Head coach Robert Saleh and the New York Jets are currently in the midst of what figures to be a highly important offseason as for the future direction of the franchise following a disappointing and injury-riddled 202324 campaign that saw quarterback Aaron Rodgers go down for the season on the very first series. The Jets haven't made a ton of additions on either side of the football so far in this offseason, with Saleh and the New York brass instead appearing to be banking on Rodgers returning from injury fully healthy and leading the team to contention.

One of the bright spots for the Jets last year was the team's play on defense, a facet of their game which consistently kept them in contests despite their offensive ineptitude, and now, the Jets are investing to make themselves even more viable on that end of the ball.

“Jets have signed defensive lineman Takk McKinley, a former first-round pick who joined the team for mandatory minicamp as a tryout player,” reported NFL insider Adam Schefter of ESPN on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter.

As Schefter mentioned in his report, McKinley was indeed a first round pick in the 2017 draft by the Atlanta Falcons, who at that time were looking to shore up their own defensive line after blowing the biggest lead in Super Bowl history two months earlier, a record that still stands today.

While McKinley–who played his college football at UCLA–showed some flashes during his stint with the Falcons, he never panned out into the defensive star that the team had hoped he would, and will now look to revitalize his career with a Jets team that is hoping to content in 2024.

A bizarre offseason

New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers during the 2023 season opener.
Danielle Parhizkaran / USA TODAY NETWORK

As he has been known to do in the past, Aaron Rodgers continues to try to display an image of mystique around himself that doesn't necessarily naturally fit his personality, one that Jets fans have quickly become nauseated by as the quarterback now misses mandatory minicamp while reportedly on vacation, if Colin Cowherd's “sources” are to be believed.

Of course, Rodgers has proven himself on the highest level, winning a Super Bowl (albeit 13 years ago) as well as multiple league MVP's, but at the age of 40 and coming off of arguably the most devastating injury in sports, it's unclear just how much gas he has left in the tank, and also how much he is comprising the team's chemistry by not practicing with them during the offseason.

At times last year, it did appear fair to say that the Jets were probably a quarterback away from contention, as Saleh was forced to rotate through a Motley crew of quarterbacks including since traded Zach Wilson, none of whom were able to come close to the production that Rodgers would have been likely to have provided.

In any case, the Jets will take the field for the first time in the 2024-25 season, hopefully with Rodgers at the helm, in early September against the San Francisco 49ers.