Optimism is as high as it has ever been around the New York Jets.
Well, for some.
Joe Douglas pushed his chips to the middle and landed Aaron Rodgers this offseason. New York missed the playoffs and finished 7-10 last season, and Rodgers will be tasked with bringing New York back to the postseason for the first time since 2010.
There’s plenty of reason to believe in the Jets. They have some electric young pieces on offense, and their defense was among the best in the league last season. On paper, it seemed like they were just a quarterback away from being a legitimate contender, and that has now been taken care of.
But the Jets still have to get through a challenging division, let alone a loaded conference. Appearing on “The Joe Rose Show,” ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio was tapping the brakes on all the Jets hype.
“At the end of the day, the Jets give up a first-round pick next year if Aaron Rodgers takes 65 percent of the snaps. That’s it,” Florio said. “Not and they make the playoffs or win a playoff game, no. If Aaron Rodgers plays 11 games out of 17 next year – a little more than 11, it’s 11.05 if you assume the same number of snaps in every game. So, he can miss five games, he can miss more than five games due to injury, and they still owe a first-round pick.
“They could be horrible next year. Look at their schedule, the AFC East, crippling. They play the Chiefs, they play the Eagles, the Cowboys, the Giants, the Chargers – they may not make the playoffs. I would bet against them making the playoffs right now. They (would) still have to give up a first-round pick next year if Aaron Rodgers takes 65 percent of the snaps.”
The Jets held the 13th pick in the draft before sending it to the Packers in the Rodgers deal. New York got the 15th pick as part of the return, which they used on Iowa State edge rusher Will McDonald. The Patriots were one pick ahead of the Jets, but moved back in a trade with the Steelers, who then took Georgia tackle Broderick Jones at No. 14.
Jones would have been a logical target for the tackle-needy Jets at that spot, something Florio thinks shouldn’t be overlooked in assessing the Rodgers deal.
“You throw on top of it the flip-flop of first-round picks this year, 13 and 15. Hey, they’re sitting there at 15, what do the Steelers do, they trade up to 14 and take Broderick Jones, the tackle that they very well may have taken if they hadn’t traded down from No. 13. So that’s a hidden cost in this too.
“They gave up a lot to get this guy, they got fleeced by the Packers at the end of the day. They were desperate to get him, and they got him.”