The Jets have their Mike LaFleur replacement in place after Thursday’s decision to hire Nathaniel Hackett as their new offensive coordinator. That move immediately led to speculation that it could be followed in the near future by the acquisition of Aaron Rodgers.
New York is indeed expected to add a veteran passer this offseason in the wake of Zach Wilson‘s struggles, and a clear connection exists between Hackett and the future Hall of Famer. The pair worked together in Green Bay between 2019 and 2021, a period during which Hackett did not call plays but still played a role in the team’s (and Rodgers’) shared success. Head coach Robert Saleh denied Hackett’s background with the Packers – and his potential importance with respect to securing Rodgers via a trade – played a role in his hire, though.
“It doesn’t matter what the connections are,” Saleh said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “Everyone’s got a connection to everybody in this league. The most important thing was finding a guy who we felt could continue developing our young guys at a very high level and a guy who has done it before, a guy who has had success in this league with a variety of different quarterbacks.”
Hackett has indeed worked with several different signal-callers dating back to his time as a play-caller in Buffalo and Jacksonville. While those stints did not result in much success (save for the 2017 Jaguars’ run to the AFC title game), the 43-year-old represents at least a somewhat reasonable hire given his track record prior to his disastrous foray into a head coaching role in Denver last year.
The Broncos were long connected to Rodgers given not only Hackett’s hire, but the presence of a strong defense and several intriguing skill-position pieces on the roster. The exact same can be said of the Jets at this point, as they boast a number of high-end defenders, a strong running game and a pass-catching corps led by Offensive Rookie of the Year finalist Garrett Wilson.
Rodgers is once again at the heart of trade speculation, though it still remains to be seen if he will play in 2023, and how willing the Packers would be to move on from him. The four-time MVP is due $58.3MM option bonus this year, and it can be paid at any before the season begins. But a team trading for Rodgers would have the opportunity to roster him on merely a $15.8MM cap hit in 2023. Even after a down season statistically, Rodgers would also likely command a hefty trade price from the Jets or any other interested team. In light of that, Saleh doubled down on his support for Hackett being his preferred choice to guide the team’s status quo on offense.
“When it came back to a certain checklist that I was trying to go through, just checking boxes on what we were looking for in regard to this next offensive coordinator, I just kept circling back to him,” Saleh said. “He checks every box of what we were looking for. I’m really, really excited about being able to get Nathaniel here.”
25 comments on “Robert Saleh Addresses Nathaniel Hackett Hire, Aaron Rodgers Connection”
If only we had recent proof that hiring Nathaniel Hackett doesn’t mean your glaring QB need will be filled by acquiring Aaron Rodgers.
Ooh and I forgot to say first.
Are you Oooof’s burner account?
Think he meant to reply to his own comment.
I still think Geno would be a good fit for the Jets. Kind of a coming home story and hopefully have success where there was failure before.
The only way he should sign with Seattle before he gets a chance to take other offers is if he doesn’t want to play anywhere else. Even then his agent should be dead set against it. He will get better offers I would imagine than what Seattle offers. Not trying to cheat him but I would think they might lowball him if he lets them know there is no other place he wants to play.
They could transition tag him and let him walk for the pick. That would be 11 if I remember right. The tracker is off because we did not have to send a late round pick for a trade we made. Now we just need as good a draft as last year. O and D rookie of the year candidates.
What kinda deal you think geno gets sportrax says 2 yr 80 mil lulz
Thats not as crazy as it sounds as long as more than $20M isn’t guaranteed.
$20M signing bonus, pay him $20M salary year 1. Thats $40M in cash year 1 to him but only a $30M cap hit. Then if he plays well you have him on the books for $50M in ‘24 and just extend him. If he doesn’t play well you cut him with only a $10M dead money hit.
You don’t have to personally like it or want him for that, but it seems reasonable.
Why would he leave a team that bet on him and put him in a position to succeed to return to the Jets? I say that as a Jets fan.
Money? Lots and lots of money?
Seattle has a lot more cap room.
The cap is but a number to be manipulated. Especially by the desperate. If the Jets want to outbid SEA they can and will find a way.
I wonder if SEA thinks their system deserves the credit and believes they can find a purdy good QB elsewhere, like SF proved is possible with a talented enough supporting cast. And not spend the cap hit on Geno.
The Jets should not start restructuring contracts and kicking dead money down the road for a player like Geno Smith.
No probably not. But…they could. And they might.
You’re right, they certainly could. I hope they refrain though. Nothing against Geno, personally, just seems like a bad idea.
Seattle doesn’t have Shanahan.
We agree there! Doesn’t mean they wont be tempted to try. Petey seems pretty confident in his system. Maybe rightfully so.
outbid ? for Geno Smith?
You do grasp how Free Agency works, yes?
IMO – Geno isn’t leaving Seattle. He’s their bridge QB and he knows it. He’ll get 4x$25M with a few of the years guaranteed and they’ll draft a young QB in next couple of drafts. He found a home there and will settle into a back up role as the young guy comes online.
The J-E-T-S have placed their bet on landing Rodgers. Hackett is overrated beyond belief. Talk about failing up. He never called the plays in GB and was an abject disaster in Denver. Not sure how much to blame on him and how much to blame on Russ, but once Hackett left, the offense started to at least resemble something functional. Hackett is live bait, trying to draw in Rodgers.
Hackett is a poster child for why the “N” in NFL stands for Nepotism. He should be embarrassed by how much money he has stolen from teams thanks to his last name. I’d make him exhibit “A” in the Flores suit against the NFL.
Hackett andFlores don’t have much to do with each other. Flores’ lawsuit centers around his race, not his lineage. Flores asserts that he was fired due to his race, and your assertion that Hackett’s hire is due to his patronage rather than his skin tone.
In any case, I agree that Hackett was miserable as a head coach. He has a handful of successful seasons as a coordinator, though, such as the aforementioned Rodgers seasons (it’s a pretty good advantage to have possibly the most effortless passer we’ve seen though).
To me, Hackett’s biggest accomplishment was his 2017 magic with Blake Bortles and an only above average Jacksonville offense. Bortles had been knocked around by instability and ineptitude from his coaching staff, which made his playing mistakes more pronounced. Fixing him, even for a season, was impressive. That said, Hackett’s head coaching adventure was possibly the worst that I’ve ever seen. His going immediately back to coaching, even in a lesser role, makes me wary of whether his confidence has recovered enough to even give him a chance to work at his best…his best already being subject for scrutiny as is.
My understanding of Flores’ suit is that race plays a factor in the hiring process and that preference is given to white candidates (with less impressive results on the resume – aka Exhibit A Nathaniel Hackett).
“Hackett is overrated beyond belief. Talk about failing up. He never called the plays in GB and was an abject disaster in Denver.”
How about you address his time as OC of Buffalo and Jacksonville, where he somehow led offenses with Kyle Orton, EJ Manuel, and Blake Bortles to respectable finishes, including a top 5 offense with Jacksonville when they made the AFC championship game?
Bummmmmmm. Jets gonna Jet!
This move wasnt about rodgers. It was about not changing anything on offense. And the owner fired the oc that the head coach wanted to keep.
Hey buddy, can you run the same offense as mlf and his brother. Cool. Come on.
How many times can they rewrite the same article over and over?