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How Old Is Aaron Rodgers, What Number He’ll Wear, And What to Know About NY Jets QB



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It’s what seemingly every Jets fan has been waiting for not only this offseason, but basically since the days of Joe Namath: Gang Green (finally) has a star franchise quarterback.

Ahead of the official start of the NFL Draft on Thursday, the New York Jets reportedly acquired four-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers in a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers.

The Jets and Packers will swap first-round picks. The Jets will also get a 2023 fifth-round pick (No. 170 overall).

The Packers will also get a second-round pick (no. 42 and sixth-round pick (no. 207). Then the Packers get a conditional 2024 second-round pick, that could become a first-round pick if Rodgers plays 65 percent of the plays.

So what does Rodgers bring to the Jets? Here’s a breakdown of the man Gang Green fans hope can bring them back to the Super Bowl, and end the long playoff drought in the NFL (and professional U.S. sports overall.)


How Old is Aaron Rodgers?

Rodgers is 39 years old, and spent the first 19 seasons of his career in Green Bay after being drafted at No. 24 overall in 2005. He will turn 40 in December.

With Rodgers, the Jets expect to add an instant star despite a down season in 2022. He threw for 26 touchdowns (7th-most in the NFL) and 12 interceptions (tied for 7th-most in the NFL), which was just the third time he had thrown 10 or more INTs in a season, and the first time since 2010.

His Quarterback Rating of 39.3 was better than just five other starting QBs last season, and by far was the worst since he took over as a starter in 2008. His previous worst QBR was 52.5 in 2019, when he threw for 26 TDs and just 4 INTs en route to a Pro Bowl season.

The Packers went 8-9 and missed the playoffs to end a string of three straight NFC North titles.

And while it is certainly a risk to rest your hopes on a soon-to-be-40-year-old quarterback, it’s worth noting that it worked quite well a few years back for Tampa Bay — another franchise that historically hadn’t seen much success until a fellow future Hall of Famer (Tom Brady) took his talents to the Buccaneers.

Wait, Haven’t the Jets Done Something Like This Before?

Pretty much, yep. This marks the second time they’ve plucked a veteran Hall of Fame quarterback from the Packers.

In what is a strange coincidence, Rodgers’ move to the Jets comes 15 years after Brett Favre made the same move from Green Bay to New York — a move that at the time cleared the way for Rodgers to finally start after riding the bench for three years to start his career.


Favre was already 38 when he signed on with Gang Green in 2008. He didn’t last there beyond the season and moved to the Minnesota Vikings for the next two, where he performed much better, before retiring in 2010.

Since taking over for Favre in 2008, Rodgers has been among the league’s best quarterbacks. In 15 years as a starter, he’s won MVP four times (2011, 2014, 2020, 2021), been named to the Pro Bowl 10 times and won Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2010 season.

Who Was the Jets Quarterback Last Year?

The Jets were in dire need of a star signal-caller. New York’s top-five defense willed the team to a 7-10 record last season despite a lowly starting quarterback trio of Zach Wilson, Mike White and Joe Flacco.

Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in 2021, has been a disappointment. White had been an admirable fill-in and is now moving on to the Miami Dolphins. And Flacco, 38, is well past his prime after winning Super Bowl MVP way back in 2012. 

Wilson will now, presumably, serve as the backup for Rodgers. It’s not immediately clear who will serve as the team’s third-string quarterback, though teams now don’t always carry three QB’s.

For a team that’s cycled through quarterbacks Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold and Wilson since the Favre experiment, Rodgers is certainly worth the price.

The Jets have been looking for their franchise QB since Joe Namath won their only Super Bowl in 1969. They’ve used three top 5 draft picks on efforts since 2009 — Sanchez, Darnold and Wilson — and second-rounders on Christian Hackenberg and Smith, who recently rebounded in Seattle, in that same time.


They’ve gone 90-136 in that period and notched just three seasons above .500 in that span.

What Number Will Rodgers Wear?

Rodgers gets a fresh start and that means a new number. Because the No. 12 is retired to honor Joe Namath, Rodgers is expected to wear No. 8 for the Jets, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It is the same number he wore in college at California.

Namath had previously said he would give his blessing for Rodgers to continue wearing No. 12, but Rodgers didn’t seem entirely dead set on having to wear the same number when he announced his intentions to play for the Jets in March.

What Other Former Packers Teammates Are Joining Rodgers in New York?

Much was made about Rodgers’ so-called “wish-list” back in March of players and pass catchers he would like the team to acquire. The Jets did sign one of his favorite and most reliable receivers of late, Allen Lazard.

Two other former Packer pass catchers, veterans Randall Cobb and Marcedes Lewis, are both still unsigned free agents, so it will be interesting to see if the Jets opt to go after either or both of them.

Lazard was Rodgers’ primary target in 2022, leading the Packers with 60 receptions and 788 receiving yards. Cobb spent 10 seasons in Green Bay and is coming off a season in which he caught 34 passes for 417 yards. Lewis had a minimal role in the Packers’ 2022 passing game but has been Rodgers’ teammate since 2018.

One player on the list is no longer available, however. Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants-turned-Browns-turned-Rams standout has since been signed by the Baltimore Ravens.


The Jets do have at least a couple of intriguing weapons returning from last season. Garrett Wilson was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for 2022, and Corey Davis has been productive when healthy.

How Did We Get Here?

Rodgers completed a darkness retreat back in February, which he said he did to “have a better sense of where I’m at in my life,” both on and off the football field.

According to ESPN’s Xuan Thai, the room where Rodgers spent his retreat was a partially underground, Hobbit-like structure with 300 square feet of space, a queen bed, a bathroom and a meditation-like mat on the floor.

A couple of weeks after coming out from his retreat, he went on The Pat McAfee show, where he has a regular (at times controversial) segment, to announce that he intended on playing for the Jets this upcoming season.

After that, it came down to the Jets and Packers working out a trade deal. Rodgers described the apparent move as an appropriate transition for the “next chapter” of his life, when asked about playing in New York versus retiring, as had also been rumored for the better part of the last year.

Source: NBC New York


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