The cat is out of the darkened closet.
At this point, there’s no much excitement among Jets fans for the team to do anything other than trade for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
What’s their fallback? Jimmy Garoppolo? Please.
They have to get the deal done. Rodgers knows it. And the Packers know it, too.
Case in point — the recent meeting between Rodgers and multiple members of the organization (we’re told vice chairman Christopher Johnson and team president Hymie Elhai accompanied owner Woody Johnson, G.M. Joe Douglas, coach Robert Saleh, and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett) happened not in New York but in California. They all flew out to see him, not the other way around.
In a situation like this, that’s a critical difference. The Jets weren’t interviewing Rodgers; he was interviewing them. The moment Johnson & Johnson heirs Johnson and Johnson got on that plane, it was game over.
Rodgers has the power. Rodgers has the leverage. Rodgers has the control.
And just what have the Jets done to temper expectations? They’re feeding the narrative. They’re relishing the attention. And now they have to close the deal.
Hopefully for them, that won’t result in the Packers asking for too much — and that it won’t result in Rodgers expecting more than the nearly $60 million he’s due to make this year.
But what will the Jets do if either the Packers or Rodgers try to take advantage of the fact that the Jets have to get this deal done? They’ll probably do the same thing they’ll do if/when Rodgers makes it clear he’s not coming to the offseason program (he absolutely should), or if he gives them a list of friends he wants them to sign (Randall Cobb, Marcedes Lewis, etc.) They’ll smile and nod and say, “We’ll get right on that, sir.”
Who cares if he’s not there for the offseason program? (Again, he absolutely should be.) The Jets didn’t have Brett Favre until training camp had opened in 2008, and but for his partially torn biceps tendon they would have made it to the playoffs. The Jets already have a solid team, and Rodgers could be the difference maker.
At this point, whatever may happen in January won’t make a difference. The Jets have written the blank check in March. They’ve offered to sell their souls to the Prince of Deliberate Darkness. The only question is whether Rodgers will accept.