As the future Hall of Famer plans to exit Green Bay, let’s separate fact from fiction regarding all those Aaron Rodgers Jets rumors.
Aaron Rodgers said on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he went into his famous four-day “darkness retreat” with the mindset that he was 90% retired from football, 10% still playing.
That appearance on the retired punter’s popular program brought in 1.5 million viewers (as of this writing) as the 10-time Pro Bowler and four-time MVP sought to “clear the air” and reveal his desired next NFL destination now that his enduring, Super Bowl-winning relationship with the Green Bay Packers is winding down.
Rodgers explained to McAfee that Green Bay leadership changed its minds about his future by time he exited his retreat, preferring to move forward with young signal-caller Jordan Love. Thus, AR12’s intention is to take his talents to New York and play with a talented, young Jets team that looked well ahead of scheduled in 2022 and is already made moves to acquire some faces the QB will find familiar.
With so much noise flying around the Aaron Rodgers Jets rumor mill, from trade demands to supposed timelines and beyond, let’s dispel some unhelpful loose talk and establish what we can actually claim to know.
“I made it clear that my intention was to play and my intention was to play for the Jets.”
On Tuesday, Gang Green signed wide receiver Allen Lazard to a four-year, $44 million deal to pair with 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson. Furthermore, the Jets already boast one of the league’s best defenses and a group of some of the more lethal young stars in the NFL, including Sauce Gardner, who won Defensive Rookie of the Year, Wilson, and running back Breece Hall.
“There are a lot of reasons why the Jets are attractive. There’s one coach who’s meant as much to me as any coach I’ve ever had, and he happens to be the coordinator there — anybody who’s been around Nathaniel Hackett knows that he brings a lot of energy, a lot of fun,” Rodgers said on The Pat McAfee Show of his former coordinator in Green Bay. “He’s an incredible teacher of the game, especially the quarterback position. And he’s a really good human being. For people to say that that was done just to attempt to lure me is a total disservice to Nathaniel Hackett.”
“I haven’t been holding anything up at this point; it’s been compensation that the Packers are trying to get for me and kind of digging their heels in.”
This is where things get particularly interesting. The Jets would appear to have some nice leverage in that Rodgers unambiguously wants to be traded there — full stop. During a time in which player empowerment in on the rise across the sports world, the idea that a deal would get done sooner rather than later so that both sides can get what they want and get on with retooling for the coming season doesn’t feel wrong on its face. Packers President Mark Murphy himself confirmed last week that the franchise is indeed ready to move on, after all.
But it isn’t all that simple.
Rodgers quite literally said “I’m debatably the greatest player in [Packers] history,” so it’s only right the Cheeseheads get a proper return for one of the greatest-ever players not just to rock the green and gold, but play the quarterback position entirely. As NFL Insider Albert Breer tweeted, the Packers don’t need to rush a trade given that the $58.3 million option bonus in his contract can be exercised at any point between now and Sept. 1.
It could be a long summer.
The Latest Aaron Rodgers Jets News
- As ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported Thursday on the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers trade demands, they “want more than a first-round pick as part of the base deal. They want protection in 2025, in the event Rodgers plays in 2024.”
- ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that Packers might want a package similar to Rams’ trade with the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford. The Rams traded Jared Goff, two first-rounders, and a third-round pick for Stafford in 2021, who went on to win the Super Bowl with LA in his first season in town.
Recent New York Jets QBs
The Jets haven’t had a franchise QB during their 12-year playoff drought. They’re 70-124 since Mark Sanchez’s last season under center in 2011. Here’s how things have looked since then:
- Mark Sanchez: 14-17
- Josh McCown: 5-11
- Greg McElroy: 0-1
- Ryan Fitzpatrick: 13-14
- Mike White: 2-5
- Trevor Siemian: 0-1
- Sam Darnold: 13-25
- Michael Vick: 1-2
- Luke Falk: 0-2
- Geno Smith: 12-18
- Bryce Petty: 1-6
- Zach Wilson: 8-14
With AR12, logic would dictate that the Jets should be able take that next step. At the very least, they’ll have the 38-year-old under contract for two seasons and put their hat in the ring for a playoff spot. The worst-case scenario, they spend a ton on Rodgers in the short-term then extend the young talent they already have through the draft.
Aaron Rodgers Contract & Salary Details
Total value: $150,815,000
Average annual value: $50,271,667
Guaranteed at signing: $101,515,000
Total guaranteed money: $150,815,000
Free agency: 2025
2022 salary: $42,000,000
All told, the Aaron Rodgers Jets trade intrigue still has some ways to go before it fully resolves itself. Suffice it to say that when this enigma of a QB is involved, it’s feeling haraded and harder to rule any possibility out — so be wary when various denizens of the internet are insistent that things are bound to play out in any one particular way.
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