People love to hate the NY Jets. People also love to hate Aaron Rodgers. One can only imagine how easy it was to hate on Rodgers when he was traded to the Jets this past offseason.
And if we're being fair, Rodgers has provided several reasons over the years for some to feel a certain way about him. The Jets have also had their fair share of gaffes, making the franchise an easy target when it comes to jokes.
But sometimes, people search for reasons to hate and mock when they don't exist. That's exactly what happened when the Jets decided to activate Rodgers to the 53-man roster this week.
To make room for Rodgers, the Jets waived fullback Nick Bawden as part of a procedural move before re-signing him to the practice squad. The move changes nothing for Bawden, whose contract was already fully guaranteed and who will almost assuredly be elevated to the active roster for the final three games, pending health.
But don't tell to that to the wave of national media that made Rodgers and the Jets out to be villains and fools after the transaction was initially reported. After all, why think critically about a situation when you can just fire off a hot take about a team/player that you don't like?
Below are just a few examples of national media people who did not know what they were talking about in this situation.
People are blinded by their hatred of Aaron Rodgers and the NY Jets
Let's break down what actually happened, shall we?
The Jets decided to activate Rodgers to their 53-man roster this week in an effort to allow him to continue with his current rehab process. The team also values his presence and believes the reps he will get in with his teammates over the final few weeks will be valuable to the team both in 2023 and 2024.
It wasn't an ego-driven decision. There is value in having Rodgers with the team and on the practice field as opposed to rehabbing on his own away from the team. His presence provides a tangible benefit to the organization.
As for Bawden, his 2023 base salary became guaranteed when he was on the roster in Week 1, per ESPN's Rich Cimini. He isn't losing any money in this situation.
He's not losing an opportunity, either. Bawden is expected to be re-signed to the practice squad, and if he's healthy (he's been nursing a knee injury), he will be elevated for the final three games of the season.
Practice squad players are allowed to be elevated a maximum of three times before they need to be added to the 53-man roster. Luckily for Bawden and the Jets, there are only three games remaining.
Bawden is in the same exact place he would've been if he wasn't released. NFL rosters are fluid. These sorts of procedural transactions occur weekly with every NFL team. But for whatever reason, only the Jets get put under the microscope.
We know the reason. The Jets are an easy target. They're low-hanging fruit. They're the constant butt of the joke, so whenever there's even a sliver of an opportunity to poke fun at the organization, people will take it. Rodgers' controversial persona only adds fuel to the fire of media bias.
No, the Jets didn't cost anyone their job by activating Rodgers. They didn't even cost anyone money. Unfortunately, a lot of people didn't get that memo.