Decision Is In: Aaron Rodgers Says He Wants To Play For The New York Jets

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Aaron Rodgers once said it takes “a career, a lifetime, to build up a reputation, and only one misstep for it all to crumble” and now that idea is going to be put to the test.

Rodgers has decided to continue his NFL career. And Rodgers wants to play for the New York Jets.

In recent days the quarterback has shown his intentions by actually recruiting former Green Bay Packers teammates who are free agents to the Jets and also calling other free agents to try to convince them to also join the team, according to a league source.

Vinny Curry and the New York Jets are ready to embrace Aaron Rodgers as their new quarterback. (Getty Images)

The news Rodgers is headed to the Jets, first suggested by podcaster Trey Wingo on Monday, was confirmed by Rodgers himself Wednesday on the Pat McAfee Show.

He made the point that he was “90 percent retired, 10 percent playing” when he went into a darkness retreat late last month. But that changed when he emerged and despite his love for Green Bay and its fans and his time there, he’s into playing in 2023.

“They want to move on and now so do I,” Rodgers said.

The reason for the change, Rodgers said, is because he heard from “people I trust” that regardless of what the Packers were saying publicly, they were indeed headed to Jordan Love.

“It’s a business, I’m not naive to that. It is what it is,” Rodgers said. “But now it’s time to do the right thing.”

The four-time MVP and likely future Hall of Famer will be traded from the Green Bay Packers to the Jets, with whom he’s agreed to play his 19th NFL season.

The Jets and Packers must still finalize trade specifics. The NFL’s new league year opens at 4 p.m. and both teams would like to have the trade complete by then but the terms to that exchange are not yet complete.

Once the trade is done, Rodgers will become the second former Green Bay quarterback great who moves on to the Jets in a trade as he nears the end of his career. Brett Favre did it in 2008. But that’s about history.

The Jets care about today.

What Are Jets Getting From Aaron Rodgers?

They are getting arguably one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league and certainly someone who’s been better than that.

Rodgers was the NFL’s MVP in 2011, 2014, 2020 and 2021. And he was the Super Bowl MVP after leading the Packers to the championship in Super Bowl XLV at the end of the 2010 season.

Aaron Rodgers will now play for owner Woody Johnson’s team.

Rodgers, 39, has represented a lot of different things to many different people. To the Jets he represents a chance to be relevant immediately — something the team’s brain trust desperately needs.

He joins a division dominated by the Buffalo Bills and quarterback Josh Allen the past three years. He joins a conference replete with extraordinary quarterbacks such as Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow.

This move does not secure the Jets a playoff spot. But it does upgrade them.

The Jets apparently blew their No. 2 pick of the 2021 draft when they selected BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. Wilson has been a bust his first two seasons. The Jets benched him multiple times last season.

The Jets are so far keeping Wilson but don’t want to actually depend on Wilson.

Rodgers is not a full-on solution to that situation. He’s a stopgap.

Rodgers has committed to playing in 2023. But you can rest assured he’ll put fans and the Jets through the anxiety of another retirement decision next year.

That annual exercise became somewhat exhausting to the Packers. And that became one of the reasons Green Bay decided to move on from Rodgers.

OutKick’s insight on Packers situation.

The question now becomes how much of Rodgers committing to the Jets will include this offseason? The last couple of years in Green Bay he has skipped the offseason altogether except for the mandatory veteran minicamp.

If he does that with the Jets when he could be around his new teammates and, more importantly, his new receivers, that will turn off some people almost immediately.

If he shows up, it will suggest Rodgers is eager to make a push for the postseason.

Aaron Rodgers. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers And Big Apple Quite A Pair

Rodgers in New York is going to be very interesting on and off the field.

To fans in Green Bay he was the reason their franchise was not only relevant but a championship contender every year for nearly two decades. He was routinely among the league leaders in passing yards, completions, and completion percentage while keeping his interception numbers among the league’s lowest.

He led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 40 in 2016 and 48 in 2020 and finishes ranked fifth in that category all time with 475. His 59,055 career passing yards rank him ninth all-time.

Green Bay loved Rodgers for his ability to play football but he sometimes wore on some folks while becoming a cult hero for others.

Rodgers shared his opinion on the country’s direction as it was affected by “woke” culture, the media at large, and, most notably, COVID-19 vaccines.

His opinions made him a villain in some circles. Shannon Sharpe called him “a prick.”

An Associated Press voter refused to give him his MVP vote based on his personal feelings about the quarterback. The AP bounced that voter from the AP panel, by the way.

Aaron Rodgers. (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Playoff Aaron Hasn’t Been Best Aaron

The Jets are ultimately trading for Rodgers so he will get the team in the playoffs — something the franchise hasn’t done since 2010. Rodgers, meanwhile, has helped get the Packers in the playoffs in 11 of his 15 seasons as a starter.

But there has been the little issue of maximizing his talents in the playoffs. It was something Rodgers has struggled to do.

Rodgers’ touchdown percentage, quarterback rating and completion percentage were lower in the playoffs while his interception percentage was higher.

Rodgers helped his team win nearly 66 percent of the 223 regular-season games he played. But his team was a mediocre 11-10 in the postseason.

The Jets don’t care about that. They’re about the journey as much as the destination at this point.

And the journey has begun.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero


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