On Tuesday, the Jets flew to California to meet with Aaron Rodgers after receiving clearance from the Packers. Jets owner Woody Johnson, general manager Joe Douglas, coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett traveled with the hope that acquiring the former four-time MVP.
Now it appears Gang Green are closer to landing the 39-year-old defender.
According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Jets are “optimistic” to land Rodgers in a trade.
Rodgers is slated to make $59.5 million guaranteed if he plays in 2023 as part of the three-year, $150 million contract extension he signed last year. He has a salary cap hit of $31.6 million next season.
While the Packers and Jets will continue to engage in trade compensation conversations, they could also restructure Rodgers’ contract to allow for an easier cap hit. But Rodgers’ salary cap hit is just $15.8 million in 2023 and $32.5 million in 2024.
The Jets are currently $1.7 million over the salary cap. All 32 NFL teams must be under the cap by the start of each new league year, which begins on March 15.
The four-time MVP is coming off one of his worst seasons last season as he passed for 3,695 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also threw 12 interceptions, which was his most since 2010.
Rodgers also did not record a single 300-yard passing game as he dealt with a broken thumb and rib and knee injuries during the season as the Packers missed the playoffs and had the first record of loss (8-9) since 2018. .
Since the end of the season, the 39-year-old has pondered his future as he could retire, stay with the Packers or request a trade to another team. He went on a dark retreat in Southern Oregon to find clarity on his future, but Rodgers remains undecided as he said on the Aubrey Marcus podcast that he will make a decision on his future soon.
If Rodgers is traded to the Jets, it would instantly make him an AFC East contender. Last season, the Jets defense finished fourth in yards (311.1) and points allowed (18.6).
But the Jets offense has been nothing short of spectacular in 2022, as they’ve started three different quarterbacks over the course of the year. Former first round pick Zach Wilson was benched multiple times as he passed for 1,688 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 54.5% of his passes through nine games. Joe Flacco and Mike White also started multiple games for the Jets, but both are unrestricted free agents.
After the Jets finished 25th in total offense (318.2) and 29th in points scored (17.4) and didn’t score a touchdown over the last three games of the year, they are looking for a veteran quarterback this offseason. Gang Green talked to Derek Carr about potentially signing with the team, but Rodgers was always his No. 1 option. After waiting about a month, Carr signed a four-year, $150 million contract on Monday, with Saints.