Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Robert Zeglinski

Jets GM Joe Douglas pointlessly tanked leverage for Aaron Rodgers trade with Lamar Jackson talk

The New York Jets and Green Bay Packers are deadlocked right now.

What seemed like an outright pending inevitability — a trade of Aaron Rodgers — instead could, maybe, happen any day now. The Jets are holding firm on their position, The Packers are holding firm on their position. And there doesn’t appear to be a real resolution in sight for now.

Wow, what drama.

With news of Lamar Jackson’s trade request hitting the NFL world hard, the Jets were brought up as a potential trade partner. After all, they need a quarterback, the gifted Jackson isn’t even 27, while Rodgers will be 40 in December.

At the very least, even if the Jets still really want Rodgers first and foremost, GM Joe Douglas could’ve simply said they’re looking into acquiring Jackson. Nothing more. Any leverage or pressure on the Packers could help in a negotiation standstill. That is, uh, not what he did at the NFL owners’ meetings.

More Doughlas from ESPN’s Rich Cimini:

“First of all, Lamar Jackson is a fantastic player, but where we stand is, it would be disingenuous and negotiating in bad faith if we went down that path,” said Douglas, a former longtime Ravens scout. “We have our plan, we have our process and we’re sticking to that. … We’re never going to operate in bad faith.”

Let’s set aside the Rodgers trade discussion for a second.

I don’t see how it’s operating in “bad faith” to entertain trading for a younger and likely better player at this stage. With Nathaniel Hackett in tow, Rodgers might fit what the Jets want to do more schematically, but Jackson gives them a better future.

As my For The Win colleague Prince Grimes wrote, Jackson should be a no-brainer for Gang Green:

“Outside of potentially contending for titles, the Jets would be must-see football — just like the Ravens were, and just like any other team would be with Jackson at quarterback. But the only team we know to be actively shopping for a starter is the Jets, and the decision on which one they should be pursuing seems like an easy one.”

Now, even if the Jets don’t want the objectively better option, why would you say you’re not interested out loud?! Why wouldn’t you look to force the issue on Green Bay? This isn’t playing Legos with your friends, where you’re obligated to be kind and not smash their delicate creations. This is “big boy” professional sports. Get the job done by any means necessary.

And if the Packers wanted to pull out of trade talks after the Jets showed interest in Jackson, I’m not so sure they would! I think they want to start the Jordan Love era in earnest and have made that abundantly clear. Rodgers coming back would only be a thorn in their plans for their future. (Also, Love’s semi-permanent status on the sideline would continue to prevent big-name coaches from remembering who he is!)

Does Brian Gutekunst look like a GM who wants Rodgers to wear the famed green and gold again? I think not.

The Jets can keep up their brazen pursuit of Rodgers all they want. No one’s stopping them. But showing more tact with another talented QB to get the ball rolling wouldn’t have been the worst idea. It might have spurred some legitimate (key word: legitimate) momentum to get a star signal caller wearing their uniform for the first time in decades.

In other words: Classic Jets.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.