The NY Jets assessed all of their quarterback options this offseason before landing on a deal for four-time MVP and future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Rodgers. Among their targets was reportedly Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that the Jets called the Rams about a Stafford trade this past offseason. The Jets were in the process of assessing their options and wanted to leave no stone unturned.
This was during the time when the Jets were unsure about what the future held for Rodgers. The longtime Green Bay Packers quarterback was preparing to go on his "darkness retreat," and there were genuine concerns that he wouldn't play in 2023.
The Rams, however, shot down the idea immediately. Once it became clear that Sean McVay would return in 2023, the team had no plans to trade Stafford. The Jets called but were swiftly turned down.
Rapoport described the conversation as "exploratory," and it seems as though Stafford was never a realistic option for the Jets. Still, they made the call.
Matthew Stafford was never a realistic QB target for the NY Jets
It seems like an obvious decision to choose Rodgers in hindsight, but there were genuine debates about what quarterback would be best for Gang Green just a few months ago.
Rodgers had the pedigree and the history of success, but he was coming off an injury-riddled, down year, came with a less-than-stellar reputation, and there were serious doubts about his long-term future.
The Jets famously met with former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr as part of their search. There was a time when Carr seemed like the obvious fit for the Jets. Heck, there was a time before Mike LaFleur was fired when Jimmy Garoppolo seemed likely to be the Jets' next quarterback.
Ultimately, once Rodgers emerged from the darkness and confirmed his intentions, the choice became obvious. The Jets got a deal done before the 2023 NFL Draft, and the rest is history.
Now, Rodgers and the Jets are preparing for their Week 1 matchup with the Buffalo Bills later tonight. It will be one of the most highly anticipated games in franchise history, and Rodgers is a big reason for that.
His arrival has helped make the Jets legitimate Super Bowl contenders. He's quickly worked to quell any concerns about his attitude and commitment to the organization. The Jets couldn't be happier with what they've seen from Rodgers to this point.
Would the Jets still be seen as Super Bowl contenders with Carr or even Stafford under center? Possibly. But there's no denying the impact Rodgers had had on the franchise.
The Jets are very happy with their current quarterback situation.