The Jets may be using Aaron Rodgers to try and turn disgraced quarterback Zach Wilson into their own Jordan Love.
It’s an NFL quarterback strategy as old as time: a veteran quarterback is used as a stopgap while a younger guy with more franchise potential develops under the aforementioned vet’s wings. The New York Jets will have two players under center for 2023, Aaron Rodgers and Zach Wilson. Guess who’s playing which role?
Zach Wilson showed up for the Jets’ offseason program workouts on Monday to no one’s surprise. The 2021 first-rounder said in January that he plans to make any veteran quarterback’s life “hell” everyday, and at the moment, that vet is shaping up to be former Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers.
When soon-to-be-Jet Rodgers finally arrives in New York, he may only have one or two productive years left in him. Unless the Jets make another quarterback move in that span, Wilson is next in line to succeed Rodgers, and that sounds an awful lot like….exactly what the Packers have done with Jordan Love, their first-round pick of 2020.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes of Wilson and Rodgers’ future relationship:
Ideally, and the Jets know pulling this off will be tricky, Wilson would back up Rodgers for a year or two, develop in the background and be in position to take over for him in 2024 or ‘25, depending on how much longer the current Packer/likely-soon-to-be Jet wants to play. The Jets, for their part, think he needs it.
Jets may be preparing Zach Wilson to be Aaron Rodgers’ successor just like Packers prepared Jordan Love
Rodgers spoke glowingly about his past relationship with Jordan Love and likely has no qualms about taking another young quarterback under his wing. If anything, it’d further boost his ego.
Whereas Love gets the benefit of the doubt having played just a handful of games in the past three years, Wilson edges closer and closer to the cliff where the “Abyss of First-round Quarterback Busts” is waiting for him.
Wilson has started 22 games in the last two years and accumulated 18 interceptions along with a measly 55.2 pass completion percentage. The cutthroat critics of New York have made their opinions on Wilson clear every time he takes a step in MetLife Stadium. Whether he knows it or not, his NFL career clock is quickly running down.
The Jets brass have said all the right things when it comes to building trust with a young unproven quarterback, and they’ll be hoping Wilson gets the Jordan Love treatment as he starts his apprenticeship under Rodgers in a few months’ time.
Rodgers may yet be able to salvage some playoff-contending seasons during his predictably short-lived window in this rosy Jets era, but the more ominous question will be: Can he save Zach Wilson’s career?