Aaron Rodgers News
Report: Jets’ Interest in Odell Beckham Jr. ‘Very Real’
The New York Jets have made multiple moves to rework their wide receiver room in anticipation of trading for Aaron Rodgers, and one more move could come soon. The Jets’ interest in free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is “very real,” SNY reported on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Beckham Jr. added to the speculation by following new Jets receiver Allen Lazard on Instagram. Beckham Jr. and Lazard have a strong relationship with Rodgers and were reportedly included on a list of players Rodgers wanted the Jets to sign.
During his March 15 appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers denied the report calling it “stupid.” Rodgers has spoken glowingly of Beckham Jr. in the past. In a 2021 appearance on McAfee’s show, Rodgers described his relationship with Beckham Jr. as more than just acquaintances.
“We’ve been friends for a long time, kept in touch and met at some events and just, you know, sent encouraging messages,” Rodgers said. “During the seasons, over the years.”
Although Rodgers intends to play for the Jets in 2023 and has a strong relationship with Beckham Jr., the quarterback is still on the Green Bay Packers. The Packers are asking for at least a first-round pick in exchange for Rodgers.
>> DEBATE: Who Has Leverage in Rodgers Trade?
Beckham Jr. didn’t play last season due to the torn ACL he suffered in the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl win against the Cincinnati Bengals. The free-agent receiver worked out in front of NFL decision-makers on March 10 and looked healthy enough to draw interest from multiple teams.
Reports then surfaced that Beckham Jr. wanted a contract that would pay him roughly $20 million per year, a tough sell for a player who missed an entire season. However, he took to Twitter to refute those claims, saying he wanted more than $4 million.
I’m just so confused where the quote is from me tht said I want 20…..😭🙄all I’m sayin is 4 AINT enough
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) March 18, 2023
If Beckham Jr. signs with the Jets, he’ll join Lazard, reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson and Mecole Hardman, who the Jets signed on Wednesday, in New York’s receiver room. The Jets also traded Elijah Moore to the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday, perhaps to open a spot for Beckham Jr.
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Jets Have Leverage in Rodgers Negotiations With Packers
Long-time Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he wants to play for the New York Jets this coming season. Joe Banner explains why the Packers have a potentially “devastating” scenario on their hands in the ongoing negotiations with the Jets and why this is a move the Packers have to make.
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Lazard: Rodgers’ Decision Didn’t Influence Signing With Jets
A reunion between former teammates Allen Lazard and Aaron Rodgers seems inevitable. However, in a news conference to announce his signing with the New York Jets on Friday, Lazard said he would’ve signed with the team regardless of whether the Green Bay Packers quarterback ends up in New York in 2023.
“Obviously, there’s an inclination that he’s coming here, but after the season, after the last game, in the locker room, I mentioned how I have to worry about myself and take care of what’s best for me, and I can’t worry about other people,” Lazard said. “My decision coming here was purely based off that and making sure that I’m doing what’s best for my career. Obviously, him being here, it definitely helps the entire organization to be able to take that next step, make a deep playoff run, and go win that Lombardi Trophy.”
Lazard said playing in New York and working with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who served as the Packers’ offensive coordinator from 2019-2021, were significant factors in his decision to sign with the Jets.
Rodgers should be happy Lazard landed with the Jets since Rodgers reportedly asked the team to sign Lazard along with two other former Packers, WR Randall Cobb and TE Marcedes Lewis. Rodgers’ list also included free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Rodgers denied the report, calling it “stupid.”
Regardless of whether Rodgers asked the Jets to sign Lazard, there’s no denying the pair have a good on-field relationship.
Last season, with Davante Adams having moved on to Las Vegas, Lazard caught a team-high 60 passes for 788 yards and six touchdowns. He was targeted by Rodgers 100 times. No other receiver had more than 67 targets.
“As a wide receiver, the best relationship you can have is with the quarterback and the relationship I have with [Rodgers] has been phenomenal,” Lazard said. “Obviously, standing here today, it feels good knowing that 12’s going to be my quarterback again.”
Although Lazard spoke as if Rodgers’ deal to the Jets is already completed, Green Bay and New York have yet to agree on compensation. The Packers reportedly want the Jets’ first-round pick this year (No. 13 overall) and additional draft picks for next year.