Aaron Rodgers blasts report on Zach Wilson: ‘It doesn’t have a place in a winning organization’

Aaron Rodgers defends Zach Wilson
East Rutherford, NJ — December 3, 2023 — Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett with Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb before the game. The Atlanta Falcons and the NY Jets play at MetLife Stadium on December 3, 2023 in East Rutherford, NJ.
© Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

It didn’t take long for Aaron Rodgers to sound off on what life has been like for the New York Jets over the last 48 hours. 

Days after falling to 4-8 on the season with a 13-8 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, reports from The Athletic detailed how the Jets were looking to start Zach Wilson at quarterback next week against the Houston Texans, but the former second-overall pick was reluctant to do so. After head coach Robert Saleh denied that Wilson had a reluctance to play, Rodgers was quick to defend his friend a day later.

“When you use sources and whether intentional or unintentional try to assassinate someone’s character like that report does for Zach, I have a real hard time with that,” Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee show Tuesday. “You’re basically saying that this kid is quitting on the team and doesn’t want to play and is giving the middle finger to the organization.”

Rodgers made it clear that while he wasn’t a fan of the Athletic’s report, the bigger problem was the anonymous sources that leaked private conversations regarding a member of the locker room and franchise.

“That’s a problem with the organization,” Rodgers explained. “You know, we need to get to the bottom of whatever this is coming from and put a stop to it privately because there’s no place in a winning culture.”

Rodgers did later clarify that the Athletic’s report that he spoke to Wilson about changing his mind to play was not “factually correct.”

New York’s quarterback carousel took a new turn Tuesday morning as well outside of Rodgers going to bat for Wilson. The Jets signed Brett Rypien off of Seattle’s practice squad and released Tim Boyle outright. Boyle started the last two games and has been with the organization the entire season after signing a one-year deal in the offseason.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Brett Rypien (11) slides for a first down as Green Bay Packers linebacker Rashan Gary (52) chases him down during the second quarter of their game on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.© Mike De Sisti / The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Even with Rypien on the roster, Saleh and the Jets have yet to name a start for their Week 14 contest. If Rypien were to start, he would be the fifth different quarterback New York has used in the 2023 season. Despite all those concerns regarding the quarterback position though, Rodgers has stayed positive through the latest five-game losing streak.

“I believe in the guys there. I believe in the individuals in leadership,” Rodgers stated. “There are a lot of reactions that happen and some may be influenced by fans and pundits a little more than I’m used to…It’s a wild ride and I’m looking forward to taking back the reigns really soon.”

Regarding his return from the Achilles injury that he suffered four plays in the 2023 season, the four-time NFL MVP made it clear that “anything is possible” but was disappointed because the Jets might not be alive in the AFC Playoff race to warrant him to come back this season. 

Defending a young quarterback has been nothing new for Rodgers this season. Despite not being able to play, the future Hall-of-Famer has consistently backed Wilson up throughout the year and has said he has a future in the NFL. 

The latest report though brought some serious heat on both the organization and the quarterback room as a whole. That’s something that Rodgers will be looking to change once he is back in the fold as the starting quarterback but also challenged the rest of the organization to stay together over the final five weeks of the season and build something for the potential 2024 run. 

“It’ll be interesting to see how guys respond. Who is going to finish the season as a professional? Who will buy in and put good ball on tape?”

Rodgers’ sentiments regarding both Wilson and the rest of the organization were matched earlier in the day by wide receiver Garrett Wilson. Wilson is on pace for a second straight back-to-back season, and while there have been cracks of frustration throughout the last few weeks, he has made it clear that he’s willing to do whatever the organization needs in the long run. 

“I’ve talked to Zach a few times the last couple of days,” Wilson said. “The one thing about Zach is that he’s always ready. He’s excited for any opportunity. I have his back, everyone on the team feels the same way and that’s how we feel about it.”

Garrett Wilson, Jets look for offensive changes
New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson runs for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

New York may be heading to their 13th straight postseason-less year, but there are building blocks for next season that should have fans excited. Getting Rodgers back will certainly be at the top of that list. 

“This has been a shit season, for sure, but we will be back.”

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