MetLife Stadium could prevent the NY Jets from signing top free agents

Players don't want to play at MetLife Stadium

NY Jets, MetLife Stadium, Aaron Rodgers
NY Jets, MetLife Stadium, Aaron Rodgers / Chris Pedota, / USA

The NY Jets have historically had a difficult time attracting star players to join their organization. Be it the franchise's years of losing or the unappealing nature of New Jersey's income tax, the Jets are fighting an uphill battle in free agency.

There might be another factor at play as well.

WFAN's Boomer Esiason (take it with a grain of salt) reported on Monday that the Jets believe MetLife Stadium is another contributing factor to the team's struggle to recruit players.

Again, this is Boomer Esiason, so it's probably best to take it with a grain of salt, but he attests his report is coming from a source inside the Jets building.

"I have been told that the Jets feel like it’s harder to attract free agents who are not Aaron Rodgers’ friends to the Jets because of the field and the stadium. That was from somebody inside the building."

Boomer Esiason

MetLife Stadium might be hurting the NY Jets in more than one way

MetLife Stadium has come under fire in recent years due to the stadium's high frequency of non-contact injuries. The stadium had its turf replaced this offseason, but it doesn't seem to have fixed any of the problems.

The Aaron Rodgers injury immediately comes to mind, of course. Meanwhile, Miami Dolphins pass rusher Jaelan Phillips also suffered a torn Achilles in almost the same exact spot as Rodgers this past Friday in a game at MetLife Stadium.

Numerous Dolphins players called out the stadium's dangerous turf for contributing to the injury. This isn't just cherry-picked criticism, either. There is a consensus around the NFL that MetLife is the worst stadium in football.

A recent survey of NFL players conducted by The Athletic confirmed that MetLife Stadium is firmly atop the list of players' least favorite stadiums to play in. MetLife was comfortably ahead of any other stadium in the league.

It's no secret that the Jets and Giants are among the NFL's most injured teams each season. The Jets' offensive line in 2022 was statistically the fourth-most injured offensive line in NFL history, per Football Outsiders' adjusted games lost statistic. They're likely on pace to surpass that number this season.

There are numbers to support players' concerns. Despite this, the ownership groups of both franchises have expressed no desire to switch the stadium's playing surface to grass, which is the preferred playing surface of almost every NFL player.

The good news is that the stadium will be forced to transition to a grass field when it hosts games for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. It remains unclear if that switch will be a permanent one, but that does offer some glimmer of hope for fans of these teams.

Until then, however, both the Jets and Giants will continue to suffer because of their universally hated stadium.