Jets CB Sauce Gardner sacrifices Packers cheesehead to lure Aaron Rodgers to NY
New York Jets players are doing everything in their power to convince Aaron Rodgers to leave the Green Bay Packers.
Cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, coming off his 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign, went so far as to burn the cheesehead hat he took from Lambeau Field when the Jets beat the Packers in Week 6. He christened his firepit alongside running back Breece Hall and 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year wideout Garrett Wilson in a sacrificial offering to the football gods in the hopes that the four-time MVP will decide to come to New York.
"This is me talking now," Gardner said in the video. "I need you to come here so we can win a Super Bowl."
Bold strategy, Sauce. Let's see if it pays off.
The Jets' pursuit of Rodgers has been arguably the biggest storyline of the offseason. Between Rodgers' infamous "darkness retreat" and the cross-country flight of the team's top decision-makers for an in-person meeting with the quarterback, players and fans alike have wondered how, when and if a trade between the Jets and Packers will happen.
In the meantime, Jets players have gone on the social media offensive to convince Rodgers to join them. Gardner has been the most vocal, but others like special teamer Justin Hardee, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, tight end Tyler Conklin and safety Will Parks have also tweeted to recruit Rodgers. Even head coach Robert Saleh's brother, David, chimed in on Twitter
Sauce Gardner, Quinnen Williams and even Robert Saleh’s brother are all trying to get Aaron Rodgers to come to the #Jets.
An all-out recruiting effort to get No. 12. pic.twitter.com/UyUxgutkps
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) March 8, 2023
One obvious player not among those tweeting at Rodgers — former No. 2 pick Zach Wilson, who was benched multiple times in 2022 because of poor and erratic play. Jets general manager Joe Douglas said he still believed Wilson has "a very high ceiling" as recently as the NFL combine, but the Jets' clear desire to trade for Rodgers indicates they don't think Wilson can win them a Super Bowl just yet.
The issue with the Rodgers situation doesn't seem to be whether or not the Packers want to move on from their quarterback — reports indicate the Jets and Packers have worked on trade compensation and Rodgers' salary —it's if Rodgers wants to leave Green Bay for New York at all or possibly even retire from the NFL. Rodgers said he won't take forever to decide his own fate but wants to make sure it's what he truly wants before telling the Packers.
While the rest of the NFL waits, Gardner and the Jets will continue their attempts to convince Rodgers to join their team.