Aaron Rodgers, Jets Saga Draws Unexpected Reaction From Free Agent WR

Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers

Getty Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen greets Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers after a game in 2018.

The assumption around the NFL is that Aaron Rodgers will play for the New York Jets in 2023 — once a trade is worked out with the Green Bay Packers.

That acquisition is expected to flip the AFC East division on its head, with the Jets surging up to second in Super Bowl odds (+800) inside the division behind the Buffalo Bills (+475) according to Bookies.com. Some even believe that Gang Green could dethrone Buffalo with Rodgers at the helm. After all, the same Jets team beat the Bills with Zach Wilson at quarterback in 2022.

Needless to say, Allen versus Rodgers is becoming a hot debate on social media between Bills Mafia and Gang Green nation, and the Jets got some unlikely support in this regard on March 17. Former Buffalo wide receiver and three-plus year teammate of Allen, Cole Beasley, tweeted the following: “Only qb in the entire league you can put in front of Rodgers right now is [Patrick] Mahomes and that is it. The disrespect is crazy.”

The surprising admission blew up on Twitter, with over 7,000 likes and 2.3 million views.

Josh Allen vs. Aaron Rodgers Debate as Jets-Bills Rivalry Heats Up

So long as all goes as planned and Rodgers is traded to the Jets, this will become the new AFC East rivalry to watch in 2023 — not to discount very solid teams in Miami and New England.

Obviously, Rodgers has had the stronger career as a likely first-ballot Hall of Famer someday, but is he the better quarterback at age 39? And does he have to be for the Jets to prevail over the Bills?

You could still make the argument that Beasley has and say yes, Rodgers is better at this very moment. The Packers legend has won the NFL MVP award two out of the past three seasons, and Allen has never earned more than a Pro Bowl appearance.

Here’s the statistical breakdown (regular season only) over that three-year span (2020-2022) — which is also Allen’s greatest stretch of his young career (per Pro Football Reference).

Stat Category Aaron Rodgers Josh Allen
Passing Yardage 12,109 yards 13,234 yards
Rushing Yardage 344 yards 1,946 yards
Total Touchdowns 118 129
Completion % Each Season 70.7, 68.9, 64.6 69.2, 63.3, 63.3
Interceptions 21 39
Fumbles 15 30
3-Year Record 34-15 37-12
QBR Each Season 79.8, 69.1, 39.3 76.6, 60.7, 71.4

There’s no denying that Allen — fully in his prime — is more of a statistical nightmare for opposing defenses, but he’s also the much sloppier of the two signal-callers. Outside of the 2022 campaign — where Rodgers was hamstrung by a broken thumb on his throwing hand and a rookie cast of wide receivers — the veteran generally limits his mistakes and profiles as the more precise passer and decision maker.

Allen is more of a boom or bust QB, that can giveth and taketh away with spectacular moments followed by head-scratching decisions.

Going by QBR, Rodgers was the better overall quarterback in 2020 and 2021 (hence the MVPs), but Allen was far better in 2022. Neither has been great in the playoffs throughout their careers, but Rodgers has at least won a championship game and a Super Bowl.

With a better supporting cast in New York, plus a top-five defense, Allen and the Bills should definitely have their hands full with Rodgers’ Jets during the upcoming season. Unless, of course, injuries catch up to the older gunslinger as they did a year ago.

Is Cole Beasley Offering WR Services to Jets?

Considering Beasley’s comment came straight out of left field, you have to wonder if he’d be open to playing with the Jets after a Rodgers acquisition.

The Jets have already been linked to veteran slot receiver Randall Cobb in free agency — due to his ties to Rodgers — so Beasley would only make sense if a Cobb deal fell through.

Keep in mind, Gang Green also has inside-out speedster Elijah Moore on the roster as of now, as well as 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson — who can also play the slot. That doesn’t leave all that much room for Beasley to join the Jets, although he’s the type that could latch on midseason if injuries were to occur.

That’s what the veteran safety net did in 2022, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad before returning to Buffalo later on.

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