Former NY Jets GM raises critical but valid concern about Aaron Rodgers

Tannenbaum raises a valid concern
Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

NY Jets fans are understandably excited about the return of Aaron Rodgers in 2024. A year after tragically tearing his Achilles just four plays into the season, Rodgers is back and looking to prove that he still has plenty left in the tank.

And while that may be true, the four-time MVP certainly has his fair share of doubters. Count former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum among those who are hesitant to crown Rodgers as the Jets' savior just yet.

Tannenbaum spoke about Rodgers and the Jets in an appearance on ESPN last week, and the former NFL executive expressed his doubts about the future Hall of Fame QB's ability to bounce back from injury in 2024.

""When you’re over 40 years old and you’re coming off an Achilles tendon injury and what I’m really curious to see in training camp, we’ll see what he does in the preseason."

Mike Tannenbaum

Tannenbaum went on to compare Rodgers to players like Brett Favre, Vinny Testaverde, and Dan Marino, who all had varying degrees of success after suffering injuries later in their careers.

"How quickly he gets rid of the ball and short-area quickness with his feet ... I’ve been around other quarterbacks from Vinny Testaverde, Brett Favre… I worked with Dan Marino in Miami, they always talked about losing that little quickness really was the beginning of the end and that’s something that we really have got to watch carefully really just in a couple of weeks."

Mike Tannenbaum

Mike Tannenbaum raised fair concerns about Aaron Rodgers

Tannenbaum hasn't been shy about his criticism toward the Jets over the years since leaving the organization, but he does raise a valid concern here. While Jets fans would love to assume Rodgers returns to his pre-injury self in 2024, there are a number of factors working against him.

Rodgers will be just 12 months removed from a torn Achilles when he steps foot on the field this September. The transition from working out in shorts to taking live hits is a significant one, and expecting Rodgers to just hit the ground running would be foolish.

It's also important to note that it's been three years since we've seen Rodgers perform at a high level. His 2022 season, while still fine, was a step well below his previous standards.

He'll also turn 41 years old before the season ends, and there isn't a significant track record of quarterbacks that age succeeding, especially those coming off a major injury.

Rodgers' arm talent and football IQ might still be there, but it would be a massive surprise if he still had the same degree of mobility. That mobility and escapability have always been a key element to his game, so it's fair to express some concern about what version of Rodgers we may see in 2024.

That said, the Jets don't need Rodgers to be his pre-injury self. They don't need an MVP-caliber Aaron Rodgers this season. They just need competency. League-average quarterback play could be enough to carry the Jets to the postseason and beyond.

The concerns about Rodgers' health and effectiveness are valid, and anyone insisting they're not is lying to themselves. But even Rodgers at 70 percent of his old self is probably good enough to help the Jets achieve their goals.