Start spreading the news… Aaron’s leaving Green Bay.
Mercifully, the Aaron Rodgers saga has ended, with the veteran quarterback now officially a member of the New York Jets. After what felt like a lifetime of waiting, we finally got our answer, and the former NFL MVP will leave behind the Packers for the bright lights of the big city.
In a move that had everyone exhausted by the time it was finally completed, New York receives Rodgers, the No. 15 pick in the ’23 draft, and a ’23 fifth-round pick (No. 170).
In exchange, the Packers received the number 13 pick in the upcoming, a ’23 second-round pick (No. 42), a ’23 sixth-rounder (No. 207), and a conditional 2024 second-round selection.
That translates to the Pack having three of the first 46 picks as the NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday.
While the move is being celebrated by many around the NFL, it could very well be a flop if the Jets don’t at least give their fans a reason to be thinking about the Super Bowl. After all, they didn’t trade for a 38-year-old quarterback because they’re thinking in terms of their long-term goals. This team wants to win now, despite not having made the playoffs since 2010.
Coming off a 7-10 season and a last-place finish in the AFC East, it’s going to take a lot more than prolific passing from #12 to get them there. It took a long journey to get to this point. And while fans in New York may not want to hear it, there are a few reasons why it might end up burning more Jet fuel than the whole trip was worth.
Here are three reasons why the New York Jets trade for Aaron Rodgers could turn out to be a failure
#1 – A mix of both age and injury
Not to belabor the point, but Rodgers is in the twilight of his career. And while he has been relatively healthy during his time in the NFL, the biology is going to start breaking down at some point.
The odds just aren’t in his favor to make it through the (now) 17-game schedule unscathed. Plus the playoffs and the biggest game of the year. That’s a pretty tall order for any player, much less one this close to getting his AARP card.
The clock ticking away on an athlete’s career is something that’s almost taken for granted now. Especially in the NFL, where most play spans average less than four full seasons. However, seeing quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning win championships at an elevated age – when their careers were considered basically ‘over’ – has been a bit misleading.
Unfortunately, for every one of those guys, there are the memories of Joe Montana in Kanas City or Johnny Unitas taking snaps as a Charger. Former MVPs who were unable to rediscover their past glory, despite a fresh start elsewhere. Even Jets great Joe Namath hobbled through the final stages of his storied run as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
One bad hit or a really ugly stretch of play could see Aaron Rodgers have a really dark final chapter of his career in New York. One that could easily tarnish his Hall of Fame legacy.
#2 – What the Jets gave up for him might end up more valuable, in hindsight
Years from now, two things will be used to judge who got the best of this trade. One will be what Rodgers does when he takes the field for New York. The other will be what the Packers pick up as they try to continue their soft rebuild behind new starter Jordan Love.
If the wealth of picks adds the right kind of pieces and Love develops into a star player in Green Bay, then GM Brian Gutekunst is going to look like the smartest guy in the room. He moved a player who was vocal about not wanting to return and made the best out of the situation.
This ‘lemons-to-lemonade scenario’ will be even juicier if it refreshes the Packers roster, and the Jets end up still thirsty for a Super Bowl.
Even though the New York State of Mind right now is that the Jets must win the Lombardi Trophy or else, Aaron Rodgers is keeping his cool. When introduced by his new team on Tuesday morning, he told the media: “I am not here to be a savior of any kind.”
That may end up being an unfortunate answer. Because considering what New York gave up to get him, and what it might be eventually worth? He may have to be.
#3 – Let’s face it… these ARE the Jets
Since the last time this team participated in a playoff game, we have had two Presidents leave office and have weathered both a global pandemic and an economic crisis. In that span, the Jets didn’t do much to raise anyone’s spirits, either.
Quite frankly, it’s gotten so bad at this point that they have become a punchline on nearly every comedy show on television. Their ineptitude is just universally recognized.
Winning isn’t really in this team’s vocabulary. It’s likely that if given the chance? Joe Namath might just flip the script and start guaranteeing a Jets’ loss every week from now on. The odds would certainly be more in his favor.
There hasn’t been a hit on Broadway since Joe’s performance in Super Bowl III, and now the Jets are holding out for one more hero. So after all those years of suffering, can Aaron Rodgers really turn things around in a New York Minute?
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