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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Skyler Carlin

Jets tried trading for Matthew Stafford before acquiring Aaron Rodgers

There was a moment when the New York Jets were uncertain about whether or not they’d land Aaron Rodgers in a trade, which led them to seek out other options just in case. According to Ian Rapoport, before the Jets ultimately acquired Aaron Rodgers in a trade with the Green Bay Packers, they inquired about Matthew Stafford.

The Rams, however, were adamant about not trading Stafford. So the talks between the two teams were not very long.

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Talks between New York and Los Angeles were brief, simple and to the point.

As two sources explained, the Rams were adamant Stafford wasn’t going anywhere. The talks between the two teams were more exploratory than anything else with L.A. showing no willingness to do a deal, but the Jets didn’t want to leave a stone unturned in their quest for a franchise QB.

In his story on, Rapoport added that it wasn’t just the Jets who called the Rams about Stafford. Other teams did, too, also inquiring about the team’s other stars in what was clearly going to be a rebuild year after moving on from Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd and Bobby Wagner.

Sources say it wasn’t just the Jets who reached out, as several other QB-needy teams called to inquire on Stafford’s and a few other Rams stars’ availability when people around the league wondered if Los Angeles was in sell-mode. 

Similar to the Rams before the 2021 season, the Jets were a team that many believed was a quarterback away from becoming Super Bowl contenders. So New York was aggressively trying to pry Rodgers away from Green Bay, especially following his comments on wanting to play for the Jets.

Talks stalled between the Jets and the Packers amid trade discussions ahead of the 2023 NFL draft. With a backup plan potentially needed, the Jets called the Rams to see if Stafford was available.

Even though the Rams are in a transitional period where the franchise is looking toward the future, they made it clear that Stafford wasn’t going anywhere.

It’s unlikely that the Jets even got to the point of making an offer for Stafford when they called because the Rams declined any interest. While it’s interesting to think about what the Rams’ quarterback situation would have looked like had they traded Stafford, he’s healthy and motivated entering his third year with the team.

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