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What Nathaniel Hackett hire means for Jets’ chances to land Aaron Rodgers

New York hired the former Packers offensive coordinator. What does this mean for the Jets’ prospects of acquiring the Packers QB? We take a look.

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers scrambles with the ball against the Detroit Lions in the first half at Lambeau Field on January 08, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The New York Jets are in the midst of a key offseason for the franchise. After years of missing the playoffs and general ineptitude, the Jets showed some signs of life in Robert Saleh’s second season as head coach. The Jets have a capable defense and a lot of young talent on offense. The QB position has always plagued New York and figures to be the key to unlocking a return to the postseason.

There are already rumors that the Jets are looking to acquire future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers. New York hired former Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett, who was hired by the Denver Broncos as head coach before this past regular season. Hackett was swiftly let go by the Broncos after major struggles with QB Russell Wilson. The initial thought was the Broncos went after Hackett to lure Rodgers to Denver via trade. The same thought process is now being applied a second time with the Jets.

To put things simply, this means nothing for the Jets’ chances of landing Rodgers. For one, take a look at his contract. If Rodgers wants to play this out, he can make a ton of money through 2026. Trading for that contract carries a ton of risk. Unless the thought is Rodgers will go at it for another season or two and retire. If it is just a 1-2 season deal, the Jets won’t want to give up too much for an aging MVP who looked lost at times in 2022.

New York would likely have to part with the No. 13 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to get Rodgers. At least if you’re the Packers, that’s your first ask. Anything less than that pick, plus a few other assets, and the Packers might as well keep Rodgers and run it back. The only incentive Green Bay has to trading Rodgers is to get out of that contract and have Jordan Love take over as QB.

For Rodgers, is going to the Jet and the AFC even the best move to win? The NFC is much weaker. The NFC North division has generally been easy to win. This season was a bit different, but the Packers shot themselves in the foot early on. Running things back with another year with Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, and the Packers could be back on track and in the postseason.

In the AFC, Rodgers has to go through Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow. Not to mention emerging young QBs in Trevor Lawrence and Justin Herbert. The QB landscape in the NFC is much easier to compete against. Tom Brady should retire soon and isn’t the same player anyway. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles are tough. Kirks Cousins will probably never win. The 49ers QB carousel always spins. Matthew Stafford and the Rams appear to be in trouble. Dak Prescott looked awful against San Fran. There are way fewer threats to the Super Bowl in the NFC.

So ultimately, people will speculate that the Hackett move will help the Jets convince Rodgers to accept a trade. It feels foolish to buy into this line of thought. Does that mean the trade absolutely won’t happen? Of course not. If the Jets give up the first-rounder and then some, the Packers almost have to take a deal like that. But adding Hackett isn’t some precursor to a move, like many will say on social channels for the next few months.