Aaron Rodgers 'confident that in a couple of weeks' he'll decide future
Aaron Rodgers considers new Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett one of a “handful of coaches” that made coming to work special. But the four-time MVP couldn’t say at this point whether that could sway where he plays in 2023 — if Rodgers decides to play.
“There’s a not an answer I can give you,” Rodgers said Tuesday during his weekly appearance on the Pat McAfee Show. “We’ve all had certain coaches that have meant a lot to us over the years and have created those really special rooms to play in and special feelings on game day, made the weeks better. Nathaniel is one of those guys.”
Rodgers is still making up his mind about what he wants to do next season. He could retire, return to the Packers or request a trade. Rodgers said Tuesday that he’s “confident that in a couple of weeks” he will make his decision.
It’s hard to see Rodgers walking away from a payday of close to $60 million in 2023.
There have been reports that the Packers want to move on from Rodgers, who will turn 40 next season. If they do, and Rodgers opts to play, the Jets likely will pursue him. The Packers, reportedly, don’t want to trade Rodgers within the NFC. The Jets could be a good landing spot for Rodgers and would enable him to reunite with Hackett.
The Jets hired Hackett last week, fueling speculation that he could be the bridge that brings Rodgers to this quarterback needy team. Hackett spent four seasons as the Packers offensive coordinator, although coach Matt LaFleur called the plays.
“Love Hack,” Rodgers said. “Hack’s my guy. Love him and Megan and the kids. They're really special to me. We really bonded when he was in Green Bay. He made it fun. He made the room fun. He made the weeks fun.”
Robert Saleh made it clear last week that the Jets would do everything they could to bring in a veteran quarterback. The Jets’ quarterback play was a big reason why they lost their final six games and missed the playoffs for the 12th straight time.
Owner Woody Johnson replied “absolutely” when he was asked if he would spend big on a proven quarterback. Johnson also said quarterback is “the missing piece” for the Jets. They had a top 5 defense, but struggled to score, particularly late in the season.
The Jets went the final three games without a touchdown and didn’t have a passing TD in 10 games last season. That led to Mike LaFleur’s departure as offensive coordinator.
Zach Wilson is expected to remain a Jet next year, but he will watch and learn from whatever veteran the Jets acquire. Wilson looked up to and tried to pattern his game after Rodgers, so his presence should only help Wilson’s development.
Other veterans the Jets could pursue include Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Jackson, if he doesn’t get extended or franchise tagged by the Ravens.