Aaron Rodgers could finally be the Jets’ missing piece

The New York Jets are closing in on acquiring the best quarterback in franchise history since Joe Namath. Last Wednesday, four-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers announced to the world on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he intends to play football in East Rutherford this fall, suiting up for Gang Green.

On paper, this move has the potential to bring the Jets their first Lombardi Trophy since the 1968 season, when Namath won AFL Player of the Year. The Jets’ roster — outside of the quarterback position — has slowly become one of the best in the league over the last few seasons. General manager Joe Douglas has assembled a team that consists of both the Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year — Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner — and surrounding talent such as Breece Hall, C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams.

It’s no secret the Jets have been missing a quarterback, not just with this team, but throughout their franchise’s history. Since 2010, the team has sent out 13 different starting quarterbacks, ranging from Mark Sanchez to Zach Wilson. Hopefully for the sake of Jets fans, Rodgers will bring stability.

Unfortunately, like everything with the Jets, nothing comes easy. Rodgers has been at the center of controversy over the last several seasons. He misled the media saying he was “immunized” against COVID-19 but later revealed he was never vaccinated. Rodgers has gone on multiple media outlets, such as “The Joe Rogan Experience,” where he has spoken extensively about his psychedelic drug usage and how he has played games on opioids. Over the last three offseasons, he has discussed the possibility of retirement and questioned his commitment to Green Bay.

It can be argued that acquiring a talent like Rodgers — someone who has won two league MVPs in the last three years — is worth all the headaches he arrives with. For a team and a fanbase that has been deprived of elite-level quarterbacking since the Gerald Ford administration, the idea of Rodgers wanting to play for the Jets is exciting and a tough concept to reject. 

The critics of the potential move, however, have reasonable and justifiable doubts about how Rodgers can handle both the pressure of playing in New York and his decline in play last season. It’s no secret that the Jets play in a larger market than Green Bay — approximately 80 times the size in population – and with that comes higher expectations, more media appearances and more opportunities to say the wrong thing. 

As for his play in 2022, Rodgers was a sub-par version of himself on the field. He threw for the fewest amount of yards he’d ever thrown for in a season, he threw his most interceptions since his first year starting and had the worst quarterback rating of his career by nearly 20 points. It is worth noting, however, that in week four against the New York Giants, Rodgers suffered what he later revealed to be a broken thumb on his throwing hand, and played the remainder of the season with a splint. It is expected that his thumb will be fully healed for next season. 

The trade to send Rodgers to MetLife Stadium has yet to be finalized, as the two teams are still working out potential trade packages. There should be a plethora of motivation on each side to get the deal done as quickly as possible, as both teams are handcuffed from making other moves until this finalizes. 

Once the deal is complete, the Jets will be stacked with one of the best rosters in franchise history, while the Packers will look to turn a new leaf and hand the franchise over to third-year Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.



Featured photo courtesy of Al-Pro Reels, Flickr