The Aaron Rodgers Show Has Already Begun in New York Even Without a Trade

The Jets' front office is already meeting the quarterback's demands while he continues to drag out his final decision

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Packer teammate Equanimeous St. Brown at RX3 Celebrity Flag Football Charity Event at Saddleback College on March 11, 2023 in Orange County, CA.
The veteran quarterback is already acting like he's a member of the Jets
Aubrey Lao /Getty Images

Is this Jets-Packers trade involving Aaron Rodgers going to happen? Perhaps Aaron Rodgers thinks he’s been a Jet all along… One of the Green Bay Packers’ primary team colors is green, isn’t it? Plus, that’s the kind of conspiracy theory even someone like Rodgers himself can get behind. He’s already pushed some wild claims in the past and, don’t forget, he also loves him some psychedelics.

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Even while Rodgers drags out the big decision about his future to excruciating lengths — just ask ESPN’s resident Jets fan Mike Greenberg how he’s holding up — he already appears to be dictating what New York’s front office is doing. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini (not to be confused with ESPN’s Trey Wingo, who reported this whole thing was “done” before later saying he kinda didn’t mean it the way everyone interpreted the word “done”) the 39-year-old, certainly-on-the-decline quarterback — who is still thinking about MVPs over Super Bowls — delivered a free agent player “wishlist” to the Jets. A few of those players are former Packer receivers Rodgers has played with, including Allen Lazard, whom the Jets then went out and signed yesterday for $44 million across four seasons. Rodgers also wants to throw to 32-year-old Randall Cobb and 38-year-old Marcedes Lewis as well.

The news prompted at least one hilarious tweet about Rodgers’ potential influence over the Jets:

Maybe that’s what Rodgers has pictured in his mind throughout his career? The Jets — a franchise that’s no stranger to player personnel moves that fail, including one that infamously featured another former Packer QB and egomaniac named Brett Favre — are at least enabling the thought by not only signing Lazard, but also reaching out to Lewis and Cobb as well.

Because requesting at least two over-the-hill receivers wasn’t enough for Rodgers and his wishlist, he added a third player whose best days are behind him: Odell Beckham Jr. Yeah, that guy who’s played and tantrumed himself out of two cities, including New York once and even Cleveland, home of the perpetually lowly Browns. He last played for the Los Angeles Rams two years ago, who won the Super Bowl with him, but Beckham wasn’t much of a factor and he was out of the league altogether in 2022.

Mercifully, Rodgers appears likely to bring this soap opera at least closer to an end today with an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” the YouTube program where Rodgers turned up last year and revealed his choice to continue on in Green Bay. Still, even after he announces a preference to move eastward, which seems likely given the Jets’ apparent willingness to do his bidding, per The Athletic, “the Jets and Packers need to agree to a trade — and both teams need to be cap compliant for it to be completed.” Rodgers’ contract ensures a $59 million payment for services rendered the next two years, but that will ultimately count as cap hits of $15.8 million in 2023 and $32.5 million in 2024. The Jets have already restructured in-place deals for five players to bring Rodgers in. The Athletic expects more such maneuvers, as well as player cuts to come in addition to the waiving of receiver and special-teams man Braxton Berrios.

All this for a guy who last year finished with an 8-9 record and did not throw for 300 yards once. Granted, two years ago Rodgers won the league’s MVP and last year he was stuck with a cast of characters in Green Bay that he may not have liked very much. Some of those he did, including Lazard and Cobb, were injured. Still, considering this laughable player “wishlist” Rodgers delivered to the team for which he seems destined to play, there’s little reason to feel confident that any of his thought processes are well-founded or that they will work out.

But, hey, when you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way.

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