Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers speaks about his future:

Where Jets must turn if Packers QB doesn’t clear trade in 2023 NFL free agency

Aaron Rodgers

After weeks and weeks of speculation, Aaron Rodgers may or may not be parting ways with the Packers. Trey Wingo, an NFL writer, stated on Monday that the transfer of the future Hall of Fame quarterback to the Jets is essentially “done.” Numerous Jets players shared their excitement on social media, which seemed to validate the rumors.

But there still has been no word from Rodgers, who previously indicated he would announce his plans for 2023 before free agency begins, which unofficially began Monday.

Even while it makes sense for everyone involved if Aaron Rodgers signs with the Jets, what if A-Rod decides not to?

New York has aired its desire for a proven veteran QB since long before free agency began, and some of the top options — Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo, Here are our recommended backup plans in case Rodgers doesn’t follow in Brett Favre’s footsteps by making the jump to the Big Apple:

1. Go see Lamar Jackson

There is a case to be made that the Jets ought to pursue this strategy rather than pursuing Rodgers. Although Jackson doesn’t have A resume, Rod he is still only 26 years old, not 40, and possesses some of the most exciting qualities of any NFL quarterback. The former MVP’s non-exclusive franchise tag gives New York a unique chance to bargain with him.

The Ravens did well to match any offer the Jets might make, preferring to let Gang Green negotiate for them. But if Jackson is focused on a fresh start as a result of his contract drama, he could still use the Jets’ interest to pressure the AFC East contenders. New York could potentially hang on to the 13th pick in the 2023 draft as part of trade talks. And landing Jackson would theoretically solve their need for star QB power in both the short and long term.

2. Trade up to draft a QB

Easier said than done, yes, but think about it: the reason the Jets want a proven QB is that most of the rest of their roster is built to compete right now. So it’s not like auctioning off a few premium picks to jump from No. 13 would hurt the program’s development; The Jets already have promising building blocks at running back, wide receiver, pass rusher, etc. Packing No. 13 with a future first-rounder and other second-day picks — or maybe QB Zach Wilson, or WR Corey Davis, or other expendables –They should be able to pass one of C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, or Will Levis if they can get them close to or inside the top five.

The question, of course, is whether they could guarantee to get the guy they love. But going back to the first round for a QB is smarter than overpaying for a middle backup type just to get a vet.

3. Make do with what’s left

The saddest but most likely option in the event Rodgers spurns the Jets is to explore the rest of the free-agent market. Fortunately, this year’s veteran crop is especially rich, even after guys like Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, and old friend Sam Darnold have found new homes. Eagles backup Gardner Minshew would be an interesting option given his starting experience. Journeyman Jacoby Brissett is a proven plug-and-play leader, albeit an unspectacular one. Expected Saints drop Jameis Winston may offer the purest juice as a pimp, though he comes with turbulent qualities of his own.

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