Aaron Rodgers' Path to New York Jets Becomes Clearer With Salary Cap Shift

A little more light was possibly shed on the future of NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Saturday as the New York Jets have reportedly opened up more salary cap space. The Jets have four days to free up even more salary availability, and the Green Bay Packers have given the Jets a green light to talk to their four-time MVP.

Rodgers moving to the New York Jets seems more probable now than it did just a week ago, and certainly ahead of Wednesday's (March 15) deadline for the team to be salary cap compliant.

The Jets' top brass – including their owner, general manager, head coach and offensive coordinator – met with Rodgers earlier this week in Los Angeles. On Saturday, the Jets restructured the contracts of offensive guard Laken Tomlinson, cornerback D.J. Reed and tight end Tyler Conklin. The reworkings of these three contracts were basically converting much of their 2023 base salaries into signing bonuses, ESPN reported.

In all, the Jets have freed up an extra $15.2 million by restructuring contracts of these veterans, and more could be on the way. The Jets had been slightly above the $224.8 million cap and had already come down even more by maneuvering the contract of tight end C.J. Uzomah and releasing wide receiver Braxton Berrios.

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before a game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on January 08, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Rodgers could be nearing a deal to go to the New York Jets this offseason. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Rodgers' tenure in Green Bay could also have likely run its course as the franchise is open for trades, or even his retirement. The organization feels content with Jordan Love becoming its quarterback of the future, just like when the Packers looked to Rodgers whenever Brett Favre moved on and eventually joined, um, the Jets.

Newsweek reached out to Rodgers' agent, David Dunn, by email.

The Jets finished 7-10 last season, which was last in the AFC's East Division. The Jets were two wins away from the final playoff spot in the conference.

The Jets finished 4-13 in the 2021 season and 2-14 during the 2020 season. The Jets haven't had a winning season since 2015 when they went 10-6. Their last playoff appearance was after the 2010 season, in which they finished the regular season with an 11-5 record. The Jets that season went on the road to defeat the Indianapolis Colts, 17-16, in the wild card round and then beat the New England Patriots, 28-21, in the divisional round. The Jets lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-19, in the AFC Championship game. The Steelers lost that year's Super Bowl, ironically, to the Green Bay Packers, which is the only world title for Rodgers.

The Jets were reportedly also courting former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr as well, but Carr has signed a deal to become the next quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.

The Packers went 8-9 last season, which included a stretch of losing seven out of eight games in the middle of the season.

Rodgers is among the all-time statistical leaders of NFL quarterbacks. He's ninth all-time with 59,055 passing yards, fifth with 475 touchdown passes, eighth with 5,001 completed passes and first all-time with a 1.4 percent of passes intercepted.