Are the stars aligning for quarterback Aaron Rodgers to play for the Jets next season? That’s still to be determined, but the rumor mill surrounding his status has been heating up since Week 18 was officially in the books.
New York interviewed Nathaniel Hackett recently for its open offensive coordinator position. Since Hackett spent three years in that same position for the Green Bay Packers, people began thinking the Jets’ interest in the former Broncos head coach was directly tied to the four-time MVP.
Would it work, though? Rodgers is 39 years old, is coming off a sub-optimal year in Green Bay, and has an enormous contract with equally-enormous cap hits to consider. And with all this, what would the Packers be asking in a trade? You’d think it couldn’t be that much considering the situation, but not so fast, according to Peter King.
In his “Football Morning in America” column on NBC Sports, King had this to say about the Jets and Rodgers:
So, how possible is it? Well, consider that Rodgers’ cap numbers in the next two seasons would be $48.3 million, combined. That’s certainly manageable. As for the compensation due Green Bay, my guess is the Pack would want at least two first-round picks. The Woody Johnson Jets, desperate for a star QB almost since the Broadway Joe days, would happily pay that freight, I’d guess. But would Rodgers accept a deal to the Jets? We shall see.
We’ve got a lot of guessing and “we shall see” type of language in here, but my goodness. Hearing that Johnson is willing to pay for a veteran quarterback isn’t surprising, though. He said that while chatting to the media right after the Jets’ season ended. Potentially taking on Rodgers’ cap hit plus surrendering multiple first-round picks sounds like a steep price.
Johnson has pointed to the quarterback position as the “missing piece” for a “loaded” Jets team. And with New York being the current owner of the NFL’s longest playoff drought, who knows, he might just be desperate enough to take the gamble. This could also give Zach Wilson one or two years to learn from his childhood idol. That’s probably not a terrible consolation price for being bumped down to second string, right?
King also wondered aloud if Rodgers would even accept a trade to the Jets. The signal-caller recently said his play could return to an MVP-caliber level “in the right situation”. Nobody knows exactly what that means just yet. However, Rodgers did get a glimpse of what the Jets are capable of. New York went into Lambeau Field during Week 6 and handily beat the Packers, 27-10.
So, he may have more opinions on the Jets than we’d initially assume. There are plenty of teams in need of a veteran quarterback this offseason. There are also several veteran signal-callers looking for a new home in 2023. The rumor mill should be fascinating to follow in the coming weeks. One would imagine the “Aaron Rodgers to the Jets” rumors will only intensify until something else happens.