Aaron Rodgers: “My intention is to play for the New York Jets,” awaits Packers move

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky discusses Rodgers' intention to play for Jets.
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 4:30 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:35 PM CDT
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(WBAY/AP) - Aaron Rodgers says he’s not announcing a decision yet on his future with the Green Bay Packers but his intent, if he continues to play in the NFL, will be to play with the New York Jets. The 39-year-old Rodgers said he believes the Packers want to move on and make 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love their starting quarterback.

Rodgers appeared on the Pat McAfee Show Wednesday. He told the hosts, “Coming on the show was never to announce I’m retiring or I’m moving on.”

He went on to say, “I think since Friday I made it clear my intention is to play, and my intention is to play for the New York Jets” -- but he wants to “step back and look at the whole picture,” he said.

He also said the compensation the Packers are trying to get for a trade was holding up a final decision. Rodgers thinks other teams were also interested.

It was his first time speaking publicly for the first time since reports broke of advanced discussions of Rodgers going to the New York Jets. He previously talked about meditating about his future in football during a retreat in February and admitting to a fear of retirement on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast.

He told McAfee when going into his darkness retreat, the tone from the Packers was he could take his time and they wanted him to retire in a Packers jersey.

When he came out of the darkness five days later, something had changed, he said. The Packers were considering moving on. “There was a little bit of shopping going on.”

He said he likes direct communication and wishes that had been the discussion at the beginning of the post-season when he was leaning towards retirement. “I’m not sitting here as a victim. I love Green Bay. I love the fan base... Lot of love for the organization.”

Rodgers said he had a good conversation with the Jets but told them he’s not ready to make a decision. He wants to get back into his workouts and “see if the drive and the passion are still there.”

Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy has acknowledged the team granted the Jets permission to talk to Rodgers. The Jets sent a contingent that reportedly included owner Woody Johnson, coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas to Rodgers’ home in Southern California last week.

“The Packers would like to move on. They’ve let me know that in so many words,” Rodgers said.

Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy spoke of Rodgers in the past tense while discussing the quarterback’s future with Action 2 Sports last week during an appearance at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association girls’ basketball championships. WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE.

“Very few players play for only one team,” Murphy told our Adriana Torres. “Obviously Brett (Favre) had a great career. Aaron had a great career here. Regardless of what happens, Aaron will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’ll be in our Hall of Fame. We’ll bring him back, retire his number. This is just one of the things that we go through as a team. We want to try to achieve something that’s good for both Aaron and us.”

The Jets are seeking to end the NFL’s longest active playoff drought. They lost their final six games while going 7-10 last season and haven’t reached the postseason since 2010.

Their new offensive coordinator is former Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett, who earned raves from Rodgers while coordinating Green Bay’s offense from 2019-21. Saleh and Johnson have both expressed their interest in adding a veteran quarterback to a roster that already features one of the league’s best defenses.

Rodgers denied reports that he gave the Jets a wish list of teammates. The Jets just signed former Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard on Tuesday for a reported $44 million over 4 years.

The Packers sent a 39-year-old Brett Favre to the Jets in 2008, a move that ushered in Rodgers’s arrival as Green Bay’s starting quarterback. Favre had won three MVPs with Green Bay during his Hall of Fame career.

Rodgers had backed up Favre for three seasons after the Packers selected him out of California with the 24th overall pick in the 2005 draft. Love has backed up Rodgers for three seasons since the Packers traded up to take the former Utah State quarterback with the 26th overall pick in 2020.

The Pat McAfee Show livestream is embedded below. WARNING: This stream contains profanity.

Lazard is just one of the several players Aaron Rodgers has requested the Jets to pursue, according to ESPN’s Diana Russini.

Rodgers has created a wish list that includes Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, Marcedes Lewis and Odell Beckham Jr.

And the Jets are trying to act on more of Rodgers’ wishes. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that TE Lewis is drawing interest from the Jets and Raiders. He also reports Randall Cobb is drawing interest from New York.

There are no further reports that indicate a deal between Rodgers and the Jets has been finalized.