New York Jets fans (not least ESPN’s Mike Greenberg) are absolutely over the moon about Aaron Rodgers’ desire to play for the Jets. Given that the Jets won Super Bowl III and it’s been mostly downhill since, they’re not to be blamed.
But what’s more likely to happen?
*Rodgers gets the Jets to a Super Bowl by beating Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen or some combination thereof. A playoff gauntlet of all three might be required.
*Rodgers’ narcissism and megalomania wreck the Jets franchise long past his stay.
I know which way I’m betting.
A microcosm of the situation will be previewed via what uniform number Rodgers wears.
Rodgers has been No. 12 his whole pro career. But the Jets have retired No. 12. It belonged to Joe Namath, the quarterback who won Super Bowl III, guaranteeing a win prior despite Baltimore being favored by 19½ points.
The Jets win greased the skids for the NFL-AFL merger and made pro football No. 1 in America. That moment was the catalyst.
Rodgers is a rent-a-Jet. Namath is *the* Jet. Namath is also a Hall-of-Famer and true all-time great. A much bigger star than Rodgers.
If Rodgers wears No. 12, it shows what a weak franchise the Jets are. (Evidence is already coalescing: The Jets signed free-agent receiver Allen Lazard, ex-Green Bay and one of those on Rodgers’ reported “wish list” of acquisitions.)
Rodgers is still a very good quarterback. But is he currently in a class with Mahomes, Burrow and Allen? Is Rodgers worth the trouble? (There will be trouble.)
No matter what happens, Rodgers will climb up on the cross and martyr himself. His latest effort in that regard is trying to villainize ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini for merely doing their jobs.
In that vein, Rodgers vs. the New York media is a great matchup.
I know which way I’m betting there, too.