Would New York Jets ruin their locker room chemistry by adding star veterans? Sauce Gardner doesn’t think so.
This has been the most heavily scrutinized New York Jets offseason in years.
Seemingly every move the Jets consider making is viewed by a large contingent of people as a way to appease Aaron Rodgers. Since his “wish list” was released, many critics are viewing the Jets’ plans to add Rodgers and other notable veterans as moves doomed to fail.
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These critics often say that New York’s locker room morale would be ruined by adding some of the big-name veteran players the Jets are rumored to be interested in, such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Ezekiel Elliott.
Sauce Gardner isn’t buying it. On Twitter, the All-Pro cornerback squashed the narrative that the Jets’ locker room would not welcome veteran players.
In reply to a fan on Twitter who wrote, “Jets need to stop filling in older players just to make Aaron happy. It’s going to mess with their locker room dynamic”, Gardner stated, “Bro no it’s not. Relax.”
Bro no it’s not. Relax. https://t.co/4SuAn9Zl9w
— D’ROY GARDNER (@iamSauceGardner) March 23, 2023
First, the Jets signed Allen Lazard, Rodgers’ top target in 2022 and a player he’s supported since he was on the practice squad. While the Rodgers connection is obvious, Lazard is also an excellent replacement for Corey Davis, who’s expected to be traded or cut.
Since then, the Jets have reportedly been interested in signing wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
After Elijah Moore was traded to the Browns on Wednesday, OBJ to the Jets feels likelier than ever.
On Thursday, it was reported that running back Ezekiel Elliott has the Jets as one of three teams that he wants to play for. With Breece Hall coming off an ACL injury, there have been several rumors of the Jets adding a running back.
Time will tell whether the Jets land Beckham, Elliott, or any other household-name veterans. Whoever the Jets end up with, it doesn’t seem Gardner has any worries about how they will affect the locker room.
I believe Sauce knows what he’s talking about, but as a Nets fan as well as a Jets fan, I am getting an uneasy feeling of deja vu with how all these “big name” veterans are suddenly in a rush to join the Jets. A couple of years ago, the Nets kind of became the flavor of the month and suddenly Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden were piling in. The problem was, they were joining the team with the sole motivation of winning a championship immediately, and when that didn’t happen, it fell apart about as quickly as it was put together. There was a domino effect where one rather mercurial player expressed his discontent and the rest quickly followed suit. The situations aren’t identical, but there is a mercurial player involved in the Jets’ situation and I could see a similar dynamic unfolding. Football is different than basketball, where one or even 3 players have less impact, but having to live through that experience of star players showing superficial enthusiasm about a team and then abandoning it at the first signs of trouble is not particularly enjoyable either.