In the end, the Packers fleeced the Jets for Aaron Rodgers
Several weeks ago, we argued that the Jets should act like they’re from New York/New Jersey. Instead, they did a deal that wouldn’t have even qualified for a set of steak knives in Glengarry Glen Ross.
Sorry, Jets fans, but your favorite team got fleeced. They had leverage. They just chose not to use it.
They chose not to say to the Packers, “This guy is never playing for you again. What are you going to do, pay him $60 million to sit on the bench? We’re in no hurry. He knows the offense. He doesn’t like to participate in the offseason anyway. We can do the deal at the start of training camp. We can do it at the start of the regular season, if need be.”
That’s the inescapable message from the terms of the deal. The 2023 second-round pick was a given. The Jets didn’t want to give up a first-round pick in 2024, unless it was the payoff for a great season.
In the end, the two becomes a one next year if Rodgers takes only 65 percent of the snaps this season. That’s not even two thirds of the full campaign. It’s only 11.05 games. He can miss nearly six games, and the Jets will still owe a first-round pick in 2024.
Then there’s the kicker. The flippity-flip of first-round picks in 2023. It doesn’t look like much to go from No. 13 to No. 15. In the upper half of round one, however, that’s a lot -- especially since the Jets have now assumed a spot in line behind THE PATRIOTS.
But, hey, at least the Packers are sending the Jets a 2023 fifth-round pick in exchange for a 2023 sixth-round pick. As if that balances it all out.
It doesn’t. Not even close. Rodgers was never going to play for the Packers, ever again. The Packers got a two, a future one (most likely), and an upgraded first-round pick this year -- with no protection to the Jets if Rodgers retreats to a dark room with a pot of ayahuasca and decides to retire after the 2023 season.
And so the Jets may ultimately have given all of that up for barely 11 regular-season games. With no guarantee of a playoff win, or even a playoff berth. With no guarantee of a winning record, or of even a single win during the 2023 season.
Team owner Woody Johnson asked on Twitter after the news emerged, “How’s everyone feeling?”
Packers fans should be feeling great. For Jets fans, the answer is simple.
“Not too good.”
Yes, they have Rodgers. But what did they give up? And what are they getting? They gave up too much for a roll of the dice, when it comes to on-field success.
Johnson, in turn, gave up perhaps just enough for a season of extreme relevance, with maximum ticket sales and in-stadium revenue and standalone games against the Bills (twice), Dolphins (twice), Patriots (twice), Chiefs, Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants.
Financially, the Jets will win. Whether they win enough games to get to the playoffs is a question for later. For now, it’s all about not the green of the helmet but the green of the cash that will be flowing into the owner’s coffers.
And it will be not for Woody but for his football employees to deal with making chicken salad out of the draft picks they surrendered for a quarterback who will turn 40 in December.