NY Jets front office wanted Derek Carr, but Woody Johnson intervened, per report

NY Jets, Woody Johnson
NY Jets, Woody Johnson / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The NY Jets opted not to aggressively pursue Derek Carr in free agency, allowing the four-time Pro Bowler to sign a four-year, $150 million deal with the New Orleans Saints on Monday.

Rather than opt for the sure thing in Carr, the Jets are risking it all in their pursuit of Aaron Rodgers, despite the fact that Rodgers' status for the 2023 season remains unclear.

It's a bold, some might say careless, strategy, and there's a very good reason the Jets are going this route. If reports are to be believed, it's because of pressure from team owner Woody Johnson.

Matthew Berry of NBC Sports reported on Monday that Johnson is the reason the Jets didn't sign Carr. His supposed infatuation with Rodgers prevented a deal from taking place, despite the rest of the Jets' front office preferring Carr.

"Despite all the rumors of Derek Carr going to the Jets, one thing that held that up was that Jets owner Woody Johnson really wants Aaron Rodgers. So, the staff has had to be supportive of that. However, secretly, the rest of the team's front office wanted Derek Carr. Now that Carr is reportedly signing with New Orleans, the Jets are in “Hoping for Rodgers” mode. If that doesn't work out… who knows?"

Matthew Berry

Woody Johnson reportedly directed the NY Jets front office not to pursue Derek Carr

If true, this would be a massive development within the Jets' internal power structure and a serious blow to the competency level of the organization. Regardless of whether or not the team is able to land Rodgers, this would be a troublesome development for the Jets.

Johnson has been known to meddle in his front office's decision-making process in the past, but he's largely stayed out of Joe Douglas' way since returning to his full-time duties as the Jets' owner.

It's been understood that he was going to be involved in the Jets' QB search in some capacity, but the extent of which has not been made clear. This would be the first indication that Johnson has overruled Douglas and the other top decision-makers in the Jets' front office.

The Jets' interest in Rodgers has been well-documented to this point. They've been eyeing Rodgers as their top target dating back to the Senior Bowl, and it's quite possible that Douglas and others were on board with that process.

However, it's worth wondering if Douglas was wary of Rodgers' uncertainty and wanted to sign Carr to avoid the Jets being placed in the situation they're currently in — one with few options and little leverage.

There's no reason to panic yet, but the Jets have backed themselves into a bit of a corner. It's essentially Aaron Rodgers or bust, barring a surprise trade for Lamar Jackson or another star quarterback. Anything else would be a disappointment.

It's always best to take reports like this with a grain of salt, especially given that Berry's sources were rumors he heard while at the NFL Combine. This could just be nothing more than speculation.

But if this is true, if Woody Johnson went over Joe Douglas' head to overrule his decision on the quarterback position, the Jets have bigger problems than who will be starting under center next season.

Next. 3 more trade packages the NY Jets can offer for Aaron Rodgers. dark

Their problems start at the very top with ownership. The more things change, the more they stay the same.