The New York Jets made two roster moves on the evening of March 10, but unfortunately, neither of the transactions was a trade for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The pair of cuts showed up on the NFL transaction log, and were later confirmed by ESPN’s Rich Cimini and the Associated Press’ Dennis Waszak Jr. The latter tweeted the following: “Jets released WR Rodney Adams and DB Zane Lewis today. Lewis missed the last 2 seasons after injuring a knee in joint practices with the Packers in camp in 2021. Was showing promise at safety after moving from CB that summer.”
Lewis had been on the injured reserve for so long that most Jets fans on Twitter forgot he was on the roster, responding — “Who are they?” — in the comments. Adams, on the other hand, had been buried on the WR depth chart behind NYJ prospects like Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, Denzel Mims, Jeff Smith and Irvin Charles.
A former fifth-round selection of the Minnesota Vikings, Adams has appeared in one NFL game after playing college ball at South Florida. Lewis, an undrafted defensive back out of Air Force, has never appeared in an NFL game.
Expect the Jets to Continue to Free Up Cap Space Amid Aaron Rodgers Trade Speculation
The Jets have freed up cap space a few times this week, including minor savings on the reserve cuts above.
First, general manager Joe Douglas was able to rework the contract of veteran tight end C.J. Uzomah. Later, the organization decided to release WR/returner Braxton Berrios. They have also made it known that they will not be tendering 2022 trade acquisition James Robinson, saving future cap space in free agency.
On top of all of those moves, Cimini informed that “the Jets are reaching out to agents” on restructuring more deals in the coming days. The ESPN reporter named linebacker C.J. Mosley, defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers and cornerback D.J. Reed as restructure “candidates” on March 10.
Mosley is the big one. The defensive captain carries an exorbitant $21.476 million cap hit into the 2023 campaign. Gang Green restructured Mosley’s contract last offseason and could do so again this cycle.
Needless to say, head coach Robert Saleh would prefer not to release the “quarterback” of his defense, but a post-June 1 cut would save $17 million if the Jets get desperate. At the very least, it’s a bargaining chip for Douglas during negotiations.
Like the veteran linebacker, Franklin-Myers was another expected restructure that The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt detailed this winter. “[JFM is] still only 26 and coming off a solid season, so restructuring his contract — converting salary into a signing bonus to clear cap, and spreading that hit over multiple years — would make sense this offseason,” Rosenblatt wrote on January 24. “He has a $12.4 million cap hit, but per Over the Cap, the Jets can potentially save around $7 million with a restructure. He’s signed through 2025.”
Finally, Reed is entering year two of a three-year contract that he signed last spring. Considering how well he played in 2022, it’s possible the Jets look to extend the 26-year-old cornerback, which would allow them to lower his cap hit in 2023.
Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy Hints That Aaron Rodgers Trade Is Happening
There was one other bit of news on the evening of March 10. Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy spoke with ABC Green Bay reporter Adriana Torres, and he made it pretty clear that Rodgers will not be their starting QB next season.
“It’s a situation where I think we wanted to help Aaron achieve what he wanted, as well as the Packers,” Murphy admitted candidly. “Hopefully, it’ll create a situation where it’s a win for both sides.”
The key Packers figure also noted that “ideally, for everybody, [they would like] to have this resolved before the start of free agency on March 15.”
Remember, Rodgers could still throw a curveball at the Jets and retire, but it appears his career in Green Bay has concluded either way. If the Packers do end up trading the four-time MVP to New York, the news should come within the next few days.