All Hail Rodgers

A New York Jets Masterclass

Is drafting Aaron Rodgers the Jets key to unlocking success? Or a short-term attempt to regain their champion title?

Justin Garber

Is drafting Aaron Rodgers the Jets’ key to unlocking success? Or a short-term attempt to regain their champion title?

The New York Jets have been lacking quality quarterback play and a winning culture longer than any other team in the league, however, the trade for the four time MVP and Super Bowl champion Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers should be exactly what this team needs to change that.

After a long awaited departure from the frozen tundra, the Hail Mary King will be playing in the Big Apple, where he more than likely will snap American sports’ longest playoff drought (of 12 years). Rodgers could be the shining star that this franchise and passionate fanbase has been searching for, with the only downside being his age. Rodgers comes to the Jets as the oldest quarterback in the NFL at 39 years old — with a small window of opportunity to hoist the Lombardi trophy for a second time. This has made people skeptical of the move as they think New York gave up too much to get only a couple years out of an elite quarterback, but with his experience, does it really matter? The Jets got Aaron Rodgers to win the Super Bowl, so at the end of the day, it’s only a small price to pay to become World Champions. 

Rodgers is only a bridge quarterback meaning the Jets will have to soon continue their search for a long-term answer. Though Rodgers isn’t your typical bridge quarterback, not many bridge quarterbacks will offer you the chance to win a Super Bowl. Especially when they cost as much as Aaron Rodgers— whose average salary is over $50 million per year. Younger Jets fans will finally be able to experience a (more than) competent quarterback for the first time in their lives. After the likes of Josh McCown, Sam Darnorld, Zach Wilson, and Mike White, his loyal fan base deserves its payoff regardless of the cost of bringing in a player like Rodgers.

Clearly, Rodgers’ experience and arm talent is an upgrade over the worse-than-abysmal two years of Zach Wilson, whose offensive and leadership struggles were representative of a decade of the Jet’s losing culture and success. With what Rodgers brings to the table, the Jets will have the opportunity to garner the respect of players, teams, and fans after being the laughing stock of the league.

The impact that Aaron Rodgers has on other Jets players has already been pretty clear to fans. Many players, such as defensive back Sauce Gardner, have been ecstatic of his presence. The two have been spotted cheering on both the New York Knicks and Rangers in their playoff games live.

Rodgers was also given the chance to wear number 12 on the New York Jets, an iconic number in the green and white, only ever worn by the great Joe Namath. Rodgers knew what it meant to the franchise and respectfully declined. This speaks to him as a person and the type of respect he brings to the franchise. Instead, he’ll rep number 8, just like he did at Berkeley during his college days.

The trade was ambitious and strategic on the Jets part. While the Jets gave up draft picks, there is no guarantee a player, drafted in the first or fourth round, will become a quality NFL player. Giving up the unknown for the known is a risky but calculated move on the part of the Jets. Rodgers familiarity with the offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, and former wide receivers, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, will only be of benefit to the entire offense. 

The Jets’ fans’ thirst for a title has been long unquenched. Rodgers and the 2023 New York Jets will give the franchise their best shot to get to the big stage since Super Bowl III.