Why Aaron Rodgers Should Stay Far Away From New York


While we can’t deny Rodgers’ career, he just isn’t the right fit for the Jets. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Midway through the 2022-23 season, the New York Jets were scoring impressive wins against Green Bay and Pittsburgh and shocking the league by topping Buffalo at home. They found themselves with a comfortable record of 7-4. Fast-forward to six weeks later and the Jets walked off the field at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami after only mustering six points and finishing the season 7-10, losers of six straight and out of the playoffs for a league leading 12th straight year.

The search for the cause of the Jets collapse starts and ends at one position: quarterback. Second-year quarterback Zach Wilson, dubbed the savior of the franchise from the day he was drafted, was inconsistent on the field and a nuisance off of it. Falling out of favor with the locker room, the Jets then turned to fan favorite Mike White. Although he shined in moments, White sustained injuries and his up-and-down play affirmed his ceiling as a high-level backup. I’ll save you the time of diving into Joe Flacco and just say he’s not the long term answer either.
So now that leaves us looking ahead. With the offseason and free agency in full swing, the Jets have decided on “their guy” being Aaron Rodgers, and he’s now decided that himself.

Last Wednesday, Rodgers took to The Pat McAfee Show to make an announcement on his future in the NFL.

“I made it clear my intention was to play and to play for the New York Jets, and I haven’t been holding anything up,” Rodgers said.
Two-time MVP and Super Bowl champion, Rodgers, despite his age, would bring the Jets the most stable quarterback play since “Broadway Joe” Namath some odd 50 years ago. Without a doubt, Rodgers would elevate the Jets offense, providing the team a dynamic element at the quarterback position that they have lacked for far too long. Nevertheless, I must say: Acquiring Aaron Rodgers would be a mistake for the Jets. Now before all of “Gang Green” wages war on me for saying that, let’s look at some important factors — factors that Jets fans should know about all too well.

Besides the fact that Rodgers is guaranteed to make nearly $60 million for the 2023 season, much has been documented about the 39-year-old’s ability to mesh with the young receivers he had at his disposal in Green Bay. So much so that 22-year-old rookie receiver Romeo Doubs admitted after the season that he had never hung out with his QB outside of football. Rodgers’ growing frustration started even before the season began, as he went as far as to publicly criticize his young receivers in training camp.

“We’ve got to be way more consistent,” Rodgers said at the time. “You keep dropping the ball, you’re not going to be out here.”
Resentment became visible as the season wore on, and it was clear that Rodgers was simply not on the same page with his younger counterparts, an explanation for the team’s 4-8 record more than midway through the season. This problem becomes magnified when looking at the plethora of young talent which makes up the core of this Jets offense. 22-year-olds Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore and 21-year-old Breece Hall will be the main co-stars alongside Rodgers—and all have already shown their limited patience for a lack of accountability at the quarterback position. Further, 23-year-olds Alijah Vera-Tucker and Mekhi Becton will both play key roles in protecting Rodgers if he were to become a Jet.

While Rodgers is guaranteed to be an improvement over Wilson and White, with such a young locker room, and especially one that has already shown they are capable of turning on a quarterback, the warning signs are clear as ever.

This all goes without mentioning the 39-year-old’s documented distaste for the NFL media. From anger over media reports of his usage of ayahuasca, a plant-based psychedelic, to criticism directed towards Ian Rappaport and Adam Schefter over their coverage of his “darkness retreat,” Rodgers certainly won’t get any more breathing room in a New York City environment. As the epicenter of media and even more so in the world of sports, handling and not shying away from the bright lights of New York media coverage will prove tricky for Rodgers, who prefers privacy.
But don’t take my word for it. Giants legend Tiki Barber, who played in New York for nearly a decade, doesn’t believe Aaron Rodgers could handle the intense media scrutiny that comes with suiting up in the Big Apple.

“It just made me start to realize that, if he is that sensitive that he gets upset that people, reporters, opinion-makers, influencers or whoever want to talk about him, he is going to struggle in New York,” Barber said last month.

Regardless, only time will tell whether or not the Packers and Jets can agree to fair compensation for Rodgers, a move that will nonetheless shake up football in New York.