Aaron Rodgers made clear that his intention is to play for the New York Jets in 2023. But that’s far from the end of the story. We’ll examine what’s next for the Jets after Aaron Rodgers revealed his intentions Wednesday.
After Rodgers let it be known that his wish is to move on from the Green Bay Packers and take his talents to New York, it immediately shifted the burden of responsibility to the teams to work out a trade. Rodgers made sure to say that he made up his mind a week ago. He also said the Packers are “digging in” and should simply do the right thing and deal him as soon as possible.
Aaron Rodgers says that he wants to play for the New York Jets 🔥✈️ pic.twitter.com/xsbfOdDCjA
— ESPN (@espn) March 15, 2023
Theatrics aside, the Jets have a lot of work ahead of them, even knowing Rodgers is on his way, at some point.
That said, let’s look at what’s next for the Jets after Aaron Rodgers revealed his intentions.
The Jets and Packers must work out a trade for Aaron Rodgers
This may not be as simple as it sounds. Sure, the Jets put all their eggs in one basket and need Rodgers. And the Packers want to move on from the 39-year-old to begin the Jordan Love era.
Neither side has an out here. Each believes it’s the team with leverage. So, the Jets and Packers seem to be willing to play a game of chicken. Neither wishes to give in, nor give the perception it gave in.
Aaron Rodgers will be a huge upgrade at QB for the Jets 😳 pic.twitter.com/8qJNUpd8mF
— PFF (@PFF) March 16, 2023
But it’s best for the Jets and Packers to get this trade done sooner than later. Yet the possibility looms this could drag out past June 1, when the Packers dead cap hit would shrink some, though they’d lose out on landing 2023 draft pick(s) from New York.
As stated here before, a second-round pick in 2023, a conditional pick in ’24, and possibly a player like wide receiver Corey Davis should get it done for the Jets.
We’ll see when it happens.
Aaron Rodgers needs to get acquainted with new teammates, coaches, facility
Rodgers has spent 18 seasons with the Packers. It will take some time for him to adjust to a completely new way of life. There’ll be new teammates, new coaches, new facility, new place to live, different pressure and tabloid headlines, change in lifestyle. And the sooner he arrives in New York/New Jersey to begin the transition the better.
It will help that his BFF Nathaniel Hackett is the Jets new offensive coordinator. So, he’ll be very familiar with the playbook; and Hackett surely will emphasize routes and plays Rodgers prefers.
Sauce Gardner had Breece Hall & Garrett Wilson over, & they talked about wanting Aaron Rodgers to come to #Jets 🔥
They burned the cheesehead “for the fans that want him to become a Jet”
Breece says Super Bowl if Rodgers comes, & Garrett says “I just know he’s gone be precise” pic.twitter.com/zc2vcbJnjS
— Harrison Glaser (@NYJetsTFMedia) March 10, 2023
But Rodgers will need to build chemistry with receivers like Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore. He’ll need to begin establishing himself as a leader in the Jets locker room. Forging a positive dynamic with Zach Wilson in the quarterback room will be an interesting subplot. Rodgers must get comfortable with completely new surroundings.
The Jets would love to have Rodgers take part in their off-season program so that he’s not playing catch-up when training camp starts. This leads back to the original point that the Jets and Packers need to get this trade done ASAP.
The Jets must fill other holes on roster
Quarterback is not the only position the Jets need to fill this offseason. The most important? Yes. The only one? No.
In fact, general manager Joe Douglas has some serious work to do on the roster. On Wednesday, during Rodgers’ chat with Pat McAfee and company, the Jets lost two key defensive tackles, Sheldon Rankins and Nathan Shepherd, in free agency. And they missed out on landing D-tackle Fletcher Cox, who re-upped with the Philadelphia Eagles. Those are big blows to their 4th-ranked defense.
They did re-sign linebacker Quincy Williams and kicker Greg Zuerelin, sign wide receiver and Rodgers favorite Allen Lazard, and trade for safety Chuck Clark. But the Jets are still looking for a center, defensive tackle, depth at wide receiver, running back, linebacker and offensive line, and perhaps another safety. They likely need another quarterback to compete with Wilson to be Rodgers’ back up.
Douglas has a serious to-do list. And he will need to create more salary cap room, too, to fit Rodgers and other new additions.
Jets must work out contract extension with Quinnen Williams
Oh, yeah, let’s not forget the Jets still must sign their best defensive player, lineman Quinnen Williams, to a contract extension. That never was going to be a quick and easy thing to do. But following the massive deals signed by Daron Payne with the Washington Commanders and Javon Hargrave with the San Francisco 49ers, well, it’s harder than before.
Williams has the leverage coming off his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections in 2022. Plus, he said he won’t take part in voluntary OTAs and perhaps training camp if he remains unsigned.
After Rodgers, this is the most important task for Douglas this offseason.