Aaron Rodgers mentioned he intends to be a New York Jet. As in, a twice-a-year downside for the Patriots.
As in, kiss these automated two wins a 12 months goodbye.
Since that cat has been out of the bag for fairly a while, the information Rodgers supplied on “The Pat McAfee Show” Wednesday wasn’t essentially a shock.
But technically, it’s not accomplished. There are nonetheless particulars to be labored out. There’s no official commerce simply but.
But the Packers need him gone, he desires out of Green Bay, and the Jets are determined to get him. So barring one other staff swooping in on the final second, it’s mainly accomplished.
Cutting to the chase, this could be — on paper at the least — a game-changing transfer for the Jets. And by extension, a not-so-great improvement for the Patriots.
The perennial AFC East cellar-dwelling Jets, who’re satisfied they’re a quarterback away from being a reputable contender, are on the precipice of touchdown among the finest.
In concept, Rodgers, a Super Bowl winner and one of the vital naturally gifted passers within the league, would put them excessive given the forged he now has surrounding him. Along with the forged Rodgers is hoping to carry with him.
The addition of Rodgers would make the Jets a risk to dethrone the Bills atop the division.
The transfer would even have the Patriots, who completed in third place final season with an 8-9 document, swapping roles with the Jets.
The Patriots would sink to being the worst staff within the AFC East. And it wouldn’t be up for debate.
Rodgers would supply that form of increase to Robert Saleh’s staff, even at age 39.
Of course, it’s vital to say he’s coming off certainly one of his worst seasons as a professional.
And, with each discuss present look, Rodgers continues to strengthen the notion that he’s a know-it-all, and a drama queen.
As it’s, the Jets are going by hoops, and embarrassingly so, to attempt to fulfill his each whim and wish. On Tuesday, they reportedly signed huge receiver Allen Lazard, who was certainly one of Rodgers’ favourite targets in Green Bay the previous 5 years.
If and when the deal is lastly consummated, the Jets higher hope Rodgers doesn’t utterly destroy all the nice vibes the Jets had of their locker room final season given the infusion of so many good younger gamers.
They additionally higher hope he doesn’t develop into referred to as this 12 months’s model of Russell Wilson.
That mentioned, if the Jets in the end get a motivated Rodgers, one who merely does his job and buries the diva act, that spells bother for the Patriots, who received’t get to beat up on their perennial punching bag anymore.
The Patriots, who completed in third place behind the Bills and Dolphins final season, haven’t accomplished sufficient to bolster the staff or its possibilities within the AFC East.
At this level, they only don’t measure up from a expertise perspective with the reigning AFC East champion Bills, Jets, and Dolphins, who’ve made a number of impactful strikes, together with the commerce for Jalen Ramsey.
At least, not but. There’s nonetheless time for the Patriots to get again within the ballgame.
But because it stands proper now, the Patriots are trying up on the competitors.
In his end-of-season press convention, Bill Belichick identified the Patriots have been one of many “lowest-spending teams” within the league through the previous three years. The Patriots received’t compete, and received’t rise out of the gutter in the event that they don’t change that dynamic.
Positionally, the Jets and Bills (Josh Allen) have higher quarterbacks than the Patriots, assuming Rodgers to New York turns into official. Mac Jones and Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa are shut sufficient to name it a draw.
Jones regressed final 12 months largely resulting from not having a reputable offensive coordinator, however ought to enhance with Bill O’Brien now on the helm. As for Tagovailoa, he improved with a greater forged of weapons, specifically Tyreek Hill, however his slate of latest head accidents needs to be a priority.
The Bills, Jets and Dolphins even have higher receivers and higher weapons usually on offense. The Jets have one of the best protection of the lot, with the Patriots, Bills and Dolphins beneath that.
So Belichick has his work lower out. He nonetheless wants to shut the expertise hole. If the Patriots stand pat, they threat being left within the mud in 2023 and past.
Now, as talked about, Rodgers received’t precisely be a slam dunk by way of being the savior in New York. It simply relies upon how motivated he’s to show his detractors incorrect, and the way properly he adapts to a brand new staff, and being below a much bigger microscope.
Last 12 months, he wasn’t superb. He didn’t appear very impressed regardless that Green Bay gave him a brand new contract. Perhaps, age can be catching up to some extent.
His 26 landing passes have been a far cry from the 37 he tossed in 2021, and 48 in 2020. He additionally threw the second-most interceptions (12) he’s had in his profession for a single season.
Still, the secret is how a lot Rodgers is invested.
“The X-factor is Rodgers,” NBC analyst Rodney Harrison agreed when requested concerning the Jets. “Is he going to come to all the mini-camps? Is he going to be part of the team? Or is he going to be a (bleep) like he’s been?”
Time will inform.
Rodgers may very properly profit from being on a staff with a very good younger group of receivers and operating backs, together with a top-notch protection. It’s attainable he’ll get re-charged and received’t essentially sabotage what the Jets have constructed.
Said Harrison: “He’s not the same player, but he’s going to get around that young nucleus, and they’re going to make it fun for him again.”
All of which creates an issue for the Patriots, even when it’s the Jets.