Sauce Gardner, NY Jets, SI Cover
Sauce Gardner, New York Jets, Getty Images

“They set me up”, Sauce Gardner says of wacky Sports Illustrated cover photo

New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner continues adding to his remarkable list of accolades. Already a first-team All-Pro, Pro Bowler, and Defensive Rookie of the Year, Gardner has now graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.

In front of a close-up shot of Gardner, the title “The Sweet Life of Sauce Gardner” is profoundly displayed. A smaller caption reads, “The Jets’ Young Star Is Already a Historically Good Shutdown Corner, And So Much More.”

It all sounds spectacular – until you see the exact photo of Gardner that SI chose to use.

Make of that what you will.

The photo, which clearly originated from a shoot that was specifically done for the cover, generated mixed reactions. Some people think it’s cool, some people think it’s abundantly weird, and some people find it flat-out hilarious.

Gardner took to Twitter to defend the photo. “That’s sauce on my hands. They set me up this one, but it’s all good”, Gardner tweeted.

This is far from the last time that Gardner’s face will be seen on a nationwide scale. On Thursday, we learned the Jets will be featured in six prime-time games this season, tying them for the most of any team in the NFL.

Gardner will go head-to-head with numerous household names in those nationally televised contests, including Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Amari Cooper, and Keenan Allen. It all starts in Week 1 when the first Monday Night Football game of the season will feature Gardner’s third battle against Stefon Diggs.

Gardner and the Jets will look to continue the success they had against Diggs in 2022 when he was limited to eight catches for 130 yards and zero touchdowns across two games.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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