Quarterback Challenges Team to Improve Culture
Fresh off being voted “Most Inspirational Player” by his New York Jets teammates, quarterback Aaron Rodgers had some choice words for the franchise as he looks ahead to the 2024 season and beyond.
Speaking at a season-ending press conference on Monday, Rodgers urged the Jets to “flush the bulls**t” and improve the culture within the organization if they want to be competitive next season.
“The expletive that has nothing to do with winning needs to get out of the building,” Rodgers said. “There’s too much nonsense and not enough honesty.”
Rodgers only played four snaps for the Jets this past season due to a preseason thumb injury. Yet in a bizarre twist, he was still voted the team’s Dennis Byrd Award winner for most inspirational player by his Jets teammates.
The award sparked controversy and confusion among fans and media pundits alike:
|“Rodgers Says Jets Need to ‘Flush the Bulls**t’ Before 2024 NFL Season”
|“Aaron Rodgers Named Jets’ Most Inspirational Player Despite Lost Season”
|“Jets Players Inspired By Guy Who Spent Most Of the Season in Malibu Talking to Pat McAfee”
Rodgers addressed the skepticism around the award, saying he stayed engaged with his Jets teammates throughout his injury rehab and continued serving as a mentor for young quarterbacks Zach Wilson and Chris Streveler.
However, he made it clear that everyone on the team should be on the hot seat heading into 2024 if the Jets want to turn things around after a “very disappointing” 2023 season.
Rodgers Aiming to Return in 2024
Despite the lost year and culture concerns, Rodgers said he is still aiming to play for the Jets beyond just the 2024 season.
“I’d like to play more than one more year, but I know that’s certainly not promised to me,” he told reporters.
Rodgers has one year left on his Jets contract and will turn 41 years old before the start of the 2024 season. While his future in New York remains uncertain, Rodgers made it clear he still has gas left in the tank and plans to keep playing as long as he’s healthy and enjoying himself.
“I still can play, I know that,” Rodgers said. “I still enjoy the grind, I enjoy the week. I enjoy gameplanning and coming up with ideas and concepts and throwing completes and incompletes.”
Rodgers also teased an appearance on The Jimmy Kimmel Show on Tuesday where he’ll likely face more questions about his recent controversial comments defending Joe Rogan and questioning the official narrative around Jeffrey Epstein.
How Rodgers handles the Kimmel interview could impact his standing both inside and outside the Jets locker room heading into next season.
What’s Next for Rodgers and the Jets?
With Rodgers set to turn 41 in December, the Jets face a franchise-altering decision on whether to commit to him long-term or move on and give Zach Wilson another shot at becoming their quarterback of the future.
Here’s a look at some of the potential scenarios in play for Rodgers and the Jets:
Rodgers retires: If Rodgers decides he no longer wants to deal with the Jets drama and scrutiny, retirement could be on the table despite his comments about wanting to play beyond 2024. However, this would leave the Jets QB room thin with just Wilson and Streveler.
Rodgers returns as starter: Rodgersplaying into his 40s wouldn’t be unprecedented, as Tom Brady just retired at age 45. If Rodgers returns healthy and motivated, he gives the Jets the best chance to compete right away in 2024.
Rodgers mentors Wilson: Rodgers could return in more of a backup mentor role to help continue Wilson’s development. But Rodgers likely still wants to start and may not be content standing on the sidelines.
Jets extend Rodgers: The nuclear option would be offering Rodgers a contract extension to cement him as the Jets QB for the next few years. But his age and the cost could be prohibitive.
Jets trade Rodgers: The Jets could shop Rodgers in a trade to turn the page. But his 2023 thumb injury, big contract and age limit his trade value.
Rodgers made one thing clear in his press conference: the “bulls**t” needs to end for the Jets to contend anytime soon. Now we wait to see what Rodgers, Coach Saleh and GM Douglas decide to do at quarterback as the Jets look to finally build a winning culture.
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