Nathaniel Hackett hire fuels Aaron Rodgers trade rumors for the NY Jets

NY Jets, Nathaniel Hackett
NY Jets, Nathaniel Hackett / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets have officially hired former Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett to be their new offensive coordinator. And in doing so, they've only fueled the persistent rumors surrounding a potential Aaron Rodgers trade.

The Jets reportedly interviewed over 15 candidates for their vacant offensive coordinator position. Hackett, fresh off a disastrous year in Denver, is the one who caught the Jets' eye.

Prior to his historically inept season with the Broncos, Hackett found some success as the offensive coordinator in Green Bay. He helped lead Rodgers to the best season of his NFL career, even if he wasn't the team's play-caller.

That right there is why many believe the Hackett hire is another step toward the Jets trading for Rodgers. Rodgers was significantly closer with Hackett than he ever was with Matt LaFleur. Their relationship remains strong to this day.

The Nathaniel Hackett hire makes it more likely the NY Jets trade for Aaron Rodgers

Let's get one thing straight first: the Jets didn't hire Hackett in a plea to trade for Rodgers. If it happens, great, but this move wasn't made specifically to entice Rodgers.

That said, it certainly doesn't hurt matters.

Rodgers seems more and more likely to leave Green Bay by the day, and the Jets are now the betting favorites to trade for him this offseason. That was before the Hackett hire, mind you.

Now, it's easy to point to what happened with the Broncos last offseason and suggest that this could be a repeat of that. After all, many believed the Broncos would trade for Rodgers after they hired Hackett, only for Rodgers to return to the Packers.

That could, in theory, happen again, but it feels a lot less likely this time. Jordan Love is ready to start, and the former first-round pick has made that clear. He wants to compete for a starting job in 2023.

Meanwhile, Rodgers' recent words and actions seem to suggest that his time with the Packers has reached its conclusion. It's all speculation, sure, but there's a lot of smoke out there about Rodgers leaving Green Bay.

If that does happen, no landing spot makes more sense than the Jets. The Jets will have the desire and need to trade for Rodgers, they have a roster built to compete now, and they have the coach Rodgers is closest to in the NFL.

That's a heck of a pitch to sell. The Jets know this, even if the Hackett hire wasn't specifically for that reason — it's a welcomed side effect.

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The Nathaniel Hackett hire will be harshly criticized given his recent stint in Denver, but if he helps them land a future Hall of Fame quarterback, many of those qualms will likely go away.