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Five Thoughts on Rodgers Joining the Jets: Patriots Fans Shouldn’t Be Too Worried

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
1 month ago at 11:51 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary

Five Thoughts on Rodgers Joining the Jets: Patriots Fans Shouldn’t Be Too WorriedJeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Monday brought some euphoria to New York Jets fans as the trade for Aaron Rodgers was finally completed, ending Rodgers’s tenure in Green Bay as he moves on for “greener” pastures.

It also sets up at least one season where the Patriots will have to face him twice, which certainly makes things a little more challenging compared to going up against the trainwreck that has been now backup QB, Zach Wilson.  As a result, here are some quick thoughts now that the embattled veteran quarterback has a new home.

Jets Ended Up Losers in This Deal

The Jets got fleeced in this deal, with the Packers ultimately getting their way after standing their ground on getting a shot at New York’s first-round pick in the 2024 draft.

In the deal, both the Jets and Packers swapped first-round selections in this year’s draft, with New York’s 13th overall pick going to Green Bay in exchange for their 15th selection.  They also gave up their second-round selection, along with a sixth-round pick.

The Packers, meanwhile, also gave up a fifth-round pick but stood their ground on forcing New York to accept giving up another conditional round pick in 2024, which is a second-round pick that could become a first if Rodgers plays in at least 65% of his snaps.

That apparently had been a sticking point of the deal that the Jets were initially not willing to give up, and rightly so.  First-round picks are incredibly valuable, especially considering that the Jets are a young team on the rise and having control on significant skill position players for potentially five years is vital to a team’s future.  The odds are pretty good that Rodgers will be long gone before then, leaving them with maybe two seasons before this transaction potentially becomes just a footnote in team history.

Needless to say, desperation clearly played a part here, which is what happens when the guy who should have been their future, Wilson, turns into a disaster.

Rodgers Isn’t Big on Adversity

One thing you can’t call Rodgers is “mentally tough,” which is what it’s going to take to survive in the New York market.  His biggest issue is that he comes off as someone who believes he’s the smartest guy in the room, which is going to get under the skin of reporters, who will likely hit him with some difficult questions he isn’t going to like.

Factor in that the AFC East is a fairly competitive division overall, with Rodgers having to face a Bill Belichick-coached team twice (more on this in a bit), as well as a pretty good Dolphins team and a solid Buffalo team.  That’s better than the cakewalk he had in the NFC North against the Bears, Lions, and Vikings, which also didn’t include the quality of coaches he’s matched up against here.

Should the Jets struggle and Rodgers has a couple of bad outings, it’s probably safe to say that the microscope will be such where he’s criticized pretty significantly and some of his antics won’t likely see anyone locally to back off.  He’s also the type of player who is very quick to shift blame, going from a guy who just last season expressed the importance of not “breaking ranks,” only to then immediately break those ranks after throwing his own coach under the bus.

Chaos Will Likely Ensue

If things get bad, it will be interesting to see how head coach Robert Saleh handles things.  Saleh is no stranger to sticking up for himself and making difficult decisions, handling a difficult situation last year with Wilson fairly admirably.  Wilson saw himself yanked from the line-up after taking zero accountability publicly for his issues, which clearly became a problem in their locker room.

Saleh did the right thing and yanked him, which kept the locker room together as teammates rallied around Mike White as the Jets went on a bit of a run late before ultimately coming up short.

But of all people to “mentor” Wilson, Rodgers couldn’t be a worse option.  Rodgers is about as full of himself as Wilson appears to be, which certainly won’t help with Wilson’s growth.  What’s sort of crazy is that Wilson’s style of play is similar to Rodgers, where both guys are big on freelancing outside the pocket and each has a great arm making off-script throws.

The difference is that Rodgers is much smarter and more accurate, with Rodgers also showing more discipline and vision when it comes to seeing exactly when his guy comes free and squeezing the ball in there.  Wilson may at least start improving in that area, which could eventually make him more difficult to deal with should he ever get himself together.

The latter point is a big “if,” but the bigger question will be whether or not Rodgers splits the locker room if they go through a rough patch.  Should the Jets find themselves on the other side of a couple of difficult losses and end up below .500 late in the year, it’s tough to say if Rodgers’s “R-E-L-A-X” attitude will be enough to stave off what is arguably one of the most scrutinizing sports cities in the country.

The Patriots Have Had Success Against Him

While the prospect of Rodgers entering the division seems daunting, Bill Belichick of all coaches has done a fairly good job defending against him.

After all, looking back at how they played him in 2022, that Week 4 match-up is one that they’d probably like to have back.  It’s probably safe to say, based on how the game was going, that had Brian Hoyer not gotten knocked out of the contest, the Patriots may have walked out with the upset.

As it was, rookie Bailey Zappe surprised everyone by not letting the moment be too big for him and save for New England’s conservative playcalling, Zappe was playing more than well enough to have even beaten Green Bay in regulation.  That’s why it’s hard not to feel like with Hoyer, the Patriots may have been less hesitant in their play calling and might have been able to get points late against a Rodgers-led team who, aside from overtime, hadn’t exactly been overly problematic.

But against Rodgers, Belichick has handled him just fine.  The club had won two of the previous three meetings against him prior to that match-up and have held him under 30 points in each of the last four contests.  Heading into 2023, the Patriots also returns most of its defense and will likely be adding pieces in this week’s draft, along with additional moves ahead of the season.

Obviously, the big question will be New England’s own ability to score points and if that problem is at least corrected, beating Rodgers no longer ends up being as daunting as some might feel like it could be.

How Long Will He Stick Around?

This is probably the biggest question.  Should Rodgers face adversity and his luck in the AFC turns out the same as it has for Russell Wilson in Denver, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him walk away.

He’s not a fighter.  He’s not Tom Brady.  He’s heading to New York with a chip on his shoulder, but likely not with the same approach we saw when Brady headed to Tampa.

After all, the reason why things even reached this point is a stark difference to how things went in New England.  Rodgers never got over the drafting of Jordan Love and he’s been crying about it ever since.  Brady, who dealt with the club using a second-round pick on Jimmy Garoppolo in 2014, never let up and it only motivated him further as he went on to lead his team to a Super Bowl that season, along with another two years later, which ultimately saw New England ship Garoppolo off in 2017 after Brady kept the pedal down and left zero doubt about his status as the team’s starter.

That ended up being the right move, with the Patriots winning yet another title the following year in 2018.

With Rodgers, it’s always been about everyone else and the narrative being written with his words instead of his actions on the field.  When his career does eventually come to an end, that’s also why he’ll never measure up to Brady, because the contrast between the two players is so significant that to see his final chapter potentially ending in New York only seems fitting.

At the same time, there’s no question that Rodgers instantly makes the Jets better.  But really, how will things truly look by the end of 2023?

Given his history, if I were a Jets fan, as excited to see this move go down, I’d still be worried.

And that’s why here in New England, until he proves otherwise, those two games will remain simply as just two match-ups on the Patriots’ schedule.

What are your thoughts on Rodgers landing in New York?  Post a comment below.

Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: Aaron Rodgers New York Jets

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    1 month ago

    Rodgers, 4 time NFL MVP.


    Nathaniel Hacket. Jets OC, and Rodgers OC for 2 seasons in GB


    Jets defense one of best in NFL

    nuff said?

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