Well, he’s here. Let all of the euphoria of Aaron Rodgers being the Jets’ Messiah begin. We’re a few days into a hangover effect about the four-time league MVP.
Yet, don’t forget to take a look at the Giants. The G-Man made their own recent splash on a much lower tone by signing defensive tackle and run stopper and ex-Ram A’Shawn Robinson.
Earlier, the Giants signed Bucs’ defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches. With these latest additions along with Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence, the Giants suddenly have upgraded their defense.
The Giants did gain some leverage and depth should Lawrence decide to play hardball about his contract extension in the coming months.
So, now we have two New York teams with high playoff aspirations. The Jets have been in the spotlight all winter and spring, while the Giants have been quietly working backstage. New York sports betting enthusiasts have to be looking forward to football season.
As for Rodgers, it appears the Jets gave up this year’s (number 13) and next year’s top pick for him, while they recouped the Packers’ top pick this season at number 15. Rodgers likely will play 65 percent of the team’s snaps, and that will cost the Jets their top pick in 2024.
Is it worth it? If you’re a Jets’ fan, you have to be ecstatic knowing that you have a legitimate Super Bowl-bound quarterback. The early skepticism has Rodgers needing to win a Super Bowl in two years.
That’s realistic considering the current makeup of this team. GM Joe Douglas has done wonders with the draft and free agency in recent years, and we’ll see what he can add Thursday night. The Jets still have five picks left this year.
After the draft, Douglas will bring the Jets’ braintrust together to decide what to do about Rodgers’ contract, as he is owed $108 million the next two seasons. That will surely need some thinking and tinkering.
The bigger question then moving forward will be whether Rodgers can push it into his 40’s. He certainly has avoided major injury, and it will be a matter of whether his skills begin to erode.
And what happens to Zach Wilson? The former No. 2 overall pick and presumed Messiah a few years ago now begins Rodgers’ backup.
Remember Wilson’s quote about Rodgers saying that he was “going to make that dude’ life in practice hell every day.” Well, I have an inkling that it likely won’t happen.
Instead, Rodgers could take on a role of mentoring Wilson for a takeover when he decides to retire. A more likely scenario has the Jets keeping Wilson as an insurance policy for another team if their starter goes down with an injury, or he’ll be dealt away for a middle-round pick in the offseason. I don’t see Wilson being here past this season.
The surge is on. Yes, it’s obvious with the Jets and the fanfare around them. However, the Giants have quietly gone about their business and have pieced together a championship caliber team.
We’ll see the next step with the draft Thursday night. There’s plenty more to come and the smell of playoff football is back in the New York air.