Baldinger: Do Jets really want an older QB trying to lead a young team?


The Jets’ quarterback situation is going to continue to be one of the main storylines in New York until they find an answer. They may have gotten closer to finding that answer on Thursday by hiring Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator.

Hackett was the offensive coordinator in Green Bay from 2019 to 2021 with none other than Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers’ future is up in the air and there has been rampant speculation about the four-time MVP.

However, bringing in the 39-year-old Rodgers may not be more than a short-term stopgap. That might not be the best option for an up-and-coming team like the Jets.

NFL insiders Brian Baldinger and Carl Dukes of the Audacy Original Podcast “In The Huddle” discussed why it’s important for a team to be able to grow with its quarterback.

“If you’re the Jets and you’ve got Breece Hall and you’ve got Sauce and you’ve got Garrett Wilson, you got these young players. Do you want a 40-year-old quarterback walking into your locker room saying ‘Come on, guys. Follow me’?” Baldinger said (11:08 in player above). “To me, you got to build this thing the right way. Build it for the long haul and the way Mahomes is building this thing.”

Mahomes isn’t the only young quarterback growing with his team. Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts, who are both playing on championship Sunday, are in their mid-20s and are growing together with their respective groups.

“We’re watching Joe Burrow build it with Ja’Marr and Tee and this group. Grow together. Growth is important. Grow it together,” Baldinger continued. “Whether it’s Zach Wilson, I don’t know, but find your young guy. That’s the formula. Jalen Hurts, everything he does is about the team. But he’s 24 years old. He’s one of the guys. They all can relate to each other. I think it’s important.”

“I do too,” Dukes said. “The Jets situation is interesting. I keep hearing that same thing you are with whether Aaron would go there or not. I don’t know. We’ll talk about it as we get to the offseason.”

The Rodgers to New York rumors are heating up as the offseason approaches. He may be one of the best quarterbacks available for 2023, but the Jets may want to think about getting a younger gunslinger to grow with their skill guys. Another former MVP, the 26-year-old Lamar Jackson, might be more up their alley if they abide by Baldinger’s thought process.

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