Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has publicly acknowledged his intention to play for the New York Jets next season after previously being in favor of retiring prior to his recent darkness retreat.
"Since Friday, my intention was to play and play for the NY Jets," Rodgers said while appearing on the Pat McAfee Show Wednesday (March 15).
Rodgers said that a deal has not been completed and is a matter of both teams working it out, but cited the Packers' decision to select his eventual successor, Jordan Love, in the first-round of the 2020 NFL Draft as the franchise showing its intention of wanting to move on, but was delayed by his consecutive NFL MVP awards, prior to last season.
Rodgers also admitted he was "90% retiring" before going on his darkness retreat last month.
Rodgers' comments came after ESPN's Dianna Russini reported Tuesday that Rodgers gave the New York Jets a free agent wish-list after meeting with team officials in California last week, which he denied and referred to as "stupid."
"Aaron Rodgers has provided the NY Jets with a wish-list of free agents he would like them to target and acquire, per sources. It includes Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, Marcedes Lewis and….Odell Beckham Jr." Russini tweeted on Tuesday (March 14).
On Monday (March 13), longtime former ESPN anchor Trey Wingo reported that he was "hearing Rodgers to the Jets is done," though both Schefter and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport refuted that a deal had been officially reached.
Rodgers met with Jets owner Woody Johnson and a contingent of team representatives in California on March 7. A move to New York would reunite Rodgers with recently hired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who had previously held the same position with the Packers from 2019 to 2021.
New York had previously acquired Rodgers' predecessor, Brett Favre, in a trade with the Packers in 2008, which led to the eventual four-time NFL MVP taking over as Green Bay's starting quarterback for the remainder of his tenure with the franchise.
Last month, Schefter reported that the Jets were "a very real scenario" in a possible trade for Rodgers even prior to the hiring of Hackett, who the quarterback had publicly praised following his hiring as the Denver Broncos' head coach last offseason. Rodgers led the NFL's top scoring offense during the first of two consecutive Associated Press Most Valuable Player award-winning seasons in 2020, both of which took place during Hackett's tenure with the Packers.
Rodgers signed a three-year, $150 million extension with the Packers last offseason amid previous reports of being disgruntled with the franchise. The 39-year-old was coming off back-to-back MVP seasons ahead of the 2022 NFL season, which resulted in Green Bay missing the playoffs after clinching a postseason berth during the previous three consecutive seasons and 11 of the past 13 years.
Rodgers leads all Packers quarterbacks with 475 touchdowns and ranks second in franchise history behind only Favre in QB wins (147), completions (5,001) and passing yards (7,660).