The Jets are officially retaining Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh; they are expected to keep OC Nathaniel Hackett as well. Jets decision to run back this trio would not go over well with a notable sect of the fanbase. The team is riding the longest playoff drought in major North American sports, but ownership is prepared to give the group a pass after Aaron Rodgers‘ Achilles tear sank this season.
With Rodgers having what certainly appears to be considerable say in the Jets’ decision-making, it should then be expected the team will listen to him regarding 2024 personnel moves. Already pegged as being prepared to pursue Davante Adams in 2024, the Jets look certain to make a genuine pursuit to reunite Rodgers with his former No. 1 Packers target. The Raiders wide receiver appears on Rodgers’ 2024 watch list, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes.
Rodgers’ 2023 wish list should probably give the Jets pause about more acquisitions driven by their quarterback. Allen Lazard went from signing an $11MM-per-year contract (with $22MM fully guaranteed, most among free agent wideouts this offseason) to being a healthy scratch for a game this season. After producing a career-high 788 receiving yards with the 2022 Packers, Lazard has 311 this season. Randall Cobb has four catches this season, and Dalvin Cook‘s $7MM contract has produced little. But an Adams addition would present a much higher floor.
The Raiders also continue to be linked to considering a trade. With the power brokers that signed off on the Adams trade (Josh McDaniels, Dave Ziegler) gone, ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano indicates there is a strong chance either the Raiders or Adams determines by the 2024 offseason this partnership should end after two years.
Adams, who turns 31 today, is 32 yards away from his fifth 1,000-yard season. A first-team All-Pro three years running, Adams has taken a step back this season. Voicing frustration about his role in the Raiders’ offense this year, Adams will likely finish well shy of his 1,516-yard 2022 showing in Las Vegas. With the Raiders closer to rebuilding after the ousters of McDaniels, Ziegler and OC Mick Lombardi, Adams could well be traded for the second time in three years.
It would cost the Raiders $23.6MM in dead money to trade Adams before June 1 of next year. Though new regimes are not as concerned with accumulating dead money associated with players previous staffs brought in, Champ Kelly is firmly on the radar to be retained as the Raiders’ full-time GM. Kelly was in place as assistant GM when the Raiders traded first- and second-round picks for Adams in March 2022. While Adams remains a high-end wideout, it would likely not cost as much for the Jets to pry him from the Raiders as it did for Las Vegas to obtain the then-franchise-tagged target.
More Packers may be on Rodgers’ 2024 list as well. The quarterback is a strong Aaron Jones backer, Cimini adds, and his friendship with David Bakhtiari is well documented. The Packers will likely release Bakhtiari after another injury-abbreviated season. The Jets need help at tackle and were briefly linked to a Bakhtiari pursuit this summer, but the 32-year-old blocker’s injury trouble since his New Year’s Eve 2020 ACL tear will limit his market.
It is unclear if the Packers will jettison Jones, though they would be tagged with barely $5MM in dead money if they designated the talented veteran as a post-June 1 cut. Jones joined Adams in being one of the Packers’ best skill-position players during Rodgers’ tenure, but he remains valuable to the team. Though, one season remains on Jones’ reworked contract. And the Packers pivoted heavily toward a youth movement in the wake of the Rodgers trade. AJ Dillon is unsigned for 2024. With Cook almost definitely not coming back and Michael Carter being waived recently, the Jets will be looking for a new Breece Hall backup.
Rodgers’ influence and importance to the Jets may lead to a significant say in 2024 personnel moves, but he is officially shut down for the 2023 season. His comeback from September Achilles surgery falling short still led to the Jets using an IR activation. Rodgers is believed to have resisted such a move, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, since he now takes up a roster spot despite not factoring into the team’s gameday plans. Douglas and Saleh made the push to activate Rodgers so he can continue practicing.