The NY Jets have made no secret of the fact that Aaron Rodgers was going to be the main reason for success in the next few years, as they have bent to his every whim in terms of roster construction and coaching staff hiring. The results have been a disaster after his Achilles injury.
Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator? That was done to lure Rodgers over. The Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb contracts? Rodgers assuredly played a part in that. The reason it appears that Robert Saleh and the coaching staff will likely return in 2024? Rodgers again.
Without him, largely due to the presence of players and coaches Rodgers gave a co-sign on, the Jets find themselves once again mired in the top 10 picks of the draft on the back of the worst offense in the league. Even Rodgers himself is shocked at how much of this failure ties back to his personnel choices.
Peter King wrote that Rodgers "has pangs about how much the Jets bent their organization, team, and locker room to his desires when the Packers traded him to New York" in his weekly column. Because so much is riding on him, King theorizes that is why Rodgers is rushing back from his injury.
Aaron Rodgers has too much influence over NY Jets
While many believe it's unfair to fire Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas after the former never had an NFL quarterback in three years, and the latter had an amazing 2022 draft, neither of them has orchestrated a winning season. Rodgers coming back might be saving their jobs.
Based purely on performance reasons, there is no reason Hackett should remain the offensive coordinator. The fact that he hasn't been fired and the fact that no one knows if the decision to keep him is a Rodgers, Saleh, or Douglas decision is even more scary for Jets fans.
It's fine to be held hostage by Rodgers when he is playing at a high level and winning postseason games. When he isn't playing, meaning he is unable to work alongside all of those he had a hand in bringing to town, his appeal becomes much more limited and unattractive.
Rodgers will be over to paper over some of the cracks on this team, but he won't fix everything. Rodgers appears to be having an existential "Oh God, what have I done?" moment, which is par for the course in Jets fandom.