As the New York Jets assess their biggest needs in the 2024 NFL offseason, there’s a recurring theme. They all revolve around Aaron Rodgers.

That probably makes sense since the 40-year-old quarterback is at the center of the Jets universe. And with patience running thin for owner Woody Johnson after 13 straight seasons out of the playoffs, it’s up to general manager Joe Douglas to surround Rodgers with everything he needs to be successful next season.

There’s no doubt the Jets need to add a quality wide receiver. Garrett Wilson is a stud, but opposing defenses focused solely on him this past season because the Jets didn’t have an adequate second option after Allen Lazard failed miserably in that role.

Though that is an important hole to fill, the Jets have even bigger needs to address with their offense.

Biggest needs Jets must address in 2024 NFL offseason

Offensive line

In 2023, the putrid and injury-ravaged Jets offensive line couldn’t adequately protect their mobile 24-year-old quarterback, Zach Wilson. There’s no way Rodgers, coming off an Achilles tear, can survive the same treatment in 2024.

So, the Jets may need up to three new starters on the line, unless underachieving veteran guard Laken Tomlinson somehow is not cut. But figure two tackles and at least one guard is needed. If Alijah Vera-Tucker moves from guard to tackle, then it could be two guards and a tackle.

No matter, the Jets have work to do here. It’d make sense to fill one of the tackle openings with the No. 10 overall pick in the draft. Figuring Notre Dame’s Joe Alt likely will be off the board by that point, the Jets could be in line to select Olu Fashanu (Penn State), J.C. Latham (Alabama) or perhaps Taliese Fuaga (Oregon State) to plug and play next season.

New York then needs to sign a veteran tackle in free agency. Keep an eye on Jonah Williams (Cincinnati Bengals) and Mike Onwenu (New England Patriots). Perhaps they eye a reunion with George Fant (Houston Texans) as a less expensive option. And Kansas City Chiefs veteran Donovan Smith, a New York native, recently expressed interest in signing with the Jets.

When it comes to the guard position, perhaps the Jets would use a Day 2 pick on one, though they traded their second-round pick for Rodgers and likely need a receiver in the third round. More likely is signing a free agent along the lines of Kevin Dotson (Los Angeles Rams), Robert Hunt (Miami Dolphins) or Kevin Zeitler (Baltimore Ravens).

Backup quarterback

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass during warmups before their game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field
Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets could have ended their long playoff drought last season with even average quarterback play after Rodgers went down with a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1. Wilson was dreadful and journeyman Tim Boyle was even worse.

New York can’t be caught shorthanded again, considering Rodgers is another year older and trying to come back from a major injury. Though recent rumors have a Sam Howell trade in play, it’s more likely the Jets pursue a veteran free agent like Jacoby Brissett (Washington Commanders), Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee Titans) or the most attractive option, Gardner Minshew (Indianapolis Colts).

Would Jimmy Garoppolo, suspended the first two games this season, be of interest to the Jets? Why not? They’ve got to make sure that they have a legitimate NFL quarterback behind Rodgers, just in case. So, all options must be on the table for Douglas and Co.