- Jackson is younger and healthier. Rodgers is 39 years old and has suffered multiple injuries in his career, including a broken collarbone, a concussion, and a knee sprain. He might have one or two more elite seasons left, but he is not a long-term solution. Jackson, on the other hand, is in his prime and has missed only one game due to injury in his four-year career.
- Jackson is cheaper and easier to acquire. Rodgers has a massive contract that pays him $33.5 million per year until 2025. He also has a no-trade clause that gives him leverage over where he goes. The Jets would have to give up a lot of draft capital and salary cap space to get him. Jackson, meanwhile, has a more reasonable contract that pays him $23.1 million per year until 2024. He also does not have a no-trade clause and might be open to a fresh start after losing to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
- Jackson fits better with the Jets’ scheme and personnel. The Jets hired Robert Saleh as their new head coach and Mike LaFleur as their new offensive coordinator. They are expected to implement a Shanahan-style offense that relies on zone running, play-action passing, and bootlegs. Jackson excels in this type of system, as he showed in his MVP season under Greg Roman in Baltimore. He would also benefit from having a young and talented offensive line, led by Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker, that can create lanes for him to run and protect him in the pocket. Rodgers, on the other hand, prefers a more vertical and aggressive passing game that might clash with LaFleur’s philosophy.
- Jackson would bring excitement and energy to the Jets’ fan base. The Jets have been one of the most boring and depressing teams in the NFL for years. They have not made the playoffs since 2010 and have not had a winning season since 2015. They need a spark to ignite their franchise and their fan base. Jackson would provide that spark with his electrifying plays, charismatic personality, and winning attitude. He would make the Jets relevant again and give them a chance to compete in the AFC East.
The New York Jets are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. They have the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, but they might not find their answer there. Instead, they should consider making a blockbuster trade for one of the best quarterbacks in the league: Lamar Jackson. Jackson is the reigning MVP and has led the Baltimore Ravens to two consecutive playoff appearances. He is a dual-threat weapon who can beat defenses with his arm and his legs. He is only 26 years old and has plenty of room to grow. He is also under contract through 2024, so the Jets would have him locked up for the foreseeable future. Why should the Jets trade for Jackson instead of Aaron Rodgers, who is also rumored to be available? Here are four reasons: