When the New York Jets fanbase woke up on March 8, there was no news of an Aaron Rodgers trade, but there was an intriguing report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
“The Jets converted $4.5 million of TE C.J. Uzomah’s salary into a bonus,” the NFL insider informed, adding that this move will clear “$3.6 million in cap space.”
Expect more of this to occur over the next week as the Jets attempt to free up cap space ahead of free agency — while also planning to bring in a big-name veteran quarterback like Rodgers.
At the 2023 NFL Combine, general manager Joe Douglas told reporters: “We still have a lot of flexibility. As you guys know, we hardly have any money prorated into the future on our salary cap so we have great flexibility to create very large amounts of cap space if necessary.” Reducing Uzomah’s $10-plus million cap hit was just the first shoe to drop.
C.J. Uzomah Restructure Causes Jets Twitter to Stir Over Potential Aaron Rodgers Trade
To no surprise, fans immediately jumped to conclusions about the timing behind this cap conversion.
“RODGERS BOMB INCOMING,” one fan predicted boldly. Another commented: “It’s happening, clearing the space now.”
“Interesting timing….” a third wrote, while a fourth said: “It’s the beginning of the end for this quarterback saga #jets #AaronRodgers.”
There were one or two fans that went a different direction with this news, however, whether they were being sarcastic or serious.
“Good move. Jimmy [Garoppolo] won’t come cheap,” one fan voiced. Another noted that this “could be nothing,” or “could be everything.”
Finally, Peter Bukowski — host of the “Locked on Packers” podcast — joked: “Welcome to NY, Randall Cobb.” The veteran wide receiver and friend of Rodgers has often followed him throughout his career.
Latest on Jets, Aaron Rodgers Trade Talks With Packers
The update from SNY’s Connor Hughes late last night on March 7 was very candid — it’s radio silence between the Jets and the media on Rodgers trade chatter.
“I would love to tell you what was discussed at this meeting, I would love to give you the full breakdown of what’s going on,” Hughes admitted, “but the New York Jets are on full-on lockdown when it comes to information gathering. They do not want to let anything get out. Every single person you text, it is ghosted. They just want to keep this information in-house. They realize that it is a very, very delicate matter.”
The SNY insider did continue, voicing that “I don’t know if a trade is imminent.”
He elaborated: “I don’t think this is something that’s going to necessarily happen tonight. I think this is something where, Aaron Rodgers — if you know anything about him… you get to know the guy certainly from afar — he is not somebody who is going to make any decision without every single ‘t’ being crossed and every single ‘i’ dotted. He understands that he has the option to retire… He understands that he has the option to return to the Packers… What he doesn’t know is what could potentially be waiting for him on the other side. Is the grass actually greener with the New York Jets?”
The last we heard on Rodgers, a core contingent of Jets personnel flew out to California to meet with him in person, including team owner Woody Johnson, general manager Joe Douglas, head coach Robert Saleh, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, and “possibly others” according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
The return flight was originally reported to have been scheduled for “around 11 PM PST (or 2 am ET),” but those plans may have been altered after meeting with Rodgers.
You can catch up on all of the March 7 Rodgers news here.