The Aaron Rodgers to the jets Trade hype has hit a crescendo with the recent hiring of Nathaniel Hackett, as the team’s new offensive coordinator.
Hackett, recently fired as the head coach of the Broncos, served as the Packers’ offensive coordinator from 2019-2021.
Now he is part of this New York coaching staff and that has whipped this thing into a frenzy.
It’s almost broken social media in fact, as fans and mainstream New York media are feverishly playing connect-the-dots because of course Hackett coached Green Bay’s quarterback, Rodgers, for those seasons.
That must mean Rodgers to New York is a done deal?
Possible trade scenarios are popping like popcorn.
Only, there’s three talking points nobody wants to look at or discuss, that will prevent Rodgers from being traded to New York.
1. Jets’ offensive line
Have you seen the current Jets’ offensive line and depth chart?
New York has seven offensive linemen under contract for 2023, and four of them are coming off an injury list.
Not exactly what a 39-year-old QB with a lot of mileage on the treads wants to see.
All that’s left for offensive tackles under contract are Mekhi Becton, Max Mitchell and Duane Brown.
All that’s left for guards under contract are Laken Tomlinson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Dru Samia, and Chris Glaser.
No centers are signed for 2023.
The offensive tackle situation is atrocious.
Nobody in their right minds would want to sign up to play with one offensive tackle who hasn’t played in two years (Becton), one who has a serious blood clot issue (Mitchell), and the other who’s nearly as old as Rodgers ( Brown).
That’s all the Jets have.
Offensive tackle George Fant is an unrestricted free agent, as well as center Connor McGovern.
All the other backups are free agents too, including guard Nate Herbig.
I’m sure Rodgers wants to go somewhere where he might get at least two Mississippi’s.
That’s not New York.
Team General Manager Joe Douglas has left the offensive line cupboard bare.
2. Salary Cap Woes
The Jets are over the cap currently by close to $2.7 million dollars ($2,674,607).
Prior to last season, Rodgers signed a new 3-year, $150 million dollar contract extension with Green Bay.
I’m no mathematician, but the math doesn’t add up here.
How could the Jets take on Rodgers contract and stay compliant to the NFL’s salary cap?
You’re guessing is as good as mine.
There are people who say just restructure deals and cut cap heavy players from the roster, but it’s not that easy, because those larger cap number players also have to be replaced.
New York also has another 24 players who played with the team last season, who represent roughly $54 million in 2022 salary dollars.
Even if the Jets don’t bring some or any of them back, they will still have to find suitable replacements that will probably equal as much, if not more than $54 million on the 2023 salary cap.
That’s not counting the anticipated addition of Rodgers’ possible $31 million 2023 cap number.
Even if the Jets trimmed Brown from the offensive line and linebacker CJ Mosley, wide receiver Corey Davis, safety Jordan Whitehead and defensive ends John Franklin-Myers and Carl Lawson (the most cap friendly possible cuts), that would only clear $62 million in cap space. That would barely cover the salaries of the 24 Jets’ free agents with that money.
That’s not taking into consideration the monster contract extension Jets’ star defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is seeking.
Plus, there’s the $3.3 million allotted for the rookie draft class.
There’s not enough cap space to go around.
3. New York Can’t Afford to Trade Draft Capital
Given the team’s bleak salary cap situation, big ticket offensive tackles are unobtainable through that avenue.
New York must infuse the offensive line with young high end talent, especially at left and right tackle, and possibly at center if the team loses McGovern.
It’s their only hope of being able to field a solid offensive line in 2023.
There goes the first, second, and possibly third round picks this year.
New York doesn’t have the draft capital to give Green Bay for Rodgers.
If the Jets don’t use their draft picks to select offensive linemen, no QB will be left standing.
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