In 2008, the Jets acquired veteran quarterback Brett Favre in a trade with the Packers. Now Aaron Rodgers’ dreams are dancing in the minds of Jets fans.
Is Gang Green set to trade for another Green Bay Hall of Fame quarterback this offseason?
One of the biggest reasons a trade could happen is Green Bay’s salary situation, as they are expected to be more than $16 million over the cap with a long list of free agents this offseason. Considering the Packers finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2018, a rebuild could happen at Lambeau Field in 2023.
Regarding the Jets, the need is obvious. Jets coach Robert Saleh is coming off a 7-10 season in which the team lost its last six to end the season. Gang Green was one of the AFC’s seventh seeds to start in December, but his downfall was ultimately an anemic attack led by three different starting quarterbacks.
Zach Wilson, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft, clearly didn’t work out as injuries and poor performance left the Jets with more questions than answers. Now Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas are heading firmly into the 2023 offseason to finally find a quarterback who can right the ship and take the Jets to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Rodgers hasn’t made any decisions about his future, at least not publicly. But if Rodgers does indeed want to move on or if the Packers want to move on from the 18-year-old, the Jets and Douglas should be on line 1.
Here’s everything the Jets need to analyze regarding trading for Rodgers.
It’s simple: since Joe Namath, the Jets organization has been looking for a franchise quarterback. They got a taste when Favre was with the Jets in 2008 after an 8-3 start, but he couldn’t take the team to the playoffs. Maybe Rodgers can do what Favre couldn’t and make Gang Green a Super Bowl contender.
The Jets had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2022, as they were fourth in yards (311.1) and points allowed (18.6). To have a player like Rodgers, who has won four MVP awards, been a 10-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro, would bring a level of respect the Jets haven’t had since Rex Ryan was their coach.
On the surface, the Jets players supported Wilson, but clearly there was dysfunction inside the locker room. Wide receivers Denzel Mims and Elijah Moore both requested trades last season. To have a player of Rodger’s stature would bring another kind of respect to a dressing room full of talented young players.
Rodgers also reportedly has a decent core to work with, including wide receiver Garrett Wilson, running back Breece Hall and tight ends CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. Not to mention, there will be free agents who may decide to take a little less money to play with Rodgers and maybe help the Jets struggle in the AFC and in their division with the likes of the Bills and the Dolphins. , who both made the playoffs. .
Finally, Rodgers’ worst season in years is still better than any quarterback for the Jets since 2015. In 2022, Rodgers threw for 3,695 yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 64.6% of his passes. Wilson led the Jets in passes (1,688 yards) and touchdowns (six) last season while being benched several times throughout the year.
For those who also like to connect the dots, the Jets have hired Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator. In two of the three seasons Hackett served as the Packers’ offensive coordinator (2020, 2021), Rodgers was named league MVP. Although Hackett wasn’t the Packers’ primary caller in Green Bay, Rodgers still knows all the nuisance of his West Coast offense as the two remain very close.
The Jets should at least give up a first-round pick and maybe two of them to acquire Rodgers. If the Packers trade their franchise quarterback, they would start over and need young players to replenish the talent they are set to lose this offseason.
The team knows Green Bay is not a free agent destination. Depending on the number of teams likely to be interested, the Packers could seek two or more first-round picks.
Then there’s the financial aspect of adding Rodgers to the Jets’ roster, as the team is expected to exceed the $2.6 million cap this offseason. Rodgers is $59.5 million guaranteed if he plays in 2023, as part of the three-year, $150 million contract extension he signed last March. The contract has a salary cap charge of $31.6 million for next season.
Rodgers said he was ready to rework his contract, but there would still be plenty of money to be made. Jets owner Woody Johnson told reporters earlier this month he’d be willing to spend whatever it takes on a veteran quarterback. It’s time for Johnson to put his money where it belongs and do what it takes to bring a star veteran quarterback to Florham Park this offseason.
On social media, tons of fans photographed Rodgers in a Jets jersey. But they wouldn’t be the only team interested in Rodgers should he become available. If Rodgers wants to move on, his first choice could be to team up with his former receiver in Green Bay.
A trade to the Raiders would reunite Rodgers with Davante Adams, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro in Green Bay. The Raiders are expected to replace nine-year-old quarterback Derek Carr after benching him for the final two games of the season.
The Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans are also teams that may be interested in acquiring Rodgers.
That’s a fair question to ask considering the season Rodgers just had. Rodgers threw for the most interceptions (12) since his rookie year when he threw for 13. He also had the fewest yards (3,695) in a season in which he played 16 or more games.
Rodgers faced several ailments last season, including a broken thumb. The Packers also had a below-average offensive line and young, unproven receivers, who boosted their offense from 10th in 2021 to 17th in 2022.
While Rodgers joined the Jets next season, they also have issues to address, such as the offensive line, which included 11 players with seven injured at one point. The Jets could also use another receiver against Wilson and another running back.
Will Rodgers have this opportunity to be the savior of the Jets? Stay tuned.