Jets want Aaron Rodgers, but GM Joe Douglas must fill other needs
Aaron Rodgers made it known that his “intention” is to play for the Jets this year. A trade with the Packers is in the works, but still not completed.
The Jets desperately want Rodgers. But general manager Joe Douglas’ prior swaps have taught everyone that Trader Joe is a shrewd negotiator who will not be fleeced. Douglas got two first-round picks for Jamal Adams, a second and a fourth for Sam Darnold and was able to get a pick for Blake Cashman, who was mostly injured in his time as a Jet, to name a few.
Some reports have indicated that the Packers want multiple first-round picks for Rodgers. It’s very hard to see Douglas doing that, especially for someone who despite being an all-time great hasn’t indicated how long he will continue to play.
Rodgers, 39, said he walked off the field in Green Bay in January feeling he had played his last NFL game. He went into his infamous darkness retreat believing he was “90% retiring.” Douglas can’t give up multiple first-rounders for someone who may be one-and-done. Giving up one may be too much.
The Jets shouldn’t give up the No. 13 pick this year. Douglas certainly will push back on that since the Jets really need to address the offensive line and could find a long-term answer at that spot.
Give Green Bay a Day 2 pick and Day 3 pick this year with a player, perhaps Corey Davis. Anything next year should have “conditional” attached to it since it’s still unclear whether Rodgers will be a Jet beyond 2023.
Douglas wants the deal done. The franchise wants Rodgers in Jets’ green and have the big news conference introducing and welcoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer to their organization. Douglas also wants to continue to go about his business of building a team that can contend for a Super Bowl title.
Newly signed receiver Allen Lazard, who came from Green Bay, said the expectation for the Jets with Rodgers leading them is “Super Bowl.” Certainly, Rodgers gives them an instant shot in the arm, but more needs to be done.
The Jets need to replenish the offensive and defensive lines. They need to add a linebacker who is good in coverage, a proven running back to bolster that room and a backup quarterback. As much as the Jets have talked about their belief in Zach Wilson, they need someone else as the No. 2 guy at this point.
Lazard improved the Jets’ receiving corps and is a better option than Davis, who has been injury prone. The Jets have interest in Odell Beckham Jr. Great player, but is he worth the headache? And what happens to Elijah Moore? Will he be worth the headache of he’s not targeted? Moore requested a trade last season when he wasn’t involved in the offense.
Running back Breece Hall will be featured but he’s returning from a torn ACL. He may not be the same player right away. Michael Carter had a disappointing season last year. New England’s Damien Harris or Buffalo’s Devin Singletary would be good adds.
Losing starter Sheldon Rankins on the defensive line and Nathan Shepherd means the Jets have to fill those holes. They re-signed Solomon Thomas. John Franklin-Meyers and Micheal Clemons can play on the interior, but Douglas will continue to look for D-Line help from the outside.
The Jets brought back hard-hitting linebacker Quincy Williams. If they don’t re-sign linebacker Kwon Alexander they’ll need to find someone who can play in coverage.
Other than quarterback, offensive line is the biggest area of need.
Center Connor McGovern and tackle George Fant don’t appear to be returning. The Jets signed former Washington G/C Wes Schweitzer and ex-Raven G/C Trystan Colon. Good depth pieces and maybe Schweitzer will be penciled in as a starter. But knowing Douglas’ affinity for offensive linemen, he’s not satisfied — certainly not at tackle.
Mekhi Becton, Duane Brown and Max Mitchell are returning from injury. The Jets need stability there and throughout the line to keep Rodgers protected and healthy.