FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose offseason started with commerce rumors and his celebrated darkness retreat, ended it Friday with good attendance and a brilliant outlook for his first season with the New York Jets.
“The final six weeks have been about essentially the most enjoyable I’ve had shortly,” Rodgers mentioned after the Jets’ ultimate OTA apply.
The Jets, who cancelled subsequent week’s obligatory minicamp, now start a six-week break earlier than coaching camp.
Rodgers, who skipped voluntary practices lately with the Inexperienced Bay Packers, attended all 10 OTA periods. He did not take part in just a few early practices due to a strained proper calf, however he confirmed up every single day and was a vocal presence on the sphere and in conferences. He ended Friday’s apply on a optimistic be aware — a completion to huge receiver Garrett Wilson.
Initially, Rodgers had deliberate to return to his dwelling in California earlier than the top of OTAs to work along with his private trainers, however he determined it was finest to rehab his calf damage on the crew facility. He mentioned the additional time in New Jersey was useful for various causes.
“It made for lots of alternatives for some get-togethers within the metropolis, clearly Taylor Swift live performance,” he mentioned. “We had some good crew dinners and quite a lot of haunt time, in order that was good.
“The on-the-field stuff was actually necessary as we begin to work by way of a few of the changes and alerts and simply sort of being the opposite voice within the room with [offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett] within the installs and within the quarterback room.”
Hackett mentioned the offense is “far-off” from the place it must be. Instructed of Hackett’s quote, Rodgers smiled.
“That is coach speak,” he mentioned. “I like the place we’re at and I recognize, as each participant does, that Rob [Saleh] reduce the final week.”
The Jets face the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 3 within the Corridor of Fame Recreation, which suggests an earlier reporting date for coaching camp — the principle purpose why Saleh cancelled minicamp.
Rodgers, acquired April 24 in a blockbuster commerce, mentioned he’d prefer to schedule casual exercises on the West Coast with the receivers and different quarterbacks through the break. He mentioned huge receiver Mecole Hardman, who missed the offseason as a consequence of core-muscle surgical procedure, already has expressed an curiosity in taking part.
Quarterback Zach Wilson organized it final offseason — he hosted a few dozen teammates at a resort in Idaho — however rather a lot has modified since then. Wilson, changed by Rodgers, is now the No. 2 quarterback.
Addressing the media for the primary time because the finish of the season, Wilson — the No. 2 total decide in 2021 — was upbeat and relaxed as he mentioned the Rodgers commerce and its impression on his profession trajectory.
“Yeah, I imply, in fact, I want to be the man, so at first you are not at all times glad about that,” he mentioned, recalling his response to the commerce. “However I am extraordinarily psyched that, out of any quarterback you may’ve introduced in, it was him.”
Wilson mentioned Jets officers had been clear through the course of, including, “I can not be bitter with the scenario. I did not carry out properly and it’s a must to take conditions as they arrive.”
Properly earlier than the commerce, Wilson went to Southern California to go to Rodgers, whom he has described as a childhood idol. That they had a preexisting friendship, so he went to Rodgers’ home to hang around and speak just a little ball. After that, the Rodgers-Jets rumors intensified.
Wilson has acquired reward from coaches and teammates on the best way he has dealt with the demotion, with Saleh saying, “I give him a ton of credit score. … It’s totally humbling to be in his footwear proper now.”
Wilson agreed, saying he was humbled by two disappointing seasons because the starter. He believes studying from Rodgers, who he referred to as a perfect mentor, will profit his profession in the long term.
“I believe proper now I am having a ton of enjoyable, extra enjoyable than I’ve had,” he mentioned. “And I believe that is simply the quarterback room, being with Aaron. I believe it is feeling like each single day there’s a lot to study. It is like every single day I simply realized 10 various things about taking part in quarterback place.”
In different developments, the Jets have a preliminary curiosity in free agent operating again Dalvin Cook dinner, in keeping with Saleh, who mentioned, “We’ll flip the stones over on that one.” He deferred to normal supervisor Joe Douglas, including, “I am unsure how the cash works on that.”
The Jets have roughly $24 million in cap room, however they might not wish to splurge for a operating again.