Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets?
Get ready, because the theory is about to shift into overdrive.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter, among others, reported Thursday the Jets are hiring Nathaniel Hackett as their new offensive coordinator.
This is notable because Hackett, who was fired last month just 15 games into his first season as Denver Broncos head coach, previously served as the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator for three seasons (2019-21) alongside Rodgers. And the two enjoyed plenty of success together.
So, are the Jets laying the groundwork for a pursuit of Rodgers? Many folks already are connecting those dots. Rodgers has been the subject of trade rumors with his future in Green Bay uncertain, and Jets owner Woody Johnson recently made it clear New York was willing to spend on a quarterback.
The Jets made significant strides in 2022 despite finishing in last place in the AFC East behind the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. Their playoff chances ultimately were doomed by inconsistent quarterback play, most notably from 2021 No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson, and solidifying the position with someone like Rodgers might be enough to thrust the Jets into the Super Bowl conversation.
Hackett’s first season in Denver was an unmitigated disaster, from start to finish. And it’s fair to question the Jets’ motives, especially since it was theorized last offseason the Broncos hired Hackett with the idea of targeting Rodgers before eventually landing Russell Wilson in an ill-fated blockbuster. But being a head coach and being a coordinator are two different beasts. Hackett could perform well in his new role under Jets head coach Robert Saleh, doubly so if they traded for Rodgers.
The Jets parted ways with former offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur — coincidentally, the younger brother of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur — earlier this month. They then interviewed more than 15 OC candidates before hiring Hackett, according to Schefter.
The Jets also reportedly are hiring Keith Carter as their new offensive line coach and run-game coordinator. Carter was the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line coach from 2018 through 2022.