Rodgers-Wilson Dynamic Will Determine Jets’ Fate

Joe Namath had Don Maynard.

Ken O’Brien had Al Toon.

Chad Pennington had Laveranues Coles.

Vinnie Testaverde had Wayne Cherbet.

And now Aaron Rodgers will have Garrett Wilson.

There’s plenty of anticipation in Jets’ circles about the projected production of the duo this fall. If they both stay healthy, as they say..the possibilities could be endless.

Through his first two seasons, Wilson has 178 catches for 2,145 yards,but only seven touchdowns. He had passes from six different quarterbacks. 

In the opener last year, Rodgers targeted Wilson once, but they didn’t connect. This season, Wilson sees Rodgers as a viable option.Wilson also was a favorite target of former quarterback Zach Wilson. 

“[Rodgers] is a resource for me,”  said Wilson earlier this week.. “Just a person that I can always bounce my thoughts off of. I feel more comfortable bringing certain things up. You never want to come off too strong, but I’m a curious guy, I got a lot of questions, I like football a lot, I like to talk the game.”

Yes, Wilson and Rodgers can talk the game through August, but it will need to start to show the results when the Jets open the season in  national spotlight in San Francisco Monday, Sept. 9. 

Like the Jets’ quarterbacks of the past, Rodgers needs his innermost psychological connection on the field , and it will be Wilson. 

The Jets have looked into bringing former top target Davonte Adams over from Las Vegas, but they didn’t work out. Rodgers and Adams  combined for 622 catches for 7,590 yards and 69 touchdowns in 108 games.

Allen Lazard, another Rodgers’ prime target in Green Bay, didn’t work out last season with Zach Wilson. Lazard hasn’t looked good in the OTAs, and there have been rumors he may be released if the Jets’ receiving corps begins to grow. 

Still, Lazard – who had his worst season with 23 passes for 311 yards with a touchdown in a limited role last season – is still in Rodgers’ wheelhouse, and the two combined for 170 catches for 2,262 yards with 19 touchdowns in 57 games. 

There’s also Lazard’s, four-year, $44 million deal in which he will receive a guaranteed $10 million this year. He has a $12.1 million hit against the cap this season, and the Jets and Rodgers will look to get Lazard back into his groove. 

Wilson wants to win, and he expects to be in the playoffs this season. The Jets are also aware that a likely contract extension will be coming down the pike soon. Just ask them where new pass rusher Hasson Riddick has been in the OTA, as he wants a new deal.

However, this season will be about the Wilson-Rodgers connection. 

Every notable Jets’ quarterback had a primary receiver.

We’ll watch how the Wilson-Rodgers dynamic develops into the postseason.


About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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