It wasn’t a coincidence the Jets hired Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator last week.
They knew what they were doing by hiring him with the idea that he could convince Aaron Rodgers to play for them. Plus, Jets owner Woody Johnson wanted to create some news of his own after the Giants finished their season with a 38-7 divisional-round loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
They seemed to be all in on getting Rodgers out of Green Bay.
It would be a mistake for the Jets to acquire his services. There are way more cons than pros about getting Rodgers.
Yes, the Green Bay Packers quarterback can manage a game at quarterback. Yes, he’s decent enough to help the Jets win games. Yes, he will get fans interested in the Jets again. Yes, he will get the Jets on national television and put them front and center of the back pages of the New York tabloids, which Johnson craves the most.
Despite all that, Rodgers offers too much baggage for the Jets to think about acquiring him.
He’s no longer the player he used to be. He lost his fastball in throwing this season, and he has been doing a lot of dinking and dunking rather than going long. Plus he’s not as quick as he once was and struggles to read defenses.
Frankly, I question the sincerity of his interest in playing in New York. He may want to leave Green Bay with the idea his time has run its course, but New York may not be the place he wants to restart. The Jets offer nothing for him to be really engaged here. He doesn’t think they’re anywhere close to being a Super Bowl contender.
I also wonder if he wants to deal with the scrutiny of playing in New York. It was one thing to play in Green Bay where he was protected by the media and the Packers’ fanbase. The New York media present a very different prospect. They pounce on a player and expose him when he’s vulnerable. His behavior will be scrutinized minutely from the start, and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to change for anyone. Plus, his aloofness is bound to be a problem for the New York media and the Jets fans.
Rodgers may be oblivious to many things, but he’s not this stupid when it comes to dealing with the media. He knows how vicious the media in town can be when things go bad, and he also knows New York is different from Wisconsin. This could be why he’s likely going to be hesitant to play for the Jets, even if they want him.
My guess is that he will want to play for the Las Vegas Raiders. He can get jumpstarted by Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, and he knows Vegas would tolerate his quirkiness.
It would be a good idea for him to play for the Raiders from his standpoint and the Jets’ standpoint.
The Jets would be foolish to give up two No. 1 picks to get a 40-year-old quarterback who is likely in the twilight of his career. Maybe the price goes down, but the Green Bay Packers are not obligated to trade Rodgers if they don’t like what other teams are offering. He is still under contract with them, and odds are they may not be in a rush to start quarterback-in-waiting Jordan Love.
Rodgers likely would have to spend his offseason working with the Jets' offense just to get a feel for them. He may not have the inclination to do so since he feels getting to know the players before the season starts is overrated. He feels he is good enough that he does not have to get acclimated to perform. As a veteran, he does not feel like he should be wasting his summer to get an understanding of the playbook and the players.
This would be a mistake. The Jets have too many young players on offense, and they need to know Rodgers’ idiosyncrasies for them to be successful. If he does not feel like this is worth his time, it should not be worth the Jets’ time.
Rodgers’ aloofness would have a negative impact on the players who are still learning how to win. He may not have the patience or tolerance for guys learning on the job. At his age, he seems more suitable to play with a veteran team that can help him win now than a team that is on the rise.
He has had many playoff failures as the Packers quarterback. This may sit well in Green Bay, but it’s not going to sit well here. Shoot, his approach of not taking the regular season seriously enough is not going to sit well here.
If the Jets acquire Rodgers, he has to be committed. I am not sure at his age he is even committed to the game. He seemed disengaged the last two seasons, and that should be a reason for the Jets to stay away from him. He is not the right guy for a young team at all.
It wouldn’t be good for Rodgers’ career to even play here. He knows this as much as anyone, even if the lure of Hackett is out there.
The Jets are better off getting Derek Carr as their quarterback. Now, he’s a guy who will be out with something to prove after being fired by the Raiders. He won’t be picky about what team to play for. He would embrace playing in a market like New York. He’d love to be a hero for the Jets.
They don’t have to give up anything for him since they can sign him up as a free agent.
Carr can just come in and manage the game. He’s durable unlike Jets quarterbacks Mike White and Zach Wilson. He can make the occasional throw that could be a first down.
Sure, he may not be Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow or Josh Allen. That’s okay. He doesn’t have to be as long as Jets running back Breece Hall is healthy.
He makes more sense than getting Rodgers.
Give me a guy who would rather be here (Carr) than a guy who may not be gung-ho about being here (Rodgers).
You can read Leslie's Jersey Sporting News columns on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
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