AP source: Jets agree on deal to acquire Aaron Rodgers

FILE - Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws a pass against the New York Jets during the first half of an NFL football game Dec. 23, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

After six weeks of waiting, Aaron Rodgers is leaving behind his brilliant legacy in Green Bay and heading to the bright lights — and massive expectations — of the Big Apple.

The New York Jets agreed on a deal Monday to acquire the four-time NFL MVP from the Packers, according to a person with knowledge of the trade. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the teams had not officially announced the deal.


Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said at a pre-draft news conference that the deal hasn’t been finalized, but should be completed before the draft begins Thursday.

“We were expecting it to be done very quickly, hopefully soon,” Gutekunst said. “A lot of things have been agreed upon. Some things to go through.”

The Jets will receive Rodgers, the No. 15 overall pick and a fifth-rounder this year from the Packers, according to another person with knowledge of the trade. In exchange, Green Bay will get the 13th overall selection, a second-rounder (No. 42) and a sixth-rounder this year and a conditional 2024 second-round pick that can become a first-rounder if Rodgers plays 65% of plays for New York next season.

ESPN first reported the agreement on terms between the teams on a deal.

The 39-year-old Rodgers spent a few days in February contemplating his life and playing future during an isolation retreat in Oregon — while fans and reporters speculated about what he would decide.

He emerged and deliberated some more before deciding on March 10 he intended to play again — and for the Jets. Rodgers made his intentions official during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on YouTube and Sirius XM on March 15. That came after New York had sent a contingent that included owner Woody Johnson, coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas to Rodgers’ home in Southern California in early March.

And then he and the sports world waited — and waited — for the Packers and Jets to finally complete a deal.

“We’ve been working on this for a while,” Gutekunst said. “To get beyond the draft I think would have been tough for both teams.”

Several weeks of negotiations appeared to be stalled at times, with fans — and the teams — wondering when or if the trade would be completed.

“We’re anxious,” Johnson told reporters at the league’s annual meetings on March 28. “I guess, as we look forward, we’re optimistic. But we have a plan, so we’re willing to stick with our plan. And I don’t think anybody is hyperventilating at this point.”

It took a while, but the sides were finally able to agree on compensation. And the deal puts the one-time Super Bowl champion in New York after Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2021, struggled mightily in his first two seasons.

New York was 7-10 last season, finishing on a six-game losing streak that extended the NFL’s longest active playoff drought to a franchise-record 12 straight years.

With the Jets, Rodgers reunites with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to try to jumpstart an offense that was among the NFL’s worst under coordinator Mike LaFleur, the younger brother of Matt, Rodgers’ coach in Green Bay the past four years.

Rodgers joins some promising young playmakers on offense, such as wide receiver Garrett Wilson, the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, and running back Breece Hall.

“There’s a lot of reasons why the Jets are attractive,” Rodgers said during his appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “But there’s one coach that has meant as much to me as any coach I’ve ever had. And he happens to be the coordinator there.”

Saleh acknowledged a few times this offseason that the Jets were looking for a veteran quarterback to add to a team that features a top-five defense. And Johnson said he was “absolutely” on board with paying an established signal caller — “the missing piece,” he called it — if Douglas could get him.

They ended up getting one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks.

Rodgers said shortly after the season ended that he was making up his mind on whether he wanted to return to the Packers for a 19th season, retire or request a trade. Meanwhile, the Jets explored a few quarterback options, including meeting with free agent Derek Carr at their facility and then again at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

But after Carr agreed to terms to sign with New Orleans, it became even more apparent that New York would be all-in on Rodgers — as long as he wanted to play there.

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