Robert Saleh

Jets Notes: Adams, OL, Hogan

Even before the Jets acquired Aaron Rodgers, the team was busy adding many of the quarterback’s former teammates from Green Bay. With Rodgers expected to be fully healthy heading into the 2024 campaign, the organization is once again expected to pursue some of the veteran’s preferred targets.

However, one major name that may be unrealistic is Davante Adams. Tony Pauline of writes that an Adams-to-Jets move isn’t “remotely possible.” For starters, the Raiders have no real desire to trade their star wideout. The organization values the player’s leadership, and new head coach Antonio Pierce expects the veteran to be a part of their desired “winning culture.”

Further, the Jets would never be willing to meet the asking price for the star wide receiver. If the Raiders would ever consider trading Adams, Pauline believes they’d request New York’s 2024 and 2025 first-round picks. It’s unlikely that the Raiders would accept an offer of a first-round pick and a third-round pick, even if that first was the No. 10 pick in the upcoming draft.

Adams’ stint with the Packers ended before Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay, and he was sent to Las Vegas to play alongside his college QB, Derek Carr. The two showed their chemistry in 2022, with Adams finishing with 1,516 receiving yards and a league-leading 14 touchdowns. However, the organization moved on from Carr last offseason, and inconsistency at the QB position led to Adams putting up some of his worst numbers in years. The wideout ultimately finished this past season with 103 catches for 1,144 and eight touchdowns, with each of those stats marking his lowest totals since his 12-game performance in 2019.

Because of those declining numbers and the organization’s uncertainty at quarterback, there were some rumblings that Rodgers could look to recruit Adams to New York. For the time being, it sounds like the receiver is staying put.

More notes out of New York…

  • The Jets have significant holes on their offensive line, and ESPN’s Rich Cimini estimates that the team will pursue two new offensive tackles and a guard. Considering that long shopping list, Cimini expects the team to pursue at least one OL via free agency. The organization could also look to fill one of those holes with their first-round pick, with Cimini pointing to Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu or Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga as options.
  • Following the Jets’ disappointing 2023 campaign, there were a handful of damning reports surrounding the organization’s inner turmoil. According to Pauline, some in the organization believe assistant general manager Rex Hogan was responsible for the leaks. These leaked reports ranged from Zach Wilson’s reluctance to be inserted back into the lineup to coach Robert Saleh‘s excuses for the team’s record. Hogan and the Jets mutually decided to part ways following the season.
  • Speaking of Wilson, we heard earlier this week that the former first-round pick has started to evaluate trade options. The Jets are all but guaranteed to move on from Wilson this offseason, and it sounds like the organization is giving the QB some say in his next destination.

Jets Owner Woody Johnson Talks HC/GM Hot Seat, Offensive Struggles, Rodgers

FEBRUARY 9: When speaking to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, Johnson noted that Saleh will “concentrate” on the team’s offense this season (video link). That is notable given the latter’s background on defense, and the continued presence of much-maligned OC Nathaniel Hackett. Johnson praised defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich as well as New York’s special teams units, doubling down on the team’s abundant need for offensive improvement. It will interesting to see what alterations could be made with Saleh committing more time and attention to that side of the ball.

FEBRUARY 8: Following their offseason acquisition of Aaron Rodgers, the Jets had high hopes heading into the 2023 campaign. Those hopes were dashed when Rodgers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury on his fourth snap. The Jets still managed to finish the season with seven wins, but a five-game midseason losing streak revealed some major cracks in the foundation.

While owner Woody Johnson gave both head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas a vote of endorsement following the 2023 season, the duo won’t be completely excused for the team’s underwhelming performance. While speaking with reporters during tonight’s NFL Honors, Johnson seemed to hint that the HC/GM duo will be on the hot seat heading into the 2024 campaign.

“They’ve seen me about as mad as I could be with what was going on with the offense particularly,” Johnson said (via Adam H. Beasley of “We’ve got all this talent and we’ve got to deploy talent properly. So I think they all got the message.

“This is it, this is the time to go. We’ve got to produce this year, we have to produce this year.”

The Jets are 16-32 under Saleh, and the organization has gone 25-55 with Douglas leading the front office. While Johnson admitted that he’s not a “playoff mandate (guy),” he is counting on his coach and GM to improve on their seven-win campaign (via Costello).

During his conversation with reporters, Johnson seemed to express specific disappointment in the offense in 2023. He even took a clear shot at former second-overall pick Zach Wilson, stating that the team needs a backup quarterback since they “didn’t have one last year” (via Brian Costello of the New York Post). Johnson also pointed to the offensive line when asked about the team’s overall plan for success in 2024.

“We need to keep the quarterback vertical,” Johnson said (via Beasley). “It’s really all about the offense. For the last five years, it’s been about the offense. The offense has to score, keep the defense off the field.

“Defense is good, but we got, I think we were developing a really good plan for free agency and the draft, coaching trying to get the offense, so we have a balance, more of a balance, a balance on offense. We run the ball better in the red zone. A change in our practice schedule? We’re looking at everything. So we know we know what we can’t do, so now we got to do it.”

The owner also made it clear that he’s counting on Rodgers to return to top form. When asked if the Jets could close the gap between themselves and the top of the division, Johnson pointed directly at his veteran QB.

“Yeah. I think we can close it with Aaron Rodgers, yeah for sure,” he said (via Beasley). “We’ve got a very good defense. If we can do anything on offense. I mean, we won games without scoring a touchdown. That’s absolutely incredible.”

Latest On Aaron Rodgers’ Jets Influence; Robert Saleh Considering Reducing Nathaniel Hackett’s Role?

The Jets were ready for a different story in 2023. After year after year of question marks at the quarterback position, New York finally made the move for that franchise passer for which fans had been clamoring for so long. Yet in that trade for the then-39-year-old Aaron Rodgers, the Jets were getting much more than an upgrade to their quarterbacks room.

A lot of the influence that Rodgers demonstrated over the Jets last year came before he ever arrived. In order to “woo” Rodgers during the trade standoff, owner Woody Johnson approved the hiring of Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator, per Zack Rosenblatt and Dianna Russini of The Athletic. Hackett had a history with Rodgers, serving as his offensive coordinator for three years in Green Bay, two of which resulted in an MVP award for the four-time All-Pro. Unfortunately, though, Hackett was coming off of a disastrous campaign as head coach of the Broncos, during which he became just the fifth head coach since 1970 not to finish their first season as head coach.

Even before that, the Jets stayed busy signing many of Rodgers’ former teammates like wide receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, quarterback Tim Boyle, and offensive tackle Billy Turner. Not to mention that the veteran quarterback also pushed the team to add offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and tight end Marcedes Lewis to the roster, as well. Lots of this undue influence on personnel stemmed from his past in Green Bay, where he felt general manager Brian Gutekunst shut him out, especially after the drafting of his eventual replacement Jordan Love. In an effort to make Rodgers feel more in the loop, the team gave him a direct line of communication to general manager Joe Douglas.

Rodgers was even reportedly consulted on the lack of success from his offensive coordinator following Rodgers’ season-ending Achilles injury. Rosenblatt and Russini report that the team reached out to several veteran quarterbacks after Rodgers’ injury, including Chad Henne, Carson Wentz, and Colt McCoy. Of course, former Jet Joe Flacco was available, but the Jets staff reportedly didn’t view Flacco as an upgrade over backup quarterback Zach Wilson.

When the team ultimately chose to move forward with Wilson (and eventually Boyle and Trevor Siemian), many were critical of Hackett’s ability to adjust to the team’s new situation without Rodgers, with coaches and players describing the play-caller as “lacking in attention to detail.” The article reports that head coach Robert Saleh has explored the idea of adding new offensive staff and reducing Hackett’s role, an exploration that seems to involve Rodgers’ input.

Unlike Hackett, Saleh reportedly jumped into action after Rodgers’ injury, diving into a study of how the league’s best coaches of the past had dealt with similar situations. He found that, with the exception of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, all of the best current names in NFL coaching circles experienced losing records in seasons without their top passing option.

It was also Saleh who informed Wilson after his initial benching that he would be inactive for the remaining stretch of the season. When the head coach was forced to reverse course among injuries and other factors, it was Rodgers that Saleh turned to in order to convince Wilson to play again. That plan proved ill-conceived, though, as Wilson had soured on his former idol. Wilson reportedly expected to have a direct line to Rodgers as he undertook the duties of the starting quarterback. Despite reports that Rodgers had taken Wilson under his wing, due to the veteran’s obsessive pursuit for the world’s quickest return from a torn Achilles tendon, Wilson barely heard from him.

Aside from all of the internal influence, Rodgers’ activities outside of the building have caused ripples, as well. Even setting aside the headline-grabbing comments about late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, Rodgers’ famous paranoia was causing issues inside the Jets’ facility as he told Pat McAfee that there had “been a bunch of…leaks,” sending Saleh and staff into a witch hunt.

Regardless of it all, the plan remains largely the same for 2024. Saleh and Douglas, after public endorsements from Rodgers, will remain in place. Depending on how conversations between Saleh and Rodgers play out, the offensive coaching staff may look slightly different, but Hackett is likely to remain in place, as well. Rodgers, likely to be fully healthy by the beginning of the 2024 season, will return as the starting quarterback wearing several other hats beneath his helmet, his influence ever-present.

Community Tailgate: Jets’ Future

After Aaron Rodgers spent months attempting to come back from an Achilles tear earlier than anyone before him, the lofty goal of returning this season proved unreachable. The Jets activated their preferred starter from IR, and while Rodgers can keep practicing to close out the season, his next game opportunity will come in 2024.

Rodgers said following his darkness-retreat excursion this winter he was “90% retired,” but the future Hall of Fame quarterback has changed his tune since joining the Jets. Turning 40 earlier this month, Rodgers now hopes to play two more seasons. Having planned a two-year run with the Jets, the four-time MVP is planning to start that clock in 2024 — after this lost season ended four plays in. The Jets’ outlook changed at that point as well.

Pivoting back to Zach Wilson, the Jets saw their season resemble a 2022 campaign that became defined by a losing streak. The Jets tumbled out of playoff contention, partially contributing to the call to shut down Rodgers, and have now started four quarterbacks in at least two games. The team’s playoff drought doubles the longest current regular-season-only streak in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL.

Robert Saleh will soon become the rare coach to receive a fourth season after starting his tenure with three consecutive sub-.500 showings, with Woody Johnson confirming he and fifth-year GM Joe Douglas will be given a mulligan and return in 2024. With Rodgers given significant say in organizational decisions, his recent endorsement — and rumors leading up to it — pointed to Johnson sticking with the embattled HC-GM duo. While Johnson did not mention OC Nathaniel Hackett last week, Rodgers being a long-running supporter of the struggling coordinator — after a three-year Packers partnership — looks to count for the most at this point.

Saleh still will be joining a select few in being retained after three consecutive sub-.500 seasons. Not counting interim coaches, 152 HCs have been hired since 2000. Only five have managed to last into Year 4 without a .500 season in their first three years. Here is that short list:

  • Dom Capers, Houston Texans (2002-05)
  • Mike Nolan, San Francisco 49ers (2005-08)
  • Jeff Fisher, St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams (2012-16)
  • Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-16)
  • Jon Gruden, Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders (2018-21)

Even going back to the start of the free agency era in 1993, which seems like a decent line of demarcation for modern hiring practices, only one other HC qualifies for this exclusive club. The Bengals gave ex-Jets HC Bruce Coslet a fourth season in charge in 2000, but his three straight losing slates came after a 7-2 mark as a 1996 interim hire. No other coaches hired from 1993-99 meet the criteria, putting Saleh (and the Falcons’ Arthur Smith, should the 7-8 Falcons lose once more and he survives) in rare territory.

For all the Wilson drama to take place during Saleh’s tenure, the former 49ers DC has turned around the Jets’ defense. The team ranked last nearly across the board on that side of the ball in Saleh’s first year. By 2022, the unit had rocketed to fourth place in scoring and total defense. This season’s group has not been quite as good, sitting 16th in points allowed and seventh in total defense (but third in DVOA entering Week 17). Saleh’s defensive chops and Douglas’ ability to provide sufficient pieces — though, predecessor Mike Maccagnan brought in top front-seven pieces C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams — have been on display over the past two seasons.

Still, this year has brought a new chapter of Jets drama. Rodgers’ weekly spot on the Pat McAfee Show featured countless updates on a rehab effort that fell short, with the future Hall of Famer’s comments continually forcing Saleh to address various remarks. Rodgers also criticized the team’s culture after The Athletic’s report that indicated Wilson was hesitant to reclaim the starting role. Saleh pushed back on Rodgers’ criticism but also said he always believed Wilson was the team’s best QB option, even as he turned to the since-cut Tim Boyle for two games.

Wilson’s presence has largely defined Saleh’s tenure. The bust-in-progress is 12-21 as a starter and has been benched regularly since November 2022. The Jets handing the former No. 2 overall pick the backup job, while attempting an unusual redevelopment effort, turned out to be a mistake. But the team compounded the error by refusing to bring in a quarterback capable of unseating Wilson once Rodgers went down. Months later, the Jets rank last in offensive DVOA.

A September report pegged ownership as being behind the failure to seek a true Wilson upgrade, which led to the Trevor Siemian practice squad addition. Another report indicated the Jets did not want to add a starter-caliber veteran due to the effect it would have on Wilson. While Wilson is not expected to be part of the 2024 Jets, his three-season tenure — one Douglas greenlit despite the BYU alum’s unusual prospect profile — has been a low point in franchise history.

After another round of ongoing drama and offensive woes, the Jets will bank on a 40-year-old Rodgers bailing them out on the heels of the most significant injury of his career. Considering the ex-Packers (Hackett included) the team brought in this year, it should again be expected Rodgers will have significant personnel sway. Will that be a wise move for the Jets? Weigh in with your thoughts on Jets ownership’s decision to retain its current setup in PFR’s latest Community Tailgate.

Jets Owner: Robert Saleh, Joe Douglas To Stay For 2024 Season

Rumored to be staying despite overseeing nothing but sub-.500 seasons, the Joe DouglasRobert Saleh tandem will officially be brought back for the 2024 season. Jets owner Woody Johnson confirmed it Sunday.

Johnson, who was finishing up his U.S. ambassadorial tenure when the pair was hired, will sign off on the reported plan to give the power brokers a mulligan after the Aaron Rodgers Week 1 Achilles tear doomed the Jets’ season. Douglas has been on the job since 2019, Saleh since 2021.

My decision is to keep them,” Johnson said, via the New York Post’s Brian Costello. “I think we’ve had some very positive moves. The culture of the team is a lot better. The defense is better. The offense needs a few pieces. … Like I said a year ago, we need a quarterback. We had a quarterback for four plays. Since then we haven’t been able to replace him. If we have a good quarterback, it makes everybody’s job easier. It makes the line better, the receivers better.”

The Jets are 16-32 under Saleh, who will join only a handful of 21st-century coaches in being retained despite beginning his HC run with three straight sub-.500 seasons. The team is a ghastly 25-55 under Douglas, who took over ahead of Adam Gase‘s first season. It is safe to say the Saleh-Douglas duo will be on some of the hottest seats in recent NFL history next season, but Johnson will allow them to stay in charge after the Rodgers acquisition produced a mere four plays of work this year.

This will not go over well with many Jets fans, seeing as the team has collapsed in back-to-back years. But Saleh did execute a defensive turnaround. The team ranked last in both scoring defense and total yardage in 2021; it finished fourth in both categories last season. This year, Saleh’s unit rank 11th in points allowed and seventh in total defense. Quinnen Williams and Sauce Gardner have emerged as long-term cornerstones, while veteran C.J. Mosley has stabilized his career under Saleh. Complementary pieces have emerged as well, but the 2024 mandate will clearly be on offense, where the team is finishing off one of the worst seasons in modern NFL annals.

New York’s numbers on offense are down from even 2022, when the Zach Wilson train careened off track. The Jets have scored an NFL-worst 13 touchdowns on offense this season. They rank last in total offense and DVOA on that side of the ball, with Wilson — via the team’s shortsighted plan to leave the former No. 2 overall pick as the unquestioned backup entering the season and its refusal to acquire a better option once Rodgers went down in September — leading the charge toward another woeful campaign. Wilson is expected to be elsewhere in 2024, but the Jets’ lead power brokers will be allowed to pick up the pieces around Rodgers.

Considering Rodgers’ endorsements of Saleh and Douglas this week, that seemed to entrench the duo for the ’24 season. Johnson did not, however, mention OC Nathaniel Hackett on Sunday. That could be telling, and Hackett has submitted one of the worst two-year runs in NFL history.

After leading the way in the Broncos’ offense plunging to the NFL basement last season, Hackett has followed that up with comparably awful Jets offense. Denver ranked last in scoring in 2022, leading to Hackett’s firing after just 15 games, tanking the play-caller’s stock after a successful Green Bay run (as a non-play-calling OC). But Rodgers has long backed Hackett. The four-time MVP’s support for Hackett this week will likely lead to the veteran coach sticking around as well. Indeed,’s Ian Rapoport adds Hackett is expected to come back for the 2024 season.

Look no further than Johnson’s comments on Rodgers’ presence as an indication the QB will get his wish for OC continuity. Rodgers has been practicing with the team for nearly three weeks, doing so despite undergoing Achilles surgery in September. Rodgers’ much-discussed comeback will fall just short, but the Jets activated him from IR and are pleased with the impact he has made on the organization even without playing into the second quarter of Week 1.

I think if you see Aaron Rodgers right now and the impact he’s having on the team and what he’s able to do with virtually no practice, it’s amazing,” Johnson said. “He’s in the fourth quarter of the league year and he’s throwing like he’s practiced all year. When he starts practicing and gets the timing with receivers just perfect, I think you’re going to see some amazing things.”

The Jets convinced Rodgers to accept a historic pay cut for the 2024 season, and after he was close to retiring this year, the 19th-year veteran said this week he wants to play through at least the 2025 season. Not counting this year as one of the two seasons he plans to play with the Jets, Rodgers will likely be given a considerable say in how the team addresses some of the Johnson-referenced offensive deficiencies in 2024. After the Jets based 2023 around how Rodgers could transform their operation, Johnson will keep the keys in Douglas and Saleh’s hands to see this plan to fruition.

Aaron Rodgers Expects To Play Beyond 2024

The Jets have one more day to activate Aaron Rodgers from injured reserve. With the team officially out of playoff contention and Rodgers having torn an Achilles tendon barely three months ago, a comeback always seemed unrealistic.

After multiple reports placed the future Hall of Famer returning this season as unlikely, Rodgers confirmed he does not expect medical clearance this season. Rodgers said during his latest Pat McAfee Show appearance he would still be pushing the Jets to play had he been 100% (h/t’s Ian Rapoport), but even after the speed-bridge surgery he underwent, the 40-year-old passer does not view himself as fully healthy.

That said, the Jets can still expect the recent trade acquisition to be back in 2024. Not only does Rodgers — who was close to retirement before the trade — expect to be back next season, the 19th-year veteran said he does not anticipate the ’24 campaign being his last. Rodgers hinted at playing beyond his 20th season this summer, but he had taken a year-to-year approach in his final seasons with the Packers.

Rodgers reaffirmed Tuesday he wanted to play two seasons with the Jets. One of those seasons would officially be in the books once the ex-Packers great reverts to season-ending IR on Wednesday, but he now views 2023 as a lost season (via Cimini) that will not count in this evolving equation. Hence Rodgers now wanting to play through the 2025 slate.

More pertinent for the Jets’ plans regarding their power structure, Rodgers said he believes in the Joe DouglasRobert SalehNathaniel Hackett trio. Referring to Saleh as a “fantastic” coach (via ESPN’s Rich Cimini), Rodgers has delivered what is expected to be a pivotal endorsement of a leader who will finish with a third straight sub-.500 season in New York. Jets ownership, however, has been viewed as being fine with writing off this season due to Rodgers’ injury and giving Saleh another shot.

Rodgers’ proclamations could represent great news for a coaching staff that has been unable to generate consistency — particularly on offense, where the Jets have submitted a historically woeful effort — following their quarterback’s season-defining injury. Not many modern-era HCs have been given a chance to return after starting a tenure 0-for-3 in winning seasons, but it is looking like the Jets will lean on Rodgers’ views here and stay the course. Saleh and Douglas would certainly enter the 2024 season on hot seats, while Hackett will be coming off two dreadful seasons as a primary play-caller. But the superstar QB’s injury is pointing to a mulligan.

In reworking Rodgers’ contract this offseason, the Jets convinced the four-time MVP to take a pay cut. Rodgers agreed to an unprecedented reduction in guaranteed money — from nearly $110MM to $75MM — through the 2024 season, and his ’23 campaign ended abruptly. No guaranteed money remains on this adjusted contract in 2025, but Rodgers is due a $35MM option bonus at that point. While the Jets will want to see how their high-profile pickup performs in 2024 after this late-career injury, their run of QB issues would not exactly point to nixing a Rodgers 2025 return.

One of the players to have rejoined Rodgers after a Green Bay stay, Allen Lazard said recently (via Cimini) Zach Wilson looks to understand he only has a few weeks left with the team. The Jets have been considered likely to separate from the disappointing No. 2 overall pick in 2024, but despite a number of benchings over the past two years, the team is hoping Rodgers’ backup can start the rest of this season. The Jets would take on an $11MM-plus dead-money hit by moving Wilson off the roster in 2024, but given his role in this disastrous season, it certainly looks like the team is finally ready to cut bait. Wilson presently resides in concussion protocol, but Saleh confirmed he will start in Week 16 if cleared.

Wilson appears to be on his way out of New York, but Rodgers endorsing the team’s GM-HC-OC trio may well lead to it remaining in place. Hackett will be attempting to come off one of the modern NFL’s worst HC stays (in Denver last year), though Rodgers has long endorsed the former Packers non-play-calling OC. Douglas is now the GM overseeing the longest active playoff drought in major North American sports. Douglas was obviously not in town for the Jets’ entire drought, but he has been in place since 2019.

Jets Not Expecting Coaching Changes

Twists and turns keep coming for the Jets, who have seen Zach Wilson‘s trajectory define the Joe DouglasRobert Saleh regime. After a chaotic season on the quarterback front, the Jets are again back with Wilson, who is taking the snaps today despite being benched three times between November 2022 and November 2023.

With their Tim Boyle experiment going poorly, en route to the veteran backup being cut the day after he made a start, the Jets are aiming to have Wilson start the rest of the season. This is, of course, contingent on Aaron Rodgers not deciding to finish his oft-discussed comeback effort for a team that almost definitely will not make the playoffs. Saleh did not rule out Rodgers coming back regardless, though he also needed to answer questions about Rodgers’ swipe at his own team’s culture this week. That gripe that came after a report indicated Wilson was reluctant to return to the starting lineup. In short, just about nothing has gone as the Jets (4-8) envisioned this season.

Wilson is more likely than not to be playing elsewhere in 2024, but as of now, the Jets are not expecting any changes to the coaching staff, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini (subscription required). Ownership is presently onboard with running it back “with an identical formula” in 2023. Russini adding a caveat that Rodgers’ opinion will be pivotal in how the Jets proceed with their coaching staff effectively illustrates where the team is right now.

It would be rather strange to see a team go through a season like the one the Jets are winding down and stand pat with its staff. Entering today’s Jets-Texans matchup, Saleh is 15-31 as a head coach. Granted, much of the struggles trace to Wilson, who has been one of the worst draft picks of the decade and is moving toward becoming one of the biggest quarterback busts in modern NFL history. The Jets attempted to move past the Wilson issue by trading for Rodgers, but the team has received scrutiny for how it operated following the latter’s Achilles tear.

After effectively handing Wilson the backup gig in a redevelopment effort this offseason, the Jets did not make much of an effort to upgrade following Rodgers’ injury. A rumor surfaced in September indicating the Jets lacked interest in adding a starter-caliber QB in order to protect Wilson’s confidence, with Saleh coming off as a Wilson apologist in the locker room. Another early-season rumor pointed to Jets ownership not wanting to allocate much money toward the position due to having already done so for Rodgers this offseason. The results have been predictable, with Wilson entering Sunday last in QBR. The Jets’ 10 offensive touchdowns through 12 games are the fewest any team has mustered since 2000. That said, Rodgers has long backed Nathaniel Hackett. This endorsement is rather significant for the embattled OC.

Giving Saleh’s staff a pass for this season could also be justified. After the 2021 Jets’ defense ranked last, its Saleh-led 2022 unit finished fourth. DVOA places the Jets’ defense third this season. The Jets hold the NFL’s longest playoff drought, having not advanced to the postseason since 2010. Over the past 10 years, only three HCs — Todd Bowles (Jets), Jeff Fisher (Rams) and Jon Gruden (Raiders) — have been retained after starting their HC runs 0-for-3 in playoff berths. The Raiders did not have much choice with Gruden, who was attached to a 10-year contract.

Although the Jets have made tremendous defensive strides over the past two years, their dysfunctional environment persists. It should not be considered stunning if the Jets fire Saleh or Hackett (the latter’s ties to Rodgers notwithstanding), but as it stands now, ownership may well be fine giving the staff a mulligan for this injury-marred season.

Jets Aiming For Zach Wilson To Start For Rest Of Season; Latest On Team’s Coaching Staff

The Jets’ latest round of quarterback adventures will feature Zach Wilson reinstalled as the starter. Robert Saleh called the former No. 2 overall pick the best option the team has, and the third-year coach indicated he had always viewed Wilson as the most talented healthy QB on the team despite demoting him for a third time last month.

This marks the second Wilson re-emergence after a benching. The Jets demoted the BYU alum from starter to third-stringer in November 2022, but after leapfrogging Joe Flacco for the QB2 role weeks later, Wilson regained the gig following Mike White‘s rib injury. The Jets will dispense with a Wilson incremental depth chart climb, moving him from QB3 to QB1 in Week 14. Last week’s QB1 (Tim Boyle) being off the team makes that jump a bit easier. Trevor Siemian and ex-Nathaniel Hackett Broncos charge Brett Rypien are now on the roster, with Rypien guaranteed to stay for at least three weeks due to the Jets poaching him off the Rams’ practice squad.

Although Aaron Rodgers remains in the IR-return window, the Jets’ preferred starter is not expected to play this season. Saleh did not rule out Rodgers, who has linked a return to the Jets’ chances at a playoff berth, but said Wilson “God willing” will be New York’s starter the rest of the way.

At 4-8, the Jets are all but eliminated from the postseason race. The team has lost five straight, reminding of its close to last season, which involved a six-game skid to wrap the slate. The rumor about Wilson being reluctant to start again may have come from the embattled QB asking at least one teammate for advice on how to handle the team’s final few games, Rich Cimini of notes. Wilson said The Athletic’s report depicting reluctance to return as the starter was “absolutely not” accurate.

One more season remains on Wilson’s rookie contract. Even with Wilson costing the Jets $11MM-plus in dead money to waive during the 2024 offseason, Cimini indicates the disappointing passer is unlikely to be part of the ’24 Jets. Given his performance and repeated benchings, it certainly adds up the organization will have had its fill by season’s end. The Jets attempting to redevelop Wilson — by handing him the QB2 job this offseason and then declaring him their unquestioned starter once Rodgers went down — can be scrutinized; assuming Rodgers is back next season, it makes sense for the organization to bring in a more reliable backup for its 40-year-old starter.

Regarding Rodgers’ comments about the Jets’ poor culture leading to the Wilson information leaking, Saleh disagrees with the injured veteran about the Jets having a culture problem, Cimini tweets. It is quite possible the Rodgers-Saleh-Hackett-Joe Douglas quartet will be back next season, with ownership writing this one off as a lost campaign due to Rodgers’ Week 1 Achilles tear. Of course, how much more losing will Woody Johnson tolerate even in these unusual circumstances?

The Jets have scored 10 offensive touchdowns this season, topping the 2006 Raiders and 2011 Rams (11 apiece) for the fewest through 12 games this century. Given Hackett’s disastrous showing as the Broncos’ play-caller last season, his stock has cratered since a three-year run as the Packers’ non-play-calling OC. But a perception around the league has pointed to the Jets taking a mulligan on this season,’s Dan Graziano notes. Rodgers’ influence is also believed to be strong enough he will be able to dictate how the Jets proceed with their staff. Rodgers’ first seven months in New York lend credence to that, which could bode well for the current staff. Saleh is 15-31 leading the Jets.

Johnson was serving as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom when both Douglas and Saleh were interviewed, and Graziano adds acting owner Christopher Johnson is believed to have overseen the Saleh hire in January 2021. How Wilson and the Jets fare down the stretch could have some sway in terms of which staffers have the opportunity to lead a presumably Rodgers-quarterbacked team in 2024.

Jets HC Robert Saleh Addresses Allen Lazard Benching

Jets wide receiver Allen Lazard was a healthy scratch in Friday’s loss to the Dolphins, and when asked about the decision after the game, head coach Robert Saleh did not mince words.

“He hasn’t been playing up to his standard,” Saleh said (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). “Everyone is pressing on that side of the ball to make something happen. There are parts of his game that need to get better.”

Lazard himself expressed his belief that he would return for the team’s Week 13 matchup with the Falcons, and Saleh did say that the first-year Jet“will be back sooner rather than later.” Still, the fact that Lazard found himself benched at a time when Gang Green’s offense is unable to muster much production of any kind does not bode well for his future with the club.

Saleh’s comments in that regard were particularly telling. Although the head coach said Lazard is “going to be a part of this,” he also said that Lazard is “going to be here for the next year-and-a-half.” Of course, Lazard signed a four-year, $44MM contract in the offseason that keeps him under club control through 2026.

That suggests that the Jets plan to move on from Lazard after the 2024 season, which Florio believes will happen. Contractually, New York has no choice but to retain Lazard next year, as his $10MM base salary for 2024 is fully-guaranteed, and even a post-June 1 release will not yield a single dollar of savings on the 2024 ledger.

Obviously, the team is also hoping that Lazard will be a key component of an Aaron Rodgers-piloted offense next year, and if that happens, perhaps the soon-to-be 28-year-old receiver will be able to extend his stay with the Jets (he is due non-guaranteed base salaries of $11MM in 2025 and 2026). In the meantime, Lazard will try to work his way back into the coaching staff’s good graces and create a connection with the club’s new starting quarterback, Tim Boyle.

Through 10 Zach Wilson-led games in 2023, Lazard has posted 20 catches for 290 yards and a touchdown.

Latest On Job Security For Jets HC Robert Saleh, GM Joe Douglas

The Aaron Rodgers injury has threatened to derail what appeared to be a promising season for the Jets. While a poor finish would have consequences on the field, the same would likely be the case on the sidelines and in the front office.

[Poll: Who Will Log Most Jets QB Starts In 2023?]

Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports that owner Woody Johnson “made no guarantees” regarding the futures of head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas before or after the Rodgers injury (subscription required). The latter’s Achilles tear left New York without the accomplished veteran passer the team committed to adding this offseason, something particularly crippling considering the efforts made elsewhere on the coaching staff (with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett) and elsewhere on the roster to cater to the four-time MVP.

In Rodgers’ absence, Zach Wilson has been in place as the starter under center, and his struggles from last year have carried over into 2023. In spite of that, Saleh has remained committed to the former No. 2 pick, something which has not sat well in the Jets’ locker room. The return of Rodgers in time for the team’s primetime Week 4 contest could help in the latter regard, but the big-picture implications of a disappointing season could be notable.

Douglas took over in 2019, and his tenure has seen a multi-year rebuild undertaken after a 7-9 season in his first campaign at the helm. Another seven-win campaign in 2022 showcased the talent outside the QB spot in place for the foreseeable future at a number of positions, making this year’s win-now approach a logical one with Rodgers becoming available. Failing to find a long-term successor to the latter (as appears to currently be the case with Wilson’s shortcomings) could put Douglas on thin ice, though.

Saleh, meanwhile, is in his third season in the Big Apple. Carrying signficant pedigree after his time as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator, the 44-year-old faced major expectations on that side of the ball. The Jets improved from last in total and scoring defense to fourth from 2021 to ’22, and a number of young pillars of the unit (including the recently-extended Quinnen Williams and reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner) are in place for years to come. Another year of poor play under center – and a resultant underwhelming output from the offense as a whole – though, would lead to sustained criticism of the Hackett hire and the continued backing of Wilson on Saleh’s part.

Plenty can change over the course of the rest of the season, one in which Russini notes the Jets will be forced to adapt a week-by-week gameplan for Wilson rather than relying on the scheme installed this offseason for Rodgers. If things don’t go according to plan in the coming weeks and months, it will be interesting to see how ownership responds with the organization’s top decision-makers.