FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets' coaches, scouts and top brass celebrated the acquisition of quarterback Aaron Rodgers with hugs and high-fives. The blockbuster move, in the words of general manager Joe Douglas, is "a historic trade for this franchise."
It's not official yet, as Rodgers still must pass his physical Tuesday and tweak his contract, but the Jets are proceeding as if the four-time NFL MVP is their new QB1. For how long is anybody's guess, as Douglas declined to comment Tuesday on how long they expect the 39-year-old quarterback to play.
"I don't want to put words in his mouth -- you guys will have the opportunity to ask him those specific questions -- but we're obviously excited about this opportunity, excited about this deal and excited having him on this team," Douglas said Tuesday at his pre-draft news conference.
The Jets later announced that they would introduce Rodgers at a 2 p.m. ET news conference on Wednesday.
Douglas, who reached an agreement on the trade Monday afternoon with the Green Bay Packers, defended the compensation package. The Jets surrendered significant draft capital, including a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 conditional second-rounder that improves to a first-rounder if Rodgers plays in 65% of the snaps -- a threshold he has reached in 13 of his 15 seasons as a starter.
"I mean, obviously, we're comfortable with how this deal is shaped," Douglas said. "I don't think anyone ever walks away from a negotiation where you feel like you won everything in terms of what's going back and forth. But ultimately our goal from the beginning was to add Aaron to the team and so we were able to get that agreed to and [we're] just excited (to) get him here."
One of the final components of the trade agreement, Douglas said, was flipping 2023 first-round picks with the Packers. As a result, the Jets go from 13th to 15th in the draft, which begins Thursday night.
The Jets are paying a handsome price for a player who said he was "90 percent retired" in mid-February. A few weeks later, he declared his "intention" to play for the Jets, commencing a six-week negotiation.
The team is hopeful that Rodgers will play at least two seasons, a source said. Douglas, who called Rodgers "one of the best quarterbacks to ever play this game," wouldn't say if Rodgers would attend voluntary workouts in the offseason. In recent years, the mercurial quarterback hasn't participated with the Packers.
The Jets targeted Rodgers as far back as early January, when owner Woody Johnson said quarterback was "the missing piece" and that he'd be "absolutely" willing to make a bold investment in the position.
They ended the season with a six-game losing streak, scoring only 15 points in the last three games. They finished 7-10, their 12th consecutive season out of the playoffs -- the longest active drought in the NFL.
With Rodgers, the Jets have gone from also-ran to Super Bowl contender, according to the latest Vegas odds. Douglas didn't want to make any "crazy statements" about expectations, but he did say last season's ugly finish was a motivation for acquiring Rodgers.
"I guarantee you, that there's going to be a bunch of players that are going to come in, become unified and really try to rewrite how the story ended last year and make sure that we're not in that position," he said.
Rodgers will replace 2021 No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson, who was benched twice last season and will be the No. 2 quarterback. The Jets have been steadfast in saying they want to keep Wilson with the hope that he reaches his potential over time.
"I feel like this is going to be a great thing for Zach," Douglas said. "No one works harder, no one loves ball [more] than Zach Wilson and him having the opportunity to really shadow and be with a Hall of Fame quarterback every day, every hour -- that's a great opportunity, a great learning experience."
Rodgers is coming off a down season by his standard (26 touchdowns, 12 interceptions). Douglas dismissed the performance, alluding to Rodgers' injured thumb and saying "he's not very far removed from back-to-back MVPs" in 2020 and 2021.
"Obviously, it's an adjustment when you're somewhere for 18 years, but we feel like with the people that we have in place, he can get comfortable quickly."