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Aaron Rodgers just hasn’t been worth all the trouble for the Jets

I can’t believe Aaron Rodgers used to be one of my favorite athletes on the planet.

The former Packers quarterback was one of the best in the business and won four NFL MVPs, with the most recent coming in 2021 at the age of 37. In his prime, there was nothing Rodgers couldn’t do on the football field. He had the size, athletic ability, arm strength and football acumen to make him a quarterback that any coach, fan or teammate would want.

Rodgers helped the Packers capture their fourth Lombardi trophy–named after their late, great head coach–following the 2010 season. He then went on to become the king of the Hail Mary when he was successful on three of them during his best years.

Rodgers was also popular with the public. He was the State Farm discount double-check guy. He guest-hosted Jeopardy.

Of course, you always heard the rumors about Rodgers being estranged from his family and how he wasn’t the greatest teammate while in Green Bay. Then again, maybe he was a great teammate. It’s sometimes hard to say with franchise quarterbacks. As a Steelers fan, I often heard inconsistent things about Ben Roethlisberger and how he was as a teammate. Those kinds of criticisms have followed Russell Wilson to Pittsburgh.

Then, there were Rodgers’ opinions on certain topics, which often rubbed people the wrong way. OK, let me rephrase that: His opinions on various things began to rub people the wrong way about three years ago, which was right around the time Green Bay signed him to an extension worth $50 million a season. After one final year in Green Bay, where he failed to three-peat as NFL MVP, Rodgers was traded to the Jets last offseason. He also signed another extension, one worth over $37 million a season.

Here we are over a year later, and I’ll bet that, just like me, the Jets are wondering why they ever liked Rodgers in the first place. I say that because Rodgers was AWOL during New York’s just-concluded mandatory minicamp. OK, he wasn’t AWOL. The Jets reportedly knew where Rodgers was, but they didn’t excuse his absence. 

Where was Rodgers? It doesn’t matter, because his employer wanted him at work. Rodgers missing mandatory minicamp comes on the heels of a season-ending Achilles injury (no pun intended) four plays into his Jets debut at MetLife Stadium last September 11.

Despite his absence from the field, Rodgers spent his 2023 campaign mired in controversy. There were ongoing rumors that Rodgers may not have been as seriously injured as first thought and would return before the end of the season. That never happened. Then there was the public spat with a certain late-night talk show host where Rodgers implied that the host had engaged in some very questionable and serious activities.

That brings me to Rodgers’ belief system which began to anger the public a few years ago. OK, let me rephrase that: Rodgers’ views began to anger half the public a few years ago, while the other half of the public–the very same people who claimed to boycott the NFL from 2017 to 2020 because they said they didn’t want athletes using their platform to push certain agendas–embraced the veteran quarterback’s beliefs and opinions.

Fine. That’s how it is with certain views, beliefs and opinions. I would likely champion Rodgers if his views aligned with mine, so I suppose I can’t fault the other half of the public for doing just that.

Having said all of that, is Rodgers and his baggage (and whether you agree with his views or not, he has baggage) worth it to the Jets at this point? Seriously, what has he done to earn the $75 million that New York has guaranteed him?

His New York debut ended after four plays. He turned 40 in December. And now he has skipped out on mandatory minicamp.

I’ve never been one to care all that much if a player shows up to participate in football in shorts (even if it is mandatory), but if I’m the Jets, I have to wonder if I’m ever going to cash in on the huge investment I made in this veteran quarterback.

The Jets acquired Rodgers and then agreed to pay him a lot of money for one reason (and it wasn’t for his views on certain hot-button topics): They wanted to compete for a Super Bowl.

Just how invested is Rodgers in doing that for his new team at this point?

If you’re a Jets fan who likes to applaud Rodgers over his views, why? What has he done for you, other than share a similar belief system?

I’m skeptical that Aaron Rodgers will ever be worth all of the money and controversy for the Jets. It’s one thing to be old and controversial. It’s another thing to be old, controversial, injured and absent from mandatory team practices. It’s quite another to be all of those things for your new team.

It doesn’t matter what your personal beliefs may be, if you’re a Jets fan, you deserve more than what Aaron Rodgers has given you so far.


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