Woody Johnson

Offers Come In For Jets’ Zach Wilson

With a $5.45MM guarantee due for Zach Wilson, the Jets are unlikely to receive much in the way of trade compensation for a player on track to become one of the biggest whiffs in modern draft history. But it does appear some interest exists.

Offers have indeed emerged, with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio indicating the team has received proposals for the former No. 2 overall pick. These proposals have not intrigued the Jets, and Joe Douglas said Monday (via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo) the team is not close to hammering out a trade. The Jets gave Wilson permission to seek a trade during the Combine.

[RELATED: Aaron Rodgers Aiming To Play Into Mid-40s?]

Woody Johnson may be a factor in Wilson not being moved. While the compensation being proposed is not known, Florio adds the owner is believed by some as the person preventing a deal from coming to pass. This would certainly be an interesting development, given Johnson’s comments about Wilson’s 2023 ineffectiveness. That said, Johnson was also believed to be the person who stood in the way of the Jets making an effort to acquire a better backup QB — due to the money poured into Aaron Rodgers — once the team’s future Hall of Fame passer went down in Week 1.

While denying he has nixed any trade — instead pointing to any such efforts being Douglas’ call — Johnson said Monday (via the New York Post’s Brian Costello) the Jets will keep Wilson if they cannot find a trade partner. It has long been expected the BYU alum will not be part of the 2024 Jets, and with trade offers potentially in the mix, it would seem the Jets have a way out without releasing the disappointing passer.

I feel badly about Zach in some ways,” Johnson said. “Last year would have been great, it would have been the first time he could just sit back and watch a master at work. He’s never had that. He’s been in the fire from Day 1. I think that’s what he needs. He needs to be in a place where he can observe for a while. He’s got the skill. He can do everything. There’s a reason we drafted him at No. 2 overall. I have confidence that he’ll get there at some point.”

It is possible teams want the Jets to remain responsible for most of Wilson’s guarantee. Should Johnson have a potential role in Wilson remaining on the Jets, the financial component may be driving that. For now, Wilson would not have an immediate path to playing time as a Jet once again. The team gave Tyrod Taylor a two-year, $12MM deal to back up Rodgers, ending Wilson’s period in the New York spotlight after three woeful seasons.

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 ProFootballNetwork.com). “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.

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.

Jets Not Aiming To Add Another Veteran QB

The Jets will head into a third straight game with a Zach WilsonTim Boyle QB depth chart, with practice squad addition Trevor Siemian not on track to be elevated in time for New York’s matchup against Kansas City. For the foreseeable future, Siemian looks to be it regarding Jets QB additions.

Although Siemian does not profile as a player who will be an open-and-shut upgrade on Wilson, he represents the organization’s move. In the wake of Aaron Rodgers‘ Achilles tear, the Jets did not want to bring in a starter-caliber quarterback like Carson Wentz or Matt Ryan due to the quarterback controversy such a move would have incited, per the New York Post’s Brian Costello. Instead, the Jets wanted to give Wilson the best chance to succeed. Robert Saleh‘s endorsements are in line with that plan.

[RELATED: Rodgers Not Ruling Out Return This Season]

So far, Wilson has not shown notable improvement, despite the Jets’ party line depicting offseason progress from the former No. 2 overall pick. The Jets’ inaction regarding a surefire upgrade effort also stems from finances, according to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson, who said during an appearance on Fox Sports’ Undisputed the team already devoting a substantial amount of cash to its QB spot — via the Rodgers trade — has impacted its willingness to chase another passer. Both Wentz and Ryan reached out to the team, with Costello adding Ryan indeed did so (despite the ex-Falcons and Colts starter denying he wants to step away from his CBS announcing gig).

Only the Browns and Ravens have outspent the Jets in terms of 2023 cash, with Gang Green at nearly $277MM. In terms of cap space, the Jets hold just more than $8MM, which ranks 11th in the NFL. The directive aimed at instructing the Jets to make do with that they have at quarterback came from the top down, Anderson adds.

While Woody Johnson confirmed a willingness to spend for a veteran upgrade this offseason, it looks like — for the time being, at least — the Jets will not double down on the position after acquiring Rodgers. The Jets prefer to use their practice squad as the gateway to a QB addition, Anderson notes. This would mean a Siemian elevation or eventual promotion to the active roster.

Names like Kirk Cousins and Ryan Tannehill have circulated as potential Jets options. Cousins, who would cost the Vikings $10MM in dead money to move, has a no-trade clause. The Titans did not touch Tannehill’s base salary this offseason. With that number sitting at $27MM, the Jets would need to make considerable cap adjustments or push the Titans to eat a portion of his contract. Wentz remains unattached. Despite coming into the league via an Eagles trade-up to No. 2 overall, a move Philadelphia made when current Jets GM Joe Douglas was part of its front office, no traction has emerged regarding the now-well-traveled QB being signed.

Siemian spoke with the Jets shortly after Rodgers went down, and while the team opted to stand pat at quarterback through Week 3, Costello adds Siemian reached out again this week to see if they were still interested. The former seventh-round pick, who went into the 2019 season as Sam Darnold‘s Jets backup, is now 31 and has been with seven teams — if his Cincinnati offseason stay is counted. Siemian has made 30 career starts but has been a backup since the Broncos traded him to the Vikings in 2018.

Siemian joined Chad Henne, Colt McCoy and Brett Rypien as players the Jets contacted. Interest was not mutual regarding some of the players the Jets contacted, Anderson adds. The Jets inquired about signing Rypien off the Rams’ practice squad, a move that would have vaulted the ex-Broncos backup to the Jets’ active roster for at least three weeks, but Los Angeles instead promoted him to its 53-man unit.

With Wilson-driven locker-room frustration again surfacing, it will be interesting to see if the Jets change their low-cost approach to QB staffing in this emergency circumstance. The team had mostly relied on rookie-contract QBs since the Brett Favre move 15 years ago, prompting the Rodgers swing. With Wilson’s QBR ahead of only Justin Fields‘ number, the Jets are paying for not acquiring a veteran backup and instead keeping Wilson in that role this offseason. The team’s Week 7 bye might be the point a reassessment occurs.

Jets, Aaron Rodgers Working Towards Restructured Contract

The main takeaway from the Jets’ acquisition of Aaron Rodgers was, understandably, the draft capital they paid the Packers, and the impact he will have on New York’s Super Bowl aspirations. Another factor of interest, though, is Rodgers’ contract.

As of now, the Packers are set to incur a dead cap charge of just over $40MM, a far larger figure than the roughly $15MM he is scheduled to count against the Jets’ cap in 2023. A re-worked contract is the holdup to this blockbuster trade becoming official, and will no doubt have an effect on the way it is ultimately viewed. As Jets owner Woody Johnson recently stated, though, the price New York paid caused “zero” hesitation to sign off on the move.

ESPN’s Rich Cimini confirms that Rodgers’ agent, David Dunn, is still in the process of negotiating a new deal with the Jets. Doing so could provide much-needed clarity on how long the 39-year-old plans to play in the Big Apple, since he did not confirm his intention to continue his career beyond 2023.

On that point, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the end result of negotiations could be a two-year Jets pact allowing Rodgers to receive the full compensation he is owed in 2023 and ’24. That figure sits at $108MM, as a result of the new deal he agreed to with the Packers last offseason; much of it is made up of the option bonus he was initially due to earn this season ($58.3MM). Florio adds that the bonus is now expected to be paid out next year.

Of course, committing to Rodgers over the next two campaigns will be a worthwhile investment on the Jets’ part if he can return to his pre-2022 form. New York has taken a number of steps aimed at making sure that takes place, including the addition of players on his reported ‘wish list.’ Before that point, though, the team had already hired ex-Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to guide their offense.

Hackett (who flamed out as the Broncos’ head coach in 2022 after struggling mightily to orchestrate a serviceable offense) has a long-standing relationship with Rodgers, something which should help the pair in their attempt to duplicate their success of years past. The latter, to no surprise, named the veteran coach as a factor in his decision to head to New York.

“A big reason I’m here, I gotta mention, is Nathaniel Hackett, who is here,” Rodgers said, via NBC Sports’ Ryan Taylor. “Hack and I became really close friends for three years in Green Bay. I love him like a brother. And I believe in him. And I’m really happy to be back working with him.”

Assuming a new contract is ironed out in the near future, Rodgers will be cleared to join his new team and officially begin the second chapter of his NFL career. The particulars, from a financial standpoint, could go a long way in determining the Jets’ ability to make any further moves in the post-draft portion of the offseason.

Packers Still Seeking Jets First-Rounder In Aaron Rodgers Trade

Brian Gutekunst said the eventual Aaron Rodgers trade does not need to include a first-round pick, but it seems like the Packers have not abandoned hopes of collecting one from the Jets in these long-running trade talks.

The Packers are still angling to acquire the Jets’ 2024 first-round pick, Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com said during an appearance on the Wilde and Tausch show with veteran reporter Jason Wilde and ex-Packers O-lineman Mark Tauscher. The Packers do not appear to be going after the Jets’ No. 13 pick this year, but Robinson adds they want a 2023 second-rounder and the 2024 first.

New York acquired an additional second-round pick in the Elijah Moore trade and now holds the Nos. 42 and 43 selections this year; the team is willing to give up at least a second-rounder in this deal. It should be expected one of them will be included in a Rodgers trade, and the talks could run up to Day 2 of this year’s draft. Unloading Rodgers by that point and picking up at least one high 2023 draft choice would be the best way for the Packers to give Rodgers’ successor, Jordan Love, more help after an 8-9 season. Should a trade not be completed by the draft, a number of possibilities enter the equation.

The Jets are balking at including a 2024 first-rounder in this deal, per Robinson, who said the Packers are open to including a 2025 draft choice in the swap in the event Rodgers retires after this coming season. Woody Johnson looks to be leading the holdup here, aiming to avoid a Broncos-like scenario that sees the asset struggling after the team parted with a monster trade haul. While the (post-Nathaniel Hackett) Wilson-Denver book is not closed, Seattle does hold the team’s No. 5 overall pick. It would seem Rodgers’ success in the Hackett-Matt LaFleur offense would protect the Jets against a similar combustion, but the 39-year-old QB’s annual retirement flirtations obviously have the Jets skittish about overpaying here.

At a Jets event recently, GM Joe Douglas expressed confidence Rodgers will soon be Big Apple-bound. The Packers owe Rodgers nearly $60MM, but that payment — which can be sent any time between now and Week 1 — is expected to be the Jets’ responsibility. How to restructure Rodgers’ $50.3MM-per-year contract — which runs through 2025 — represents a part of these trade talks as well.

With the Packers undoubtedly wanting no part of that near-$60MM payment, Rodgers will almost definitely be off their roster by Week 1. This process dragging past the draft would still turn up the heat a bit on the Jets, who will surely want Rodgers rostered before at least minicamp in June or training camp at the latest. The Jets standing down as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo signed elsewhere obviously increases the pressure to acquire Rodgers, though Ryan Tannehill could conceivably become an emergency backup plan. The Jets have joined the rest of the league in not pursuing Lamar Jackson.

The Jets did not acquire Brett Favre until early August 2008, and with Rodgers spending the past four seasons running the offense Hackett will implement, assimilation is probably not a significant Jets concern. But the Jets can also attempt to wait out the Packers, as that bonus payment looms. That said, Rodgers developing chemistry with Garrett Wilson and Mecole Hardman will be important for the Jets, who gave longtime Rodgers auxiliary target Allen Lazard an $11MM-per-year deal.

It cost only a conditional third-round pick for the Jets to acquire Favre’s rights 15 years ago. Johnson was part of those negotiations, but his team will need to pay more for Favre’s successor. Day 2 of this year’s draft (April 28) will be the first major deadline in these negotiations.

Jets Rumors: Beckham, Rodgers, Lawson, OL, Elliott

Free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. made quite a few headlines during the league’s recent owners’ meetings in Arizona. One such headline came from Rich Cimini of ESPN who reported that the veteran wideout was seeking a one-year deal worth $15MM.

It’s a bit difficult to imagine a team dedicating that kind of capital to a 30-year-old wide receiver who is coming off his second ACL injury in three years. Beckham is still a talented athlete and displayed his abilities during his short time with the Rams. Cimini estimates that a contract worth $10-12MM is much more likely for Beckham. In terms of annual average value, this would place Beckham just under Corey Davis and over players like Michael Gallup, Curtis Samuel, and Tim Patrick.

Despite bits of buzz concerning a few other teams, the Jets seem to remain the favorite to land Beckham’s services for 2023.

Here are a few other rumors pertaining to Gang Green:

  • There’s an understanding around league circles that the Packers will eventually trade star quarterback Aaron Rodgers to New York. That understanding has, as of yet, failed to materialize, and according to Cimini, it has Jets owner Woody Johnsonanxious.” Johnson claimed to be anxious but optimistic as the team awaits the resolution to the problem of compensation. As the two sides continue to work towards equal compensation, the Jets aren’t getting impatient, asserting that there’s no deadline on when they’d like a deal to be done.
  • As the Jets entertain more potential additions to their roster, they have their salary cap to keep in mind. A question that has arisen in regard to that issue is whether or not New York will release defensive end Carl Lawson. The Jets have only been able to get one strong season out of Lawson since signing him in 2021. A ruptured Achilles tendon kept him from playing during his first season in New York before he was able to debut for the team this year. Now, after only one season of play, Lawson is set to take up the second-largest chunk of the Jets’ cap space. There is a potential out built into Lawson’s contract that would allow the Jets to cut Lawson with only $333,334 in dead money, saving $15.4MM in cap space. Head coach Robert Saleh reportedly turned down that possibility, according to Andy Vasquez of the Star-Ledger, claiming not to speak for general manager Joe Douglas, but asserting that “as long as (Lawson) can walk and play” he’ll be a Jet.
  • Saleh also spoke to the offensive line, according to Vasquez. While changes on the offensive line may be imminent with the addition of multiple offensive linemen in free agency, the head coach made sure to confirm the plan for Alijah Vera-Tucker to return to the right guard position in 2023. Also concerning the offensive line, Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork.com provided an update on offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, who reportedly is lighter than his NFL Combine weight after changing training facilities.
  • Another comment from Saleh concerned free agent running back Ezekiel Elliott, according to Vasquez. When asked about the possibility of bringing in the former Cowboy, Saleh told the media, “We love our running back room. I’ll leave it at that.” The Jets enter 2023 with a strong 1-2 punch of Breece Hall, whose rookie season was cut short due to injury, and Michael Carter.

Latest On Jets’ QB Pursuit

Since the Jets’ 2022 season crashed to a halt amidst their quarterback struggles, they are widely expected to be active in pursuing a veteran addition at the position. The team has been very public about doing so, and clarity could be emerging with respect to the names they are targeting.

CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones reports that New York is “evaluating” Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr. While he adds that the process is in its early stages, meaning more names will no doubt be added to that list, it comes as little surprise that those three are included in it. Rodgers was mentioned as a trade candidate for the Jets even before Nathaniel Hackett became the team’s new offensive coordinator, but increasingly so due to their connection with one another dating back to the latter’s time with the Packers.

Garoppolo was widely thought to be on his way out of San Francisco last offseason with the team turning its offense over to Trey Lance, but he ultimately remained on a re-worked contract. Now a pending free agent, he would not require trade compensation (as would be the case with Rodgers). His play after taking over for Lance appeared to help his value on the open market, but the 31-year-old then suffered what was initially believed to be a season-ending ankle injury. He may have been able to return in time for the Super Bowl, though the result of today’s NFC title game now makes that a moot point.

As for Carr, his days in Vegas are thought to be numbered, as the three-time Pro Bowler personally alluded to recently. He has begun doing “homework” on potential landing spots in a trade (since he has a no-trade clause), though the possibility remains that he get released and chooses his next team as a free agent.

That trio of passers is also one which Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network lists as targets for the Jets. New York showed signs of being a playoff contender in 2022 with a strong defense in particular, and a number of encouraging performances with a healthy Mike White at the helm of their offense. Interestingly, Pauline notes that “several” Jets players implored general manager Joe Douglas during their exit interviews to move on from Zach Wilson as their starting QB, in addition to firing offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.

The latter move has already taken place, with Hackett now set to play a role in identifying the team’s top options to provide stability at the position relative to Wilson’s inconsistencies (although Pauline also notes that owner Woody Johnson still sees the 2021 No. 2 pick as salvageable). As the QB market takes shape, the Jets are sure to be key players in the case of several veteran passers.

Woody Johnson Prepared To Pay Up For QB Addition, Addresses HC-GM Setup

Everything about the second half of this Jets season pointed to the team entering the 2023 quarterback market. Their owner all but confirmed it Thursday.

Woody Johnson said the Jets will be prepared to spend for a veteran quarterback. The team has not gone in this direction in a while, but its past two top-five draft choices — Sam Darnold and Zach Wilson — have not panned out. Wilson’s struggles ended up holding back a vastly improved defense, something Johnson obviously does not want to recur.

Absolutely,” Johnson said (via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini) when asked he was willing to spend for a veteran. “We’ve got a cap, so there’s an amount you can spend. But, yeah, yeah. That’s kind of the missing piece.”

Robert Saleh added the Jets will be “aggressive as heck” regarding the quarterback position. A veteran pursuit will mark a change of pace for the organization.

Not only have the Jets devoted their QB investments to rookies over the past five years, they had low- or midlevel QB contracts — Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick — on the payroll in the years before Darnold’s arrival. The organization which tried Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith throughout the first half of the 2010s last made a major veteran investment back in 2008, when it traded for Brett Favre. As such, the Jets appearing serious about trying to pair their reloaded defense with a readier QB would qualify as a significant development.

Wilson’s disastrous start to his career led to a second-season benching — almost unheard of for a modern top-five QB pick — and Johnson said the team likely erred by not bringing in a veteran last year to ease the BYU prospect’s transition. Since-departed OC Mike LaFleur said the same recently.

Zach had a tough year. There’s no denying that,” Johnson said. “I still have confidence that I’ve seen some kernels of real talent there. …[His] confidence level, whatever it was, went down, so that was certainly frustrating for him. And then we had that rotation, which is very hard to do in the NFL — changing quarterbacks.”

The Jets attempting to fix their Wilson mistake with a veteran move has seemed likely for weeks, since the team demoted the former No. 2 overall selection to the third-string level. LaFleur’s exit clouds a potential Jimmy Garoppolo signing. Previously, a LaFleur-Garoppolo reunion made some sense; the ex-49ers duo reuniting would have allowed for a smooth transition. But other QBs will be available.

New York has the option of trading for Derek Carr in February; Las Vegas is prepared to shop him. Otherwise, Smith has been connected to staying with the Seahawks. The Giants now want to re-sign Daniel Jones. Gang Green’s weaponry and defense could conceivably attract Tom Brady, though it is not yet certain if he will play an age-46 season, and Aaron Rodgers‘ Green Bay future is once again murky. The Raiders, who are also connected to Garoppolo, are seemingly set to be a Brady suitor — if the all-time great wishes to play in 2023. The Ravens will not let Lamar Jackson hit the market. The former MVP hitting the trade block after two offseasons of failed negotiations would certainly test Johnson’s pledge to pay up for a QB.

Johnson was serving as ambassador to the United Kingdom when the Jets hired Saleh and GM Joe Douglas. Despite inheriting the two, Johnson said Thursday he would not require a 2023 playoff berth for Saleh and Douglas to stay. However, he also did not confirm the duo would be safe with another postseason absence. The Jets’ 12-season playoff drought is by far the NFL’s longest active streak.

No, I don’t do mandates,” Johnson said. “We’ve had a long wait. Fifty-four years from the last Super Bowl is too long, way too long. I’d like to change that fast, but mandates don’t work.”

Saleh said LaFleur had other options, but it is interesting the Jets will allow their two-year OC to explore them rather than ensure he came back. This certainly points to a firing. Johnson said (via the New York Post’s Brian Costello, on Twitter) he was not part of the decision that led LaFleur out, though he also noted he had private conversations with Douglas, Saleh and LaFleur and offered input. The team is now shopping for a new OC.