When I was watching Packers’ quarterback Jordan Love in the NFL playoffs, I was envious of Packers’ fans.
Imagine, Jets’ fans, if Love would be your starting quarterback for the 2024 season. Would you want him instead of Aaron Rodgers behind center next season?
You’ve seen what Love has recently done with the Packers, and imagine what he can do with Breece Hall in the backfield and Garrett Wilson on the outside. Add the Jets’ defense in the mix, and you can see a consistent playoff run ahead.
Yet, that’s a pipe dream now. Love’s progression and projection is yet another reminder of the failures of Sam Darnold and Zach Wilson as the Jets’ next quarterback Messiah. There was chatter of the Jets trading for Love after the 2021 season and some early on last year instead of Rodgers.
Love will be firmly entrenched in Green Bay for quite some time, and the Pack will be back. Love threw for 4,159 yards with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this past season in his debut.
The question here is whether the Jets can make a Super Bowl run over the next three years with Rodgers at the helm. On the eve of the big game, it will be 55 years since Joe Willie brought home the Vince Lombardi trophy.
This is also the time when reality hits about the Jets’ future.
The 40-year-old Rodgers wants to play a few years, and he also will dictate who will be in his circle that includes head coach Robert Saleh and GM Joe Douglas. It looks like wide receiver and recent Rodgers’ favorite target Davonte Adams will be staying in Las Vegas with the Raiders’ revival.
Even though the Jets have the renowned quarterback for an assumed playoff run, how secure are they?
The offensive line needs a rehaul, having only rookie center Joe Tippmann and guard Alijah Vera Tucker as the apparent mainstays even though Vera-Tucker can’t stay healthy the past two seasons.
The new plan is to move Vera -Tucker to right or left tackle and Tippmann to right guard with center Connor McGovern returning from an injured 2023. First-round flop and left tackle Mekhi Becton likely will be out the door.
Protecting Rodgers in 2024 will be a top priority, and the Jets need to fill two holes via free agency or the draft.
Then there’s Saleh. Should the Jets have parted ways with him with former Titans’ boss Mike Vrabel still available, or even Bill Belichick out there? Would the Jets welcome Belichick back after all of his years of torture against them. In either case, they should have thought about it.
Jim Harbaught should also have been given some consideration before he went west with the Chargers.
But the Jets are staying with the Rodgers’ realm. Wilson likely will be peeled off for a fifth- or sixth-round pick, and a veteran backup should be here behind Rodgers. Last year, I thought Gardner Minshew should be the choice, and I still believe he is a viable one.
When you’re watching the Super Bowl this weekend Jets’ fans, you have to believe you can make your travel plans for one of them in the next three years. By the way, Darnold may get a Super Bowl ring with the 49ers as their backup, a role that suits him better than a Messiah.
That’s the assumed Rodger’s reality. Instead, you may see Love and the Packers there instead.