It's been a sad couple days for Cheeseheads, but celebratory for Jets fans. After months of rumors and speculation (and a darkness retreat), New York has finally acquired their star quarterback from the Green Bay Packers. But will Aaron Rodgers be the guy who can finally get the Jets back in playoff contention?
It's been a dozen years since the team last made the NFL playoffs. As for their last Super Bowl appearance, Nixon was in the White House, "Sesame Street" wasn't even on air, and NASA had yet to land on the moon. However, Jets fans have faith that the 39-year-old Rodgers will be the one to finally get them back to the big game.
According to NFL insider Adam Schefter
No. 13 overall pick in 2023 NFL draft
Second-round pick in 2023
Sixth-round pick in 2023
Conditional second-round pick in 2024 (upgrades to first-round pick if Rodgers plays in 65% of snaps this season)
QB Aaron Rodgers
No. 15 overall pick in 2023 NFL draft
Fifth-round pick in 2023
The Jets are getting a four-time league MVP and future Hall of Fame quarterback with a big chip on his shoulder. In return, Green Bay is getting some major draft stock to help build a new future of the franchise around 24-year-old quarterback Jordan Love.
Is it worth it?
The seemingly lopsided trade has drawn criticism from fans and analysts across the league, with many saying the Jets gave up an excessive amount for a 39-year-old player who's well past his prime and may only be around for one, maybe two seasons.
Former Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III acknowledged that Rodgers is an exceptional improvement for the team overall, but believes they got swindled in the long run.
The Jets are BONAFIDE Super Bowl contenders now, but that doesn’t change the fact that they got ABSOLUTELY FLEECED on this trade. Packers are getting a better fist round pick this year, a 2nd rounder this year, and a more than likely 1st rounder next year for 1-2 years of Rodgers
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) April 24, 2023
Meanwhile, others believe there's one outcome that could make it all worthwhile for the Jets: winning games.
"If you can win a Super Bowl, it doesn't matter what they gave up, who they gave up, it doesn't even matter really who they got, as long as that man [Rodgers] can lead them to the promised land" said Lenn Robbins, former president of the Football Writers Association of America. "It took 40 years for Noah to build the ark. It took 40 days from the time Aaron Rodgers basically said 'I want to get traded' until he got to the Jets."
Nevertheless, we're witnessing the exposition of a story we've already seen play out once before, with Rodgers pulling a page from his predecessor's playbook.
In 2008, the Packers traded another Hall of Fame quarterback named Brett Favre to the Jets, and things didn't pan out for New York. While the team improved on their 4-12 record from the year before, the Jets missed the playoffs, and Favre, who was supposed to be their saving grace, was off to another team the very next season.
But this is a much different Jets team than it was in 2008. Perhaps what stands out the most is their age.
"Aaron Rodgers is 39. Most of the guys on the Jets are 12," Robbins joked. "It's a young football team."
The thing is, Robbins isn't wrong. Most of the guys on the Jets have only been in the league for a couple of years. In turn, they also have a number of college stars on the verge of breaking out in the NFL.
The Jets front office believes that their team's budding talent, along with Rodgers' 18 years of NFL experience, will propel the franchise out of its slump and produce the Super Bowl-contending team that Jets fans have been yearning for for years. But it remains to be seen whether Rodgers will bring glory to Gang Green, or a discouraging sequel to 2008.
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