Jets Top Pick Breaks Silence on Potential Inclusion in Aaron Rodgers Trade

Jermaine Johnson, Jets

Getty New York Jets defensive lineman Jermaine Johnson celebrating with some of his teammates on the sideline during an NFL game.

As the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers engage in one of the longest staring contests in recent NFL history, a new twist has been thrown into the mix.

ESPN Packers beat writer Rob Demovsky floated a potential idea out into the universe on how the two teams could find a compromise in the Aaron Rodgers trade negotiations.

If Gang Green doesn’t want to give up the No. 13 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft, Demovsky wondered if there was a unique way to make up that difference.

“They are going to have to figure this out somehow, someway to get equal value for whatever a first-round pick would be. Whether that’s using the draft chart to add up a second, a third, or a fourth, or whatever it is to equal that No. 13 pick or a player,” Demovsky told Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show on Friday, March 24.” “This was suggested to me, you know the Jets had three first-round picks last year. One of them, the third of the three was Jermaine Johnson. Let’s just say the Packers really liked him last year and had a first-round grade on him last year. Would they accept that as the same equivalent of a first-round pick?”

Rich Cimini of ESPN was the first to float this trade idea in a column posted on Sunday, March 19.

On Friday, March 24 Johnson took to Twitter to send out a very interesting message with some curious timing:

“Thank God for putting me in the position I am in today. Thank God for keeping my mind clear this offseason so I can transform into a monster. Thank God that I’m a New York Jet. All gratitude and glory to the most high.”

Johnson didn’t make any reference to the Rodgers trade rumors or his potential involvement in that deal in the tweet. However, the way it was framed led some fans to speculate that it was a message about those trade rumors.

One fan said I’d rather have Zach Wilson as the quarterback than have you included in “a trade for any QB in the league!”

Jets Perceived to Be “Lowballing” Packers in Aaron Rodgers Trade Chatter

“Here’s what I can tell you Rich right now from what I was told the Packers think the Jets are kind of lowballing them a little bit,” Demovsky told Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show. “Now what that means, I don’t exactly know but the Packers feel like they’re in a position of leverage right now.”

Eisen scoffed at the idea of the Jets including the former No. 26 overall pick in any deal for Rodgers.

“Rob I mean seriously why would the Jets give up anything for Rodgers that is a first-round talent when he’s 39, he’s going into a darkness cave, and he’s flipping off the lights wondering if he’s going to play anymore?”

The 24-year-old still has an additional three years left on his rookie contract plus the fifth-year team option that could keep him under team control through the 2026 season.

The former Florida State product only appeared in 34 percent of the defensive snaps in 2022 and didn’t start a game in his rookie campaign.

However, Johnson is expected to receive a major uptick in playing time next season.

Jets Should Stick With Draft Pick Package Over Player Temptations

This potential Jets-Packers trade for Aaron Rodgers is incredibly complicated.

Green Bay has to be satisfied with draft compensation, New York has to be comfortable with commitment from A-Rod, and Rodgers has to be good with the money reconfiguration.

Over the last several weeks there have been several trade offers exchanged between the two teams featuring different creative ideas.

Despite the potential allure of throwing players in to minimize draft cost, the Jets should stick to a package built around draft capital.

If Gang Green is really trying to win as soon as possible then they’ll need all the players they can get their hands on. Draft picks are completely unknown lottery tickets and there is no guarantee they’ll be a success.

The only players the Jets should be remotely considering in this trade package should be players in the last years of their deals (Corey Davis, Denzel Mims) or players buried on the depth chart (Jeremy Ruckert). Outside of that it just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

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