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By: Michael Nania
Price is key as it pertains to Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets
In the New York Jets‘ ongoing Aaron Rodgers-versus-Derek Carr debate, I am firmly situated on the fence. I can see the good and bad of both options and do not have a strong preference.
But if the latest Rodgers rumor is to be believed, it changes everything about my stance.
On Friday, a tweet from Packer Report writer Jacob Morley indicated that NFL Network analyst (and close friend of Joe Douglas) Daniel Jeremiah believes Rodgers will become a Jet – and he thinks they can get him without giving up a first-round pick. This is according to what Jeremiah has heard “in the halls” of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Daniel Jeremiah and Rich Eisen both mention hearing things “In the halls” of the combine.
DJ says he thinks Rodgers will be a Jet.
Also added he doesn’t think it will take a 1st.
— Jacob Morley (@JacobMorley) March 3, 2023
Throughout this process, I have assumed New York would be required to give up at least one first-round pick in any Rodgers trade. This potentially lofty trade cost is an enormous equalizer in the Rodgers-Carr debate, as adding Carr would not require any draft picks. It’s one of the main reasons why I am so torn on which option is better for the franchise.
If Rodgers can be had without giving up a first-rounder, though? Then it’s a no-brainer, in my opinion: Trading for Rodgers is the better path.
The Jets need to add more pieces around Rodgers to win a Super Bowl with him. Adding Rodgers alone will only make the Jets a playoff-caliber team. A few more holes need to be filled before a Rodgers-led Jets team is truly ready to run through AFC contenders like Kansas City, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Jacksonville on the road to a championship.
New York’s 13th overall pick in this year’s draft is a crucial asset in getting their new quarterback the help he needs to have a legitimate chance at winning a Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Jets do not have much cap room to work with this offseason and they no longer have a surplus of draft picks to dangle in trade conversations as they did in previous years. That pick is their best shot at acquiring an elite-level talent who can be a significant needle-mover for the team in 2023.
The offensive line is New York’s most pressing non-quarterback issue, which is essential to mention in this discussion since it’s a unit that directly affects the quarterback – more so than any other position on the field. The Jets can address that issue by using the 13th pick on a blue-chip offensive line prospect. This is viewed as a strong offensive tackle class, and the Jets should have some intriguing options at that position when they come onto the clock at No. 13. Or, the pick can be traded for a veteran offensive lineman.
As Rodgers approaches 40 years old this December, he needs all the protection he can get. Asking a 40-year-old Rodgers to come in and lead a team with a shoddy offensive line to a Super Bowl does not seem wise. And if the Jets have to give up the 13th overall pick to get Rodgers, there is a realistic chance they will be asking him to do just that.
If the Jets can keep No. 13, though? They can have their cake and eat it too. Joe Douglas can reel in a four-time MVP quarterback while hanging onto a top-15 pick that can be used to solidify his supporting cast. An opportunity like that is hard to pass up.
Maybe the Jeremiah rumor turns out to be false and Rodgers will still cost the Jets a first-rounder after all. Should that turn out to be the case, this entire discussion changes.
For now, though, as this saga drags onward with no real news coming out, the football world is clinging to anything and everything that is remotely worth talking about. The information provided in this rumor could be a game-changer if it turns out to be true, and the source is credible enough for the rumor to be entertained.
Getting Rodgers without losing a first-round pick would be a best-case scenario for the Jets.
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Originally posted on Jets X-Factor