This season was supposed to be different for Jets fans. Aaron Rodgers, the four-time MVP and ten-time Pro Bowler, had come to the Big Apple. He was going to be the missing piece to an otherwise strong team with a fantastic defense and both the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year (Garrett Wilson) and Defensive Rookie of the Year (Sauce Gardner). Finally, the Jets were going to get out of the mediocrity they had been stuck in for so long and be prime contenders for a Super Bowl. It would be their first championship since 1968, and the chants of “J-E-T-S” would ring across the nation.
The hype was so great that the Jets kicked off the first week of the season on Monday Night Football, hosting their intrastate and divisional rivals, the Buffalo Bills. The Jets took the field for the first time on offense. Running back Breece Hall ripped off a 26-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. The atmosphere was electric. Rodgers’ first pass was incomplete, but no matter. He’d have plenty of other opportunities. After a defensive holding penalty, Rodgers again dropped back to pass. He held onto the ball for longer than the play normally called for. Suddenly, he had Bills linebacker Leonard Floyd bearing down on him.
And just like that, Rodgers’ season was done. He had torn his Achilles tendon.
Now, as the Jets decide what to do at quarterback, they’ll still have to pay Rodgers’ entire salary. In 2022, when he was with the Green Bay Packers, he signed a three-year, $150.8 million contract. Upon being traded to the Jets, Rodgers restructured his deal to be more team-friendly, taking a pay cut in the process.
The new deal: three years, $112.5 million.
Per Spotrac, Rodgers has a modest salary of $1,838,888 this season. But he also has a $50,000 workout bonus and, most significantly, a $35 million signing bonus. That means he’ll make a cool $36,888,888 for playing four snaps and 94 seconds of regular-season football.
In an Instagram post, Rodgers said he “shall rise yet again.” Despite being the oldest player in the NFL — he’ll turn 40 in December — this likely isn’t the last we’ve seen of him on a football field.
After all, he’s still got more to prove — and more than $75 million left on his contract. Even with over $300 million in career earnings, that’s tough to walk away from.