Aaron Rodgers, the newest face of the New York Jets, revealed in his introductory press conference that he wanted to play for the NFL franchise because he’s “an old guy” and this team gives him an opportunity to win another Super Bowl.
Rodgers, 39, was shipped to New York from the Green Bay Packers on Monday in a massive trade that involved multiple draft picks over the next two years. The four-time MVP and Super Bowl-winning quarterback arrived at the Jets practice facility on Wednesday, where he donned Jets gear for his first press conference.
“I’m an old guy, so I wanted to be a part of a team that can win it all, and I believe that this is the place where we can get that done,” Rodgers said when asked what led him to the Jets.
Rodgers, who turns 40 in December, told sports analyst Pat McAfee on the “Pat McAfee Show” last month that it was his “intention” to play for the Jets next season. The trade rumors lasted for weeks as the teams negotiated and hashed out details of the blockbuster trade.
The star quarterback made it clear that he doesn’t view himself as the franchise’s savior as he’s joining a team that hasn’t appeared in a Super Bowl since winning it in 1969 after Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a Jets victory.
“I’m just here to be the best quarterback I can be,” Rodgers told reporters. He did mention, however, that the Jets’ Super Bowl trophy “is looking a bit lonely.”
The Jets finished dead last in the AFC East division last season with a 7-10 record. The team had high hopes for second-year quarterback Zach Wilson, but the young quarterback was criticized for underperforming under pressure and dealt with a knee injury. New York added Rodgers’ Packers teammate Allen Lazard and former Kansas City Chiefs speedster Mecole Hardman to its wide receiver corps last month, giving Rodgers multiple weapons on top of the Jets’ young standout receiver Garrett Wilson.
During the press conference, the team also revealed that Rodgers would wear No. 8, the number he wore while playing college football at the University of California. Namath gave Rodgers permission to wear his No. 12 since that’s the number Rodgers wore during his 18 seasons with the Packers, but the new Jets QB said that New York’s No. 12 belongs to Namath.
“I heard what he said about unretiring his number, but to me, 12 is Broadway Joe,” Rodgers said.
The jersey pic.twitter.com/PdLcDnk3zr
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) April 26, 2023
The Packers sent Rodgers, their 2023 first-round pick (15th overall), and 2023 fifth-round pick to the Jets, and will get the Jets’ 2023 first-round pick (13th overall), 2023 second-round pick, and 2023 sixth-round pick in return, ESPN reported. The Packers will also get the Jets’ 2024 second-round pick if Rodgers plays 65% of the plays this season, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.