A legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback is on verge of becoming a New York Jet after 15 seasons as their starting quarterback. The multiple time NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion is being pushed out the door by the organization after the quarterback has mentioned potentially retiring several times over the last few years. The Packers have also been keen to see what they have in the first round quarterback that they selected to be the heir apparent.
No, this isn’t about Brett Favre. This is about his successor, Aaron Rodgers, whose time as a Packer is coming to a shockingly similar end to the man he sat and waited behind for, three years prior to becoming the starter himself.
After weeks of speculation about the future of Rodgers, there have been many hints that the Packers were ready to move on from their future hall of fame quarterback. Since the Packers season ended in humiliating fashion in January after losing to the rival Detroit Lions in a must-win game to get into the playoffs, the weeks that followed consisted of several reports and speculation that the Packers would like to move on from Rodgers.
A major sign that they are ready to move on was when they granted the Jets hierarchy permission to speak with Rodgers to gauge his interest for a potential trade. Their intentions became quite blatant Friday, when Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy was asked whether there was a scenario that would see Rodgers as the Packers quarterback next season.
“Yeah, I mean unless, if things don’t work out the way we want them, yeah we would. He is a great player,” Murphy said.
Rodgers has remained mostly tight-lipped about his future as the speculation about his future has ramped up in the last few weeks. This includes a period of time where he went on a darkness retreat, in which he hoped “to have a better sense of where I’m at in life,” Rodgers told the Pat McAfee Show.
This darkness retreat consisted of Rodgers in isolation and in a dark room for three days. He also said that during this retreat he would “contemplate all things” and “make a decision that I feel like is best for me moving forward in the highest interest in my happiness.” He also stated that this retreat wasn’t to figure out where he’d be playing next season.
The Rodgers saga reached new levels during his appearance on The Pat McAfee Show Wednesday, where Rodgers said “since Friday my intention was to play for the New York Jets.” He also added that it was the compensation that is holding things up on this potential trade. Well there we have it. The man has spoken. The world now awaits the Packers and Jets to agree on a deal. Assuming this deal goes through and Rodgers switches out the green and gold for the green and white, how does this experiment work out for Rodgers and the Jets?
The Jets have been one of the most dysfunctional franchises in all of football for many years now. They’re constantly chopping and changing quarterbacks and going through multiple head coaches.
The 2022 season was their most encouraging season in a long time. They had an excellent draft that led to them having both the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson and AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner. The defense also improved dramatically under second year head coach Robert Saleh, whose specialty is on the defensive side of the ball.
With all those positives, their poor quarterback play casted a dark cloud over the franchise. There were 37 quarterbacks that took at least 150 snaps during the 2022 season The Jets remarkably had the bottom three in passer rating amongst those quarterbacks. This included former no.2 overall pick in the 2021 draft Zach Wilson, along with Mike White and Joe Flacco.
With quarterback play that bad, I totally understand the desperation from the Jets to find competent play from the position. Is going after Rodgers the right move? I believe so. Rodgers is coming off of arguably his worst season as a starter, with his passer rating a career low of 91.1.
A concern for the Jets will be whether or not Rodgers is too old to get back to playing at a high level or if he will gel with the young offensive talent they have. The 39-year-old struggled to get on the same page with his young receivers for a large chunk of the season last year after the Packers traded away his best receiver in Davante Adams last offseason.
The thing is, even Rodgers at his worst is still way better than anything the Jets have had in years. If the Jets had average quarterback play last year, they would have made the playoffs easily. I believe Rodgers will give them that and more. I believe that he will have a bounce-back year. He has some familiar faces that he has great relationships with in former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and former Packer receiver Allen Lazard.
I classify success with the Jets as being competitive for a playoff spot and possibly making some noise if they can get there. The last time the Jets made it to the playoffs was during the 2010 season which is ironically the year Rodgers won his first and only Super Bowl. We’ve seen Rodgers have a few down years not too long ago, before he bounced back by winning the MVP in both 2020 and 2021, after the Packers ticked him off by drafting the guy they intend to replace him with in Jordan Love.
Rodgers has always had a chip on his shoulder and I’m willing to hitch my wagon to that competitor in him. I’m sure the four-time MVP would love to prove the Packers and his doubters wrong once again.
Write to Mohamed Warsame at Mohamed.Warsame@mnsu.edu