On Tuesday, Jets bosses flew to California to meet with Aaron Rodgers after receiving permission from the Packers. Jets owner Woody Johnson, general manager Joe Douglas, coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett traveled in hopes of acquiring the former four-time MVP.
Now it looks like Gang Green is closer to landing the 39-year-old quarterback.
According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Jets are “optimistic” that they will land Rodgers in a trade.
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Rodgers is slated to receive a guaranteed $59.5 million if he plays in 2023, as that’s part of the $150 million, three-year contract extension he signed last year. He carries a salary-cap charge of $31.6 million next season.
While the Packers and Jets will continue to engage in trade compensation talks, they could also restructure Rodgers’ contract to allow for an easier salary cap. But Rodgers’ salary cap is just $15.8 million in 2023 and $32.5 million in 2024.
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The Jets are currently $1.7 million over the salary cap. All 32 NFL teams must be under the cap at the start of each new league year, which begins March 15.
The four-time MVP is coming off one of his worst seasons last season when he passed for 3,695 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also threw 12 interceptions, the most since 2010.
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Additionally, Rodgers didn’t record a single 300-yard passing game as he dealt with a broken thumb and rib and knee injuries during the season when the Packers missed the playoffs and posted their first losing record (8-9) since 2018. . .
Since the end of the season, the 39-year-old has been contemplating his future as he could retire, stay with the Packers or request a trade to another team. He made a retreat in the dark in southern Oregon to find clarity about his future, but Rodgers remains undecided, as he said on the Aubrey Marcus podcast that he would soon make a decision about his future.
If Rodgers is traded to the Jets, it would instantly make them a contender in the AFC East. Last season, the Jets’ defense finished fourth in yards (311.1) and points allowed (18.6).
But the Jets’ offense was anything but spectacular in 2022, as they started three different quarterbacks throughout the year. Former first-round pick Zach Wilson was benched multiple times as he passed for 1,688 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 54.5% of his passes in nine games. Joe Flacco and Mike White also started several games for the Jets, but both are unrestricted free agents.
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After the Jets finished 25th in total offense (318.2) and 29th in points scored (17.4) and didn’t score a touchdown in their last three games of the year, they’re looking for a veteran quarterback this offseason. Gang Green talked to Derek Carr about signing with the team, but Rodgers was always his number one choice. After waiting about a month, Carr signed a four-year, $150 million deal with the Saints on Monday.