Jets offseason update: where things stand with OBJ, other free agents

The Aaron Rodgers trade shakes up our latest NFL mock draft
FILE – Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts as he leaves the field after an NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Jan 2. 2022, in Green Bay, Wis. Rodgers says his intention is to play for the New York Jets in the coming season as the four-time NFL MVP quarterback waits for the Green Bay Packers to trade him. Rodgers made his comments Wednesday, March 15, 2023, during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show.” (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps, File)
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We’re less than a month out from the 2023 NFL Draft and the New York Jets are still in the thick of conversations surrounding some key free agents. 

With league meetings coming to a close, the rumors surrounding certain free agents and potential trades run rampant this time of year. Some of the ideas, like the AJ Brown trade to Philadelphia, are conceived at these very meetings.

For the Jets, there’s a lot to look forward to over the next couple of weeks and still plenty of time to fill in some big holes on the roster. Let’s take a look back at where things stand for New York as we head into the month of April. 

Potential Free Agent Update

There are two key veteran free agents that the Jets are looking to sign: Ben Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr. 

The interest in OBJ has been consistent for New York in recent weeks. After a certain NFL MVP openly spoke about his intentions to play for Gang Green, word had spread that OBJ was interested in joining forces. According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, New York is considered the favorite to land the high-priced wide receiver – even if offers aren’t exactly where the All-Pro want them to be. 

Ben Jones, on the other hand, is an interesting player. New York has a desperate need at center and Jones’ previous work with Kevin Carter led him to a Pro Bowl season in 2022. While the team is still considering bringing Connor McGovern back for another year, Jones would be an upgrade over their previous center and offer more stability along the offensive line. 

The team has also had Al Woods in for a visit this week. Woods is a dominant run-stuffing defensive tackle that had a 68.2 grade according to Pro Football Focus last season. 

Hard Knocks in Florham Park?

That’s a question the team will be looking to answer over the next month or so. New York is one of four eligible teams to be named to the training camp show along with the Washington Commanders, New Orleans Saints, and Chicago Bears. 

The potential arrival of a four-time NFL MVP, two reigning Rookie of the Year award winners, and a new-look receiving core is enticing enough to have New York be the team that is followed around for over a month. 

Several prominent members of the Jets roster have already voiced their displeasure with the “distraction” that is Hard Knocks

An announcement on who will be picked won’t be out for a few weeks at the very least. 

A light at the end of the tunnel?

Speaking of the four-time NFL MVP, no trade between the Jets and Packers has been made official for the services of Aaron Rodgers at this time. 

That doesn’t mean they haven’t been progressing. 

In Cimini’s report, the two sides reportedly have inched closer to a particular deal for Rodgers that will not involve the Jets’ current 13th overall pick. What’s the hold-up? New York and Green Bay both want to be protected in case Rodgers retires after the season. New York wants conditions tied to the 2024 draft picks being moved while the Packers don’t want to give up any picks involving a trade for their former Super Bowl-winning quarterback. 

It’s also important to know that there’s still time to get a deal done that fits both sides. 

New York is still expected to complete a deal for Rodgers at some point during the 2023 off-season. If it happens without a first-round pick going to Green Bay, it would be a tremendous job by Joe Douglas to keep the team flexible going into April’s draft. 

And there would still be plenty of time for the team to improve the rest of the roster as well. 

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