The Jets’ entire offseason plan is currently in a holding pattern while Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers decides what his immediate future will look like.
Will he retire? How about sticking around in Green Bay? Or, will he request a trade? We’ll hopefully get some answers once he emerges from the darkness, which should be kind of soon. In many ways, Rodgers’ decision will be the first domino to fall. Once everyone finds out his intentions, it’ll allow the rest of the market to start moving (like Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, and others).
It appears that the Jets’ top priority to improve their quarterback situation is to acquire Rodgers. Obviously, it’ll take two to tango if that were to actually come true. If Rodgers decides to retire — or, he just doesn’t want to play for the Jets — what should New York’s next step be?
Carr would be a logical pivot, and Ryan Tannehill’s name has been going through the rumor mill, as well. Don’t tell that to NFL insider Peter King, though. When discussing the quarterback market on The Rich Eisen Show, it sounded like he wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets seriously considered pursuing Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Lamar Jackson. He mentions this possibility at the beginning of the below clip:
“I think the biggest story in the offseason is going to be what happens with ________.”@peter_king set up for us what’s going to dominate #NFL news in the coming months: pic.twitter.com/E1MC96boeg
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) February 15, 2023
Connecting the Jets with Jackson isn’t necessarily new. Right at the conclusion of the regular season, SNY’s Connor Hughes reported Jackson was on New York’s wish list if he was available.
Of course, the “if he was available” part is the most important thing here. The Ravens want to keep Jackson around for the long haul, but both sides have to agree on a new contract. The stumbling block from the last round of negotiations was the amount of guaranteed money in his next deal.
Jackson was looking for a fully guaranteed deal — like the one Deshaun Watson signed with the Cleveland Browns. That contract was for five years and $230 million. Even if they still can’t agree to a long-term deal this offseason, Baltimore can use the franchise tag. But maybe that’ll be an opportunity for other teams to inquire about what it’d cost to acquire him.
We’ve talked about what the potential cost would be to trade for Rodgers. King said himself he wouldn’t be surprised if Jets owner Woody Johnson would “happily” send two first-round picks to Green Bay in exchange for the four-time MVP Award winner. Since Jackson is at a much different stage of his career, that’d likely be the starting part.
Then again, New York would also have to figure out just how much money they’d want to commit to the signal-caller to keep him around for the foreseeable future. Rodgers’ contract is expensive, but that’d be small potatoes compared to the type of guaranteed money Jackson is seeking.
When push comes to shove, I don’t think Jackson is going anywhere this offseason. Even if he were available, it’s hard to see the Jets pay such a steep price. There are plenty of other capable options available if Rodgers isn’t the answer.
However, the way Johnson and the Jets have been publicly talking about the quarterback situation, maybe they will take the plunge. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.