Sauce Gardner is attempting to make clear that he’s not trying to send any subtle messages about Zach WIlson.
The New York Jets will have one of the most closely-watched quarterback situations this offseason. Right now they have Wilson, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft who thus far has been erratic, underwhelming, and hurt often. Mike White has been a fine second option, but probably isn’t the long-term option at the position.
That has made New York a likely landing spot for a free agent quarterback this offseason, be it Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo or Derek Carr. But a clip of Gardner playing Madden with White as his quarterback was taken by some as a message about what his preference would be – a notion he pushed back against.
He did so again Thursday in an appearance on “The Zach Gelb Show,” raving about his experience with Wilson.
“Man, I didn’t not expect that to become a story," Gardner said. "That was my first time playing Madden. Mike was in -- I didn’t pay any attention to who was in. Mike was in, if Zach was in, I would’ve kept Zach in. It wasn't anything like that.
“He’s a great teammate, great player. He’s got a lot of talent, a lot of potential. I rock with Zach, man. We chop it up every time we see each other, he’s a great person to be around. He has a lot of knowledge, he gives me a lot of knowledge since I first stepped into the building, and I’ve tried to do the same thing for him.
“He’s gone through a lot of adversity, and I know if it were me he would have my back. So it wasn’t anything like that. I wasn’t thinking of the quarterbacks – the media thinks about the quarterbacks and talks about the quarterback situation way more than the players do, especially defense. So I just got on the game and I’m just thinking about which targets I’m going to throw to.”
The Rodgers-Jets chatter has heated up this week following New York’s hiring of Nathaniel Hackett, who was the Packers’ offensive coordinator from 2019-2021.
Gardner sounded indifferent about potentially adding Rodgers.
“I mean, it’s Aaron Rodgers, you know," the cornerback said. "That is what it is, that speaks for itself. My job is to focus on my job, defense. I don’t really focus on what the offense has got going on too much, it’s been like that all year.
“I just focus on the defense, focus on me because I’m the rookie – I’m not a rookie anymore – but we just focus on each other on the defense and we let the offense and coaches handle that."
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