Aaron Rodgers honors Jets and NFL all-time greats in stellar opening entrance

Aaron Rodgers talks Jets and NFL All-Time greats
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers answers questions during an NFL football introductory press conference Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photos

FLORHAM PARK — Aaron Rodgers is a member of the New York Jets. 

The craziness of that sentence alone years ago would have shocked everyone from fans of Gang Green to the top analysts. In reality, though, the fever dream has become real thanks to the work of the Jets front office and the former Packers MVP. 

New York Jets’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, third from right, poses for a picture with general manger Joe Douglas, left, president Hymie Elhai, second from left, co-owner Christopher Johnson, third from left, owner Woody Johnson, second from right, and head coach Robert Saleh, right, after an NFL football press conference at the Jets’ training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Wednesday, April 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)AP Photos

Of course, this isn’t the first time that the Jets and Packers have come together to move a Hall-of-Fame quarterback. Just 14 years ago, the two teams agreed to a deal with Brett Favre in a move that allowed Rodgers to flourish as the team’s starting quarterback. Time has become a flat circle though with Rodgers following his former predecessor to New York. 

“He had a legendary career. It’s ironic that our paths have taken a step in the same direction. That was a different circumstance. I’m excited to work with these guys,” Rodgers said of Favre during his introductory press conference Wednesday afternoon. 

Favre’s tenure with Gang Green didn’t end swimmingly though. After starting 8-3 in 2008, the Jets lost three of their last four with their quarterback playing through injury and missed the playoffs. Rodgers is older than Favre was at that time, and even though he remained silent on whether he would return for a second season, there are reasons to be pleased with his decision. 

“That’s the way it goes. I felt very comfortable with what he was saying. He’s an experienced player so we’re good with whatever he wants to do,” Jets owner Woody Johnson said with a smile. “This is a very happy day.” 

Of course, when you think of top quarterbacks in Jets history, the list begins and ends with Joe Namath. The lone Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the team in 1968 and Super Bowl III, Namath’s #12 was up for debate over the last few weeks when a deal with Green Bay was seen as a formality. 

Namath even went so far as to allow the Jets to unretire his number for Rodgers to feel more comfortable with the team. 

Rodgers addressed that thought and explained that there was only one Joe acceptable to wear that number. 

“To me, #12 is Broadway Joe and I didn’t want to go down that path,” Rodgers said while confirming he will wear his college number (#8).

First and foremost though, the Jets’ new starting quarterback understands that only a championship will do to a fanbase starving for one. And the legacy that could come from making New York a winner would be more than just another notch on the belt of a Hall-of-Fame career. 

“For a team like this with a storied franchise, to be a part of something special would definitely help you go down in the history of the organization. I already have 18 years in an incredibly iconic organization and it’d be fun to be a part of this one as well.”

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