, it has felt like he’s been disengaged and indifferent to the team. He had trouble developing chemistry with his all-new receiver corps last season after Davante Adams left, but that could have been a much easier process if he had done more work with those young guys during the off-season. If I’m the Jets I want to see Rodgers working out with Garrett Wilson and company down in some tropical locale starting, like, the second we officially finalize the trade.
Things have become kind of a circus with Rodgers in Green Bay lately. He’s known more for his off-field behavior—his off-season travels and travails, his public agonizing over his future, etc—than anything else. I would want this guy to come in and be focused on football and winning.
He is about to enter the shitstorm. I’m not talking about just New York and their infamous tough media (which is probably overblown in today’s national media landscape). I’m talking about the AFC in general. Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Herbert, Lamar (if he stays in Baltimore)—these quarterbacks are all standing in the way of Rodgers leading the Jets to the Super Bowl. If Rodgers is going to win the AFC, he will very likely have to go through two, maybe even three of those guys. He will probably have to win a road playoff game at Arrowhead.
Is he going to be locked-in enough to do that? Is he fully invested in football? Because if not, then the Jets will stand no chance.
Rodgers, for his standards, didn’t have a great year in 2022. I think that was less about him being old and washed (although he is now 39) and more attributable to his lack of buy in with the team, losing Davante Adams, and a lack of chemistry with his new receivers.
I think Rodgers still has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league, although we will just have to wait and see. It’s all about how committed he is.
It does feel like it’s time for a change of scenery for him, and Green Bay. Green Bay spent a first round pick on Jordan Love in 2020 and he’s been collecting dust on the bench for 3 years now. You cannot go a 4th year of him just sitting there. You at least owe it to him to either hand over the reigns, or trade him. Green Bay has to trade either Rodgers or Love, and I think because of the obvious age difference, Rodgers is the one to move. This is why I’ve thought all along that now is really the time for Rodgers and the Packers to go their separate ways. The clock has been ticking ever since the Packers spent that first round pick on Love in 2020.
I will say, though, it would be funny as hell if the Jets, after allowing this story to get out to the media before the deal closes, somehow blow it and the trade falls apart. That would be very on-brand for the Jets. However, I think the Packers are equally motivated to get a deal done no matter what. They need to clear the way for Jordan Love to become the starter. Again, the Packers have to trade either Rodgers or Love this offseason, and they really would rather trade the 39 year old.
So Aaron Rodgers’ career is now even more similar to Brett Favre’s. Go figure, huh? They both end up with the Jets after long, illustrious careers in Green Bay.
However, I think it says more about the state of the Jets and their decades-long struggle to find a quarterback than it does about Rodgers or Favre. Just think about this: the Jets were desperately seeking a solution at quarterback in 2008 when they traded for a 39 year old Favre, and they are basically in the same exact position 15 years later in 2023.
The Jets had a few good years post-Favre, in 2009 and 2010, with Mark Sanchez at QB, but that run of success was mostly driven by the Rex Ryan defense.
The Jets have not made the playoffs since then—the 2010 AFC Championship was their last and most recent playoff appearance. Technically it was in 2011 when they played those playoff games. Either way, it has been 12 years since the Jets last made the playoffs, the longest streak in the NFL.
The Jets still have a long ways to go before they get into the conversation for the longest playoff drought ever (25 years is the record, the Redskins from 1946-1971), but they are still in the midst of one of the saddest stretches a franchise has ever experienced:
If you exclude those pre-Super Bowl era playoff droughts, the Jets are even higher on the list.
So this is a Jets franchise that is really down bad at the moment, and has been for a while.
Rodgers really has an opportunity to change the narrative on his legacy. Leading the Jets to not only the playoffs but on a deep playoff run after this long drought, that’s a big deal. The media is chock full of annoying-ass Jets fans, and obviously there’s the New York bias that pervades almost all of American cable television in general. If Rodgers has a great little run with the Jets here—or if he does the unthinkable and wins a Super Bowl with the Jets—don’t be shocked if the GOAT debate is suddenly reopened. It’s very beneficial to have the Jets media mafia in your corner. They can really change the narrative on Aaron Rodgers if he gives them a reason to.
Then again, it could all go horribly wrong and he could become persona non grata with the New York-based media for a generation. It’s all on the table here.
Okay, with all that out of the way, I have to bring up the most important part of this whole Rodgers/Jets situation: the Jets unis are high key trash. Look at this:
I’m sorry but this just looks horrible. And it’s not Rodgers; he looks great in a Packers uni.
Maybe it’s a bad edit or something, but this image right here just screams 5-12, last place in the AFC East. Zero swag.
The Jets uniforms are just terrible. If I could pinpoint one thing it’s those white stripes on the shoulders. Like what even is that? It looks so bad.
I’ve thought for a while now the Jets need to go back to a more classic style of uniform. The Bucs got rid of their horrible 2010s uniforms in 2020 when they got Brady, maybe the Jets can take this opportunity to do the same: just need a full scale franchise reset here to purge the bad vibes and bad juju. The Jets switched over to those terrible new unis in 2019 and it’s been nothing but failure and disappointment the whole time. Just burn those hideous unis and forget this whole era ever happened.
Update: I guess the NFL requires teams to wait 5 years in between uniform redesigns, so the Jets would have to wait until 2024 to switch things up. But they could at least still get the ball rolling here and start brainstorming some ideas to have ready in a year.
They have to get off these trash-ass unis at all costs, though. Them and the Panthers have the worst unis in the league.