Tom Brady recruited Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they parted ways with the New England Patriots in 2020.
Brady then won his seventh Super Bowl with his help in his first season in Florida.
Aaron Rodgers’ player wish list for the Jets is no different. He’s a little less star-studded, including pass catchers Odell Beckham Jr., Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard and Marcedes Lewis, according to ESPN.
But it would be silly for Jets general manager Joe Douglas not to have Rodgers involved in that conversation about players who can help the quarterback transition smoothly.
“It’s not just any player, is it?” former Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told the Daily News on the Bleav Network’s “Talkin’ Ball with Pat Leonard” podcast. “You’re talking about a guy with 18-19 years in the league, a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’s not that different from Tom Brady when he went to Tampa Bay and wanted Gronk and some of his guys. And that was met with open hands like ‘Yeah, let’s go find Gronk.’”
“I think you have to put it in the proper perspective,” Mayock continued. “Do you want your players to make decisions for you? Of course not. And there has to be a line there. However, with a guy who’s been in the league for so long and a guy who’s influential among other players, if I could bring in players that make your team better, I think you’d be a bit ignorant if you don’t at least try to accept that. . .”
An organization needs to create boundaries, without a doubt.
( Mike Lupica: We need to slow down Super Bowl talk if desperate Jets land on desperate Aaron Rodgers )
The Denver Broncos gave Russell Wilson carte blanche at their facility last season, including a personal office and an entourage of his own staff and coaches. That quickly upset people and blew up in their faces.
Nathaniel Hackett, fired after one season as Wilson’s Broncos head coach, has landed as the new offensive coordinator for Robert Saleh’s Jets. He looks like he already helped recruit Rodgers. And it should also be a source of cautionary tales about how far is too far to set up a star quarterback.
( Aaron Rodgers Promotes New Jets OC Nathaniel Hackett )
However, Rodgers is not Wilson. Wilson’s play declined along with those off-field transfers.
On the contrary, it would take a brave man or woman to bet big on Rodgers playing poorly this season in New York, even after a 2022 Green Bay finish that fell well below Rodgers’ standard.
As for when this trade will actually happen, former Brown general manager Michael Lombardi said a couple of weeks ago on his “GM Shuffle” podcast that Green Bay was looking for a first-round pick plus another high draft pick depending on if Rodgers played past 2023.
Interestingly, Mayock painted a similar picture of how this will be done so that neither the Packers nor the Jets feel vulnerable to being ripped off.
“I think the way to do it is through contingencies,” Mayock said. “In other words, pick a number: we (the Jets) will give you a first-round pick this year, but if he plays at a high enough level or a certain percentage of snaps, we’ll give you a pick. next year too.”
“If we go to the Super Bowl, (they) will get another pick,” Mayock added. “If he plays at 24, not just 23, then (they) want another pick at 25. So I think there are a lot more layers involved in this than people realize.”
It’s clear how the Jets and Packers can find a compromise and that the Jets could really fly with Rodgers in town.
“Joe has done an amazing job with the rest of the roster,” Mayock said. “They have one of the best young rosters in the entire league.”
( Antwan Staley: Aaron Rodgers and the Jets need each other because they both have something to prove )
Now is the time to secure your quarterback.
I understand that Beckham’s list of potential destinations includes the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Jets and Giants.
On Saturday, Beckham disputed reports that he is seeking up to $20 million per year and suggested that someone is cheating him out of $4 million.
“So confused where my date is from saying I want 20… all I’m saying is 4 AINT enough,” OBJ tweeted.
A reunion with the Giants would hinge on money. If another team is willing to pay Beckham $15 million, OBJ won’t be a Giant. But what if he doesn’t have an offer in excess of $4 million on the table? That keeps Big Blue in the game.
Look no further than Beckham’s tweet to Saquon Barkley on Thursday for evidence that he’d love to see it work.
“Tell Joe (Schoen) to call my agent,” Beckham wrote. “I have a few more things left to do.” OBJ then tweeted about their market: “They want to try Mouton but pay box wine price.”
Beckham is worth every penny if he stays healthy and produces. That’s a big if, though.
The way to bring him back to the Big Apple in blue would be through an incentivized contract that protects the Giants and rewards OBJ if he stays on the field and racks up stats.
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Other than that, there’s a good chance she’ll be wearing green or some other color come fall.
So is OBJ likely for the Giants? Maybe not. But is it still possible? Yes it is.
Javon Hargrave’s $81 million, four-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers was my favorite free agent move of the first week of the new league year. The Niners stole a key disruptor and pass-rusher (11 sacks in 2022) from the Philadelphia Eagles team that eliminated them in last season’s NFC Championship Game.
General manager John Lynch also made a low-cost bet on former Raiders first-round pick Clelin Ferrell on a one-year deal worth up to $2.4 million. The 49ers’ pass rush was already fierce with Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead. He is now loaded with the NFL Draft yet to come.
Meanwhile, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman also had a good first week. He re-signed cornerbacks James Bradberry and Darius Slay and running back Boston Scott, kept veteran leaders Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce, and took flyers with former Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny, Browns cornerback. Greedy Williams and Falcons QB Marcus Mariota.
However, Philadelphia lost linebackers TJ Edwards (Bears) and Kyzir White (Cardinals), safety Marcus Epps (Raiders) and running back Miles Sanders (Panthers) to free agency.
“There are probably seven or eight teams in the league that operate at a high level, a functional level, with a clear and consistent thought process that allows them to win consistently. I think the other 24, 25 teams are eliminated annually.” — Mayock on the NFL (go to youtube.com/@PLonNFL for more)