With Derek Carr off the market, Jets make it clear that it’s Aaron Rodgers or bust
Let’s give the New York Jets credit: they didn’t panic or jump.
Former free agent Derek Carr has met with the franchise twice about trying to turn a very promising 7-10 team into a playoff team.
Carr was undeniably in good shape – a good and sometimes very good veteran quarterback who could make up for Zach Wilson’s failures last year and lead the defense into a big season. However, he was not the best acquisition that could turn Gang Green into a legitimate contender for the AFC.
It would be Aaron Rogers.
The Jets could probably find a way to get him to work with Carr. They could lash out at QB, who always felt left out in Las Vegas. They could hand out a big contract.
Instead, they tried to play the long game and wait for Rogers to finish his dark retreat and podcast tour and make a decision about his future.
It cost them Carr, who agreed to a four-year deal with New Orleans on Monday. However, this kept the hope alive that Rogers would indeed leave the Green Bay Packers and move to New York.
Time will tell if this was a mistake. But even if Rodgers decides to retire, force a trade elsewhere, or even stay in Green Bay—thus leaving the Jets on Plan C—the motivation and thought process that led New York to do so was sound.
Carr is good. Rogers is potentially great.
New York hasn’t made the playoffs in ten years. He’s worth the risk.
And if Rogers doesn’t happen, well, there are Carr-style backup options, including Jimmy Garoppolo and even a wild reworking of the franchise with a massive trade for Lamar Jackson. The next step may not be too much of a step down. New York can handle it if needed.
Right now it’s Rogers or a bust. Right now, it’s about standing still and waiting for Rogers to make a decision about the future, working with Green Bay on terms that could make the deal work if it comes to that.
Rodgers turns 40 in December and ends a season in which he threw just 26 touchdowns to 12 interceptions and Park missed the playoffs. However, there are still plenty of games to use, at least if Rogers wants to use them.
He would bring the level of talent, star power and lead that was there, check my MVP stack, which is what the Jets lack. If he gets to work with players during the off-season (no guarantees), he could make a huge impact right away.
The Jets have a young defense that shows they are a real contender. Defensive Rookie of the Year cornerback Sauce Gardner, linebacker CJ Mosley and defenseman Quinnen Williams were named to the All-Pro team. They averaged just 18.6 points per game last year, fourth in the league.
The problem is that they only averaged 17.4 points per game (29th out of 32 teams in the league). The problem was QB, which was that former second draft pick Wilson was struggling to develop. However, Rodgers will find some positives here as well, including Rookie Offensive Player of the Year in wide receiver Garrett Wilson.
Is a young, interesting team in the nation’s media capital enough for Rodgers to keep playing? Or does the idea of taking on a fearsome AFC where the Jets wouldn’t even win their division (Buffalo), let alone beat Cincinnati or Kansas City, make him move in a different direction?
Nobody knows for sure. Rodgers has promised to make a decision soon because he says he doesn’t want to drag it out, but of course he tends to drag it out every offseason.
One possible hurdle is trying to afford Rodgers, who was owed about $60 million the following season. Perhaps Green Bay will have to do their part. Or maybe (which is unlikely) Rogers is redoing something.
Only Rogers knows. Maybe.
If he comes to New York, then it’s all worth it. ESPN reported that Carr was leaning towards the Jets, so they could probably get him if they wanted to or thought it was the only option. If that’s the case, then the Jets’ decision to let Carr go gives some confidence that a deal for Rodgers is still possible.
So now they are waiting for Rodgers, believing that no matter what, there is a quarterback option that will be an upgrade over Wilson.
If everything collapses on them, and they are not, well, at least they insisted on big booty.
When you’ve been losing for as long as New York without a winner, you should at least appreciate the daring effort.