Aaron Rodgers and the NY Jets could find themselves together, but is it the right move for both parties?
History repeats itself.
With the 2023 offseason nearly underway, New York Jets fans are seeing it happen firsthand. In the same way that his predecessor, Brett Favre, chose to be traded—eventually to the NY Jets—instead of opting to retire, Aaron Rodgers may follow that same path.
For weeks the Jets and Rodgers have been rumored together, with the Jets needing a veteran presence at quarterback and the Green Bay Packers looking to move on from the now-39-year-old quarterback.
But is Aaron Rodgers the right person for the job, or are the Jets making another ‘SOJ’-like mistake?
There are clear arguments for the former; everyone wants to have a surefire Hall of Fame player leading the team. But I believe it’s a shortsighted error for a regime looking to the immediate future and not the best interests of the team in the long term.
History Repeating Itself
Look, Aaron Rodgers is a first-ballot Hall of Fame player. No one is denying that. But this situation is eerily identical to the situation between the Jets and another first-ballot Hall of Fame Packers quarterback.
In 2008, the Jets traded a conditional fourth-round pick to have Brett Favre become the next starting quarterback of the team. That experiment lasted a total of one season.
After an incredibly hot start, Favre would injure his throwing shoulder in Week 11. That injury cost the team in terms of fines (as the staff knew and didn’t report the injury), playoffs, and eventually, Eric Mangini’s coaching job.
While these moves would ultimately see Rex Ryan led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship game appearances in the subsequent years, there are some stark differences between these two Jets teams.
Aaron Rodgers isn’t the fix we think he is
In 2022, we saw Aaron Rodgers have the worst healthy season of his career. He had the most interceptions since his rookie season and the lowest passing yards total from seasons in which he played every game. The Packers themselves had their worst record since 2018 when they went 6-9-1.
All in all, it was a bad season for both the team and the quarterback.
Some people will look at the 2022 season compared to Rodgers’s total body of work and determine that the subpar 2022 season was only a flash in the pan.
As much as I want to be one of those people, I can’t bring myself there.
While the Packers lost Davante Adams and some of their receiving strength, they still had great running backs and offensive line play.
Yes, the Jets have a great RB duo in Breece Hall and Michael Carter, but the Jets’ offensive line was one of the worst in the NFL last year. Rodgers can’t put up MVP performances if he’s on his back all the time. No one can.
With plenty of holes on the team outside of quarterback and not much cap space in 2023, there’s little genuine reason to believe the Jets would be a smashing success with Rodgers.
Father Time catches up to everyone, and Rodgers is no different.
The price isn’t worth the cost
Another stark difference between the Rodgers and Favre situations is the cost to acquire each player. For Favre, it took the Jets only a fourth-round selection. For Rodgers, the price the Jets will have to pay is a lot more expensive.
Most recently, Sports Illustrated theorized that the cost for Rodgers could be a 2023 first-rounder and 2024 second and third-rounders.
Let’s assume that’s the actual cost. Is that worth what’s likely to be a one- or two-year rental?
The following year, the Jets could potentially be without Rodgers, in a draft position too high to find a suitable replacement. Where would the Jets be?
Quarterback limbo. Again.
The only way a trade for Rodgers makes sense is a guarantee of multiple years of playing time, something I don’t think we’ll get from Rodgers. The Jets seem to be painting themselves into a “Super Bowl or bust” corner that they don’t need to be in, potentially because both head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas feel their jobs could be on the line if the team underperforms yet again.
If the Jets want to have sustained success, they need another game plan for the position—one whose name isn’t Aaron Rodgers.
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