This week on April 10, attention will shift to the latest on Aaron Rodgers, where the Jets stand after Odell Beckham Jr.’s decision in free agency, and our first predictions for round one of the NFL Draft in 2023. First, a look back at our past few Q&As with fans:
- Week 85: Free agents to pound the table for, best offers for Aaron Rodgers & OBJ rumors.
- Week 86: Buying or selling Mekhi Becton & Corey Davis bounce backs, Elijah Moore trade reactions.
- Week 87: Hard Knocks, underrated and overrated needs & backup plans at WR/DT.
Another Jets Week Chock-Full of More Aaron Rodgers Trade Rumors
1. In your opinion, is there any truth to the rumors that a third team could potentially steal away Rodgers in the eleventh hour?
Total bulls***. Read the room man. Everyone’s cards are on the table and other teams that would have been in on Rodgers have moved on to other ventures.
It is the Packers and the Jets staring at each other from across the dance floor. We all know the end of this story, it’s just about getting there.
Anything else is a ridiculous rumor that is Packers-created propaganda. I’m sure they would love another team to get involved so that they can save their own a** but it ain’t happening.
First of all, Craig Carton dropped this story initially, and as much as I love listening to Craigy for his on-air antics — his track record as an NFL insider isn’t exactly reliable.
Overall, I agree with my partner here. This was probably something that Green Bay pushed through the NFL community as gossip and sent to Carton with a little red bow — knowing he’d take the bait. After all, it’s good for ratings whether he’s right or wrong.
He did, and here we are, but rest assured the San Francisco 49ers are not targeting Rodgers.
2. Last Friday, general manager Joe Douglas made an unusually brazen statement in front of fans at a live event with WFAN’s Boomer & Gio. What did you make of this viral moment? Too much tequila, or something more?
I love the line “too much tequila” as part of the defense. Let me put it this way, it sure appeared that general manager Joe Douglas was having a hell of a time and I wish I could’ve been there.
They often say that a drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts and I think that couldn’t be truer in this sense. Douglas is saying what all of us know, this deal is going to happen. It is the worst-kept secret in football.
Also, it was a lot of fun to see Douglas in that light. GMs are often these buttoned-up guys that have to give politically correct answers, so it was cool to see him with his guard down.
In case you missed it, the line was: “He’s gonna be here.” And of course, it was said regarding Rodgers.
Personally, I was shocked when I saw this video. Douglas is like Fort Knox when it comes to information, and this deal is currently on the one-yard line.
The pessimistic Jets fan in me said — ‘Oh God, it’s Jamal Adams all over again!’ — but in the end, I do think it was just a small slip up coaxed by Boomer Esiason and some Casamigos. Hopefully, we look back on it as an awesome moment, not fatal mistake.
Fallout After Jets Miss on Odell Beckham Jr. in NFL Free Agency
3. The Jets were passed up in free agency by a big-name veteran once again (Fletcher Cox, Calais Campbell, and now Odell Beckham Jr.). What do you attribute this 2023 trend to? Do you think stalls in Rodgers trade talks have anything to do with it?
I can understand from a fan’s perspective how frustrating this is. The “almost” Jets running joke on social media never gets old.
It certainly can’t help that the Rodgers trade isn’t official. As we saw with the OBJ story, even if you’re the front runners, nothing is guaranteed to happen.
I’m not sure I have a perfect answer to this question but to me, it’ll all pay off if the Jets land Rodgers. There is nothing more important than the quarterback position and the Jets have a chance to acquire one of the best in the game.
I think it’s a combination of things. One, the New York media has been a bit bullish this offseason, naming the Jets favorites for players that always felt like a toss-up to me.
To explain, overpaying for Beckham (Ravens paid $15 million plus incentives) never made any sense to me. Joe Douglas doesn’t do that, and unless Rodgers forced his hand, I never got behind this rumor like it was some sort of guarantee. Cox and Campbell were more of a team fit, but both had plenty of suitors, so the end result was more disappointing than shocking.
Part two is Rodgers. Delays with the Green Bay Packers have certainly hurt the Jets. Not only does it create a sense of uncertainty for a free agent, but it also forces Douglas to be more reserved about his spending — in the event that a Rodgers trade occurs.
The Packers may not have the leverage long-term, but their trade embargo might be just annoying enough to squeeze an extra pick out of the Jets when all is said and done. After all, there’s no coming back from “almost” if it happens with Rodgers.
4. Some believe the Jets should target another wide receiver after missing out on Beckham. Do you agree, or do you like the current group of pass-catchers?
I 100% agree. Wide receiver is a big need and not enough people are talking about it.
People often misinterpret what the NFL Draft is designed to do. It isn’t about filling your biggest need right now, it’s about thinking present and future. For example, there are three wide receivers on the Jets that are set to be free agents in 2024 (Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, and Mecole Hardman).
Beckham may have been a luxury, but the wide receiver position sure isn’t. Gang Green needs to get aggressive to fill that hole because they need another guy.
I’m never opposed to drafting a wide receiver — or any position — in the mid to late rounds for added competition in camp, but I have to disagree with my partner here overall. Wide receiver was not, and is not, a major need in 2023.
If you’re worried about the future, you could always sign or trade for a veteran next offseason, or draft someone then. Right now, you’ve already invested dollars and picks into the position and there’s no reason to spend more when you’re upgrading at quarterback.
I was pretty clear about it in previous mailbags: I wanted no part of Odell Beckham. I also wanted to keep Elijah Moore rather than Hardman. Having said that, you currently have Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Davis, Hardman, Mims, Irvin Charles, Tyler Conklin, C.J. Uzomah, Breece Hall, Michael Carter and more as potential pass-catchers. I’m good with that group.
Jets Mock Draft Fever — Positional Targets in Round 1
5. It’s officially draft season, what position will the Jets target in round one? Predict a player if you’d like.
Let’s get sexy and go wide receiver. I don’t think this is a crazy class but there is one player that would be a lot of fun and that’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
He could reunite with his former Ohio State teammate, Wilson, and cause havoc in the NFL. Defenses would have to debate who are they going to double team and who is going to be 1-on-1. Whatever the answer is to that question — it’s the wrong one.
The Jets would immediately own one of the most talented wide receiving corps in the NFL with JSN on it.
As tantalizing as that suggestion may be, I’ve already made it clear that the Jets do not need another wide receiver right now. What they do need both short and long term is a new offensive tackle.
Duane Brown is like 85 years old in NFL years, and likely retiring after the 2023 campaign. Mekhi Becton could walk if the Jets don’t franchise tag him or work out a long-term deal (unlikely). Even 2022 rookie Max Mitchell had some health scares in year one.
O-tackle is the Jets No. 1 team need right now and it isn’t even close. No matter who’s at quarterback in 2023, Douglas knows he has to correct his biggest failure on the job — and he has to do it ASAP.
As for a prediction, I’d be okay with any of the top-four OTs (Paris Johnson Jr., Broderick Jones, Peter Skoronski, or Darnell Wright). Everyone seems to have a different rank when it comes to these four, so it’s hard to say which one is most likely to fall to Gang Green — if not more than one.