Even With Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets Still Only Third-Best In AFC East: Clay Travis

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We may need to cool our jets when it comes to Aaron Rodgers’ trade to New York.

The New York Jets improved as a team by acquiring Rodgers on Monday, shoring up a massive void left on their offense. Now that Rodgers is in town, and people wonder if NY can win the AFC (almost instantly), it’s time to pump the brakes on the high expectations.

Even with their best QB since Broadway Joe, the Jets only appear as the third-best team in the AFC East.

New York Jets team president Hymie Elhai, team owner Christopher Johnson, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, team owner Woody Johnson, and head coach Robert Saleh pose during an introductory press conference on April 26, 2023 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Bills Are King, Miami Poised To Be #2, Patriots Are Past Their Prime

To break down the Jets’ ultimate value with Rodgers, it’s important to start with the AFC East as context. The Jets’ main competition to reach the postseason will be a battle against the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.

Barring a draft-night trade where they get rid of Stefon Diggs, Josh Allen and the Bills still have the tools to be a premier NFL offense and carry them for a fourth straight AFC East title.

So with the Bills slotted as the arguable best team in the AFC East, it becomes a battle between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets for the second spot.

Rodgers will be welcomed to the Jets with an upgraded wide receivers room compared to last season, but the Dolphins still boast the best 1-2 punch with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. If Miami manages to keep Tua Tagovailoa upright for the season, the Dolphins could very well play up to the first or second spot in the AFC East.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

As for the New England Patriots, it’s time to realize that Bill Belichick, the greatest coach the NFL has ever seen, is at this point past his prime. With the offenses having an identity crisis at QB, New England is likely positioned at fourth place in the AFC East.

Rodgers Faces Herculean Assignment in AFC East

By the way, the Jets haven’t won the division since 2002, back when Chad Pennington was the starting QB and Nathaniel Hackett’s dad called plays for the offense as OC. Since the peak of Rex Ryan’s tenure in New York (2009-14), the Jets have been the laughingstock of the division.

Even at MVP levels and at the age of 39, Rodgers has a Herculean task of bringing the Jets out of a long streak of losing. The future is bright but the near future may be rocky to start.

Watch the full segment from Wednesday’s OutKick the Show:

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.

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