Jets enter ‘win-now’ mode in 2023 following blockbuster for Aaron Rodgers | Op-ed

Jets - Packers Rodgers trade update
FILE – New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh, center, laughs with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, right, during a joint NFL football training camp practice Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, 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/Matt Ludtke, File)
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The trade has become official and Aaron Rodgers is finally a member of the New York Jets — the news breaking early Monday evening that sent shockwaves throughout the NFL. 

For a trade of this magnitude to happen, New York gave up significant draft compensation to get a deal done. Giving up what is essentially a second-round pick and conditional first (if Rodgers plays a certain amount of snaps) is no tall order for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2010. 

But the Jets aren’t just thinking about making the playoffs in 2023. That’s why the trade for Rodgers has happened. The lone goal hovering around Florham Park is all about winning a championship now.

Giving up draft compensation for one of the most talented and accomplished quarterbacks in NFL history doesn’t mean as much as long as those aspirations are met. That’s why the Los Angeles Rams swung for the fences with Matthew Stafford and Tom Brady was plucked by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

When you have a shot at securing one of the best quarterbacks in football, doing everything possible to acquire him is the most paramount focus. New York also has several top players still on rookie deals which allow them to not just take Rodgers’ contract on, but allow them to add to the roster by acquiring other top free agents. With a restructured deal for the quarterback the next piece of the puzzle, New York needs to find ways to solidify the talent surrounding their top quarterback. 

Of course, having the reigning offensive and defensive Rookie of the Year winners and a 7-10 record in 2022 due to poor quarterback play, the sky is the limit for Rodgers and New York. 

But results aren’t guaranteed. In a loaded AFC with at least six other teams holding franchise quarterbacks, Rodgers will need to play like the former MVP winner in order for Gang Green to gain an edge. 

Making the playoffs will no longer suffice for a team that hasn’t been there since knocking off Tom Brady and the Patriots at home. As long as a Hall-of-Fame quarterback is in tow, the Jets will be “championship or bust” for the foreseeable future.

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