Aaron Rodgers is entering his first minicamp with the New York Jets. But is the legendary quarterback and 10-time Pro Bowler really walking into a scenario that mirrors what the Los Angeles Rams had installed?
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports presented this theory on Friday, June 9 in scrutinizing what Rodgers is really walking into, plus if it’s comparable to the NFC’s last two Super Bowl winners in the Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a time the Bucs had Tom Brady.
And there are some notable parallels the analyst presents that connects the dots that Rodgers could be walking into a structure Matthew Stafford moved towards back in 2021 with L.A.
Where Rams & Jets are Similar
While Trapasso believes the Bucs had a deeper wide receiving unit in Brady’s first year, the lineup Rodgers now has does “stack up very closely” to what Stafford had with the Rams.
“The following year (after the Bucs’ Super Bowl win), the Rams boasted Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, polished youngster Van Jefferson, and athletic tight end Tyler Higbee. Solid albeit unspectacular group after Kupp. They signed Odell Beckham Jr. in-season after his release from the Browns, and the flashy veteran caught five touchdowns down the stretch before snagging a pair of touchdowns in the postseason pre-Super Bowl injury,” Trapasso said. “The Jets stack up very closely. Not an envy-of-the-league unit. Hardly a pedestrian group either.”
Rodgers gets one emerging star to work with in Garrett Wilson, a 1,000-yard wideout his rookie year while playing for new Rams offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
“Wilson is tracking toward stardom,” Trapasso said, while adding: “Allen Lazard is a unique big body with the utmost trust of Rodgers. Mecole Hardman can stretch defenses vertically. The collection of Corey Davis, Randall Cobb, and Denzel Mims make for a respectable albeit unspectacular depth trio.”
Outside of WRs, the Jets have a much different makeup in the backfield and offensive line from what Stafford had in his first go round in L.A. Stafford ended up relying on a late trade addition in Sony Michel to shoulder the load as Cam Akers was out with a torn Achilles. The Jets, meanwhile, have Breece Hall making his comeback from his devastating ACL tear. And, there’s chatter of Dalvin Cook being called a fit for the Jets.
But where else do the ’23 Jets and ’21 Rams compare to one another? One more area Trapasso shared is secondary structure as the Rams featured a brash cornerback in Jalen Ramsey who took on the best receiving assignments. Sauce Gardner is that defender for the Jets.
Rams Rookie Receives Surprise From Rodgers
Meanwhile, the Super Bowl 45 Most Valuable Player gave one Rams rookie a surprise.
Stetson Bennett was among the rookies featured in a video done by Fanatics released on Thursday, June 8. And the fourth rounder from Georgia received a message from Rodgers himself with the new Jet saying, “Stetson, loved watching you at Georgia.”
From there, the Rams newcomer was gifted a surprise: An autographed jersey from Rodgers himself. The complete video can be watched here.