By Max Harper
After year after year of question marks at the quarterback position, New York finally made the move for that franchise passer for which fans had been clamoring for so long. Yet in that trade for the then-39-year-old Aaron Rodgers, the Jets were getting much more than an upgrade to their quarterbacks room.
A lot of the influence that Rodgers demonstrated over the Jets last year came before he ever arrived. In order to “woo” Rodgers during the trade standoff, owner Woody Johnson approved the hiring of Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator, per Zack Rosenblatt and Dianna Russini of The Athletic. Hackett had a history with Rodgers, serving as his offensive coordinator for three years in Green Bay, two of which resulted in an MVP award for the four-time All-Pro. Unfortunately, though, Hackett was coming off of a disastrous campaign as head coach of the Broncos, during which he became just the fifth head coach since 1970 not to finish their first season as head coach.
Even before that, the Jets stayed busy signing many of Rodgers’ former teammates like wide receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, quarterback Tim Boyle, and offensive tackle Billy Turner. Not to mention that the veteran quarterback also pushed the team to add offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and tight end Marcedes Lewis to the roster, as well. Lots of this undue influence on personnel stemmed from his past in Green Bay, where he felt general manager Brian Gutekunst shut him out, especially after the drafting of his eventual replacement Jordan Love. In an effort to make Rodgers feel more in the loop, the team gave him a direct line of communication to general manager Joe Douglas.