In another universe, not much different from our own, Aaron Rodgers stands shoulder to shoulder on the sideline with his head coach, Bill Belichick. Belichick pulls back the microphone on his headset, discussing the next play with Rodgers as the New England Patriots offense prepares to take the field. It's late in the fourth quarter with the length of the field to go, down by four. Rodgers is about to lead the Patriots in another fourth quarter comeback.

Aaron Rodgers could have played with the New England Patriots

One would need to find their way submerged inside the multi-verse, with the assistance of The Flash or Spider-Man, to see this, for such a scene is not a possibility in our world. However, rumors suggest that it almost was.

“The New England Patriots made an offer to the Green Bay Packers to get Aaron Rodgers,” Craig Carton said on the Carton Show on Wednesday. “And when Aaron Rodgers heard it, his agent said no. We ain’t playing for New England. We want to be a Jet.”

Whether we will ever uncover the truth from Rodgers, his agent, Belichick, or someone else from the Patriots remains uncertain. At best, this serves as a mere appetizer of NFL news as we eagerly await the main course of the regular season, with everyone yearning for any updates in the variety of Rodgers.

Throughout the offseason, Rodgers has dominated the headlines. The speculation of whether the Packers would trade him to the New York Jets kept us captivated like a gripping drama. Nobody truly knew what would unfold. Given Rodgers' unpredictable nature, nothing seemed certain except uncertainty. Eventually, after a lengthy retreat into darkness, Rodgers made his decision — even before a trade was officially finalized — and he chose to play for the Jets. Now, everyone is just patiently awaiting the outcome to see how the Rodgers era in New York will play out.

However, if Carton's claims hold any validity and the Patriots did reach out to court Rodgers, it's not hard to imagine that Rodgers and his agent had no interest in joining New England. While choosing the Jets presents its own challenges, such as contending with the relentless New York City media, the Patriots are an entirely different beast.

Following in Tom Brady's footsteps

First and foremost, any team acquiring Rodgers would naturally attract significant attention. With his impressive career and bold personality, the four-time NFL MVP remains a captivating figure, no matter where he goes or what he does. But when you add on the inevitable, never-ending comparisons stemming from Tom Brady's legacy in New England, Rodgers would have become perpetually trapped in the shadow of the all-time great if he were to have been traded to the Patriots.

Any quarterback who steps onto the Patriots' roster over the next half-century will be compared to Brady. So, even if Rodgers were to have materialized and would have lead the Patriots to their seventh championship, he would forever be the Roger Moore to Brady's Sean Connery portrayal of James Bond. Sure, they were both exceptional, but everyone knows how the franchise truly began.

Plus, the endless comparisons between Brady and Rodgers would have been absurd. Each week, the media would announce, “When Brady was 39 in Week 10 with the Patriots, he [insert stat].” Although such comparisons already occur, they would reach new heights if Rodgers donned the Patriots' uniform.

In New York, Rodgers doesn't have to follow in anyone's footsteps, except for nearly two decades of subpar quarterback performances. Despite the lofty expectations that accompanied Rodgers from Green Bay, the reality is that most people are simply waiting for this endeavor to end in colossal failure — it is, after all, the Jets. The Jets have long carried the reputation of disappointment. The Patriots, on the other hand, are unaccustomed to such mediocrity over the last two decades, thanks to the dynastic partnership that Brady and Belichick created. If Rodgers were to join forces with Belichick, wearing the red, white, and blue, the expectations would be astronomical, to the point where failure would not be an option in the eyes of many.

Rodgers already had to follow one quarterback's legacy, to follow another one would have been akin to being thrust into an alternate universe, compelled to relive a haunting nightmare all over again.

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Jets have a better roster

Pound for pound, the Jets possess a superior roster to the Patriots, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Rodgers now has the supporting cast that he lacked while in Green Bay the last couple of seasons. He can rely on reliable receivers such as last year's Offensive Rookie of the Year, Garrett Wilson, along with Corey Davis and the familiar face of Allen Lazard. While the Patriots made a solid addition with JuJu Smith-Schuster, the offensive options are considerably limited in New England. It's also worth noting that Rodgers may have been watching how Belichick handled his offense last season, where the future hall of fame coach made some of the most puzzling decisions of his career when he chose not to officially assign an offensive coordinator.

Admittedly, in New York, Rodgers will be under the helm of defensive-minded head coach Robert Saleh, similar to Belichick. However, Rodgers will also have the presence of another familiar face in Nathaniel Hackett, who served as his offensive coordinator in Green Bay.

Overcoming Brett Favre, Jets legacy

In the eyes of the media, assumptions persist, but Rodgers yearns to demonstrate his worth with the Jets. The Jets offer Rodgers a chance to rewrite the narrative. If he can change their culture and redefine their identity and accomplish the unthinkable by bringing the first Super Bowl to New York in 55 years, Rodgers would be in a company all his own. He would achieve what many others couldn't, including Brett Favre, by carving out his unique path to a legacy. Nothing gets more Aaron Rodgers than that.