The Jets are going all out in their recruitment of Aaron Rodgers, and Sauce Gardner is helping lead the charge.
After reports emerged that several top Jets officials — including owner Woody Johnson, general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh — met with Rodgers in California on Tuesday, several Jets players tweeted at Rodgers attempting to help sway him to join their team.
[Beyond pursuing Aaron Rodgers, what else is on Jets’ offseason to-do list?]
Gardner hinted in his tweets that he would burn the cheesehead that he famously donned after the Jets upset Rodgers’ Packers in Green Bay during the 2022 season, and then made good on his promise Thursday night alongside two of his higher-profile teammates in running back Breece Hall and wide receiver Garrett Wilson.
In a five-minute video posted to his YouTube channel, Gardner called Rodgers “one of if not the best quarterback [sic] in the league right now” and said he had a conversation with the longtime Packer that gave Gardner hope that “he could be in that green and white next season” before burning the cheesehead in a fire pit with Hall and Wilson.
Though Gardner made it clear that his burning of the Packers headgear was not a confirmation that Rodgers had already decided to head to New York, he also interviewed Hall and Wilson about what it would be like to line up on offense next to Rodgers.
“I just know it’s gonna be precise,” Wilson said. “That’s the main thing I think about when I think about [Rodgers].”
Hall then addressed Rodgers directly.
“You see what you’re going to have over here, you might as well make that move,” Hall said.
The three watched the cheesehead melt in the fire, or as Gardner put it, “turn into cheese sauce.” Gardner also believes Packers fans will be less angry at him now that he no longer owns one of their headgear staples — though he said nothing about how they might react to him burning it in order to recruit their team’s longtime star quarterback.
Gardner, Hall and Wilson also hyped up the young talent on the Jets’ roster, of which the three of them are a major part. Wilson and Gardner won 2022 NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year, respectively, and Hall was considered a contender in the former category until tearing his ACL in October.
“I need you to lock in,” Gardner said, addressing Rodgers. “I need you to come here so we can win a Super Bowl… I can teach you how to get sturdy, too.”
Left unmentioned throughout the entire video was Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, who was benched last season after reports that he had lost respect in the team’s locker room.
Though the Jets are all-in on attempting to attract Rodgers, noted Jets fan Jason McIntyre claimed on “The Herd” Friday that Rodgers would just be a “quick fix” and ultimately not work out for the Jets in the long term.
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