So yesterday afternoon Smitty, Rico, and Jersey Jerry convened on The Rundown.
The picture below is from what was regarded as the meeting of the most intelligent minds the world's ever had in one place, the 1927 Solvay Conference.
The most famous conference was the October 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Photons, where the world’s most notable physicists met to discuss the newly formulated quantum theory. The leading figures were Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr.
This conference was also the culmination of the struggle between Einstein and the scientific realists, who wanted strict rules of the scientific method as laid out by Charles Peirce and Karl Popper, versus Bohr and the instrumentalists, who wanted looser rules based on outcomes. Starting at this point, the instrumentalists won, instrumentalism having been seen as the norm ever since.
I'd like to respectfully tell all those nerds the party's over, and to suck it.
Because yesterday proved otherwise.
One of the things I didn't understand watching the guys discuss Aaron Rodgers to the Jets was why it's being taken so lightly?
And not just with those guys.
But Kelly In Vegas today on twitter-
And Mike Florio on Mike Florio's site-
Pro Football Talk - They chose not to say to the Packers, “This guy is never playing for you again. What are you going to do, pay him $60 million to sit on the bench? We’re in no hurry. He knows the offense. He doesn’t like to participate in the offseason anyway. We can do the deal at the start of training camp. We can do it at the start of the regular season, if need be.” …
Rodgers was never going to play for the Packers, ever again. The Packers got a two, a future one (most likely), and an upgraded first-round pick this year — with no protection to the Jets if Rodgers retreats to a dark room with a pot of ayahuasca and decides to retire after the 2023 season. …
Team owner Woody Johnson asked on Twitter after the news emerged, “How’s everyone feeling?”
Packers fans should be feeling great. For Jets fans, the answer is simple.
“Not too good.”
And Jerry Thornton blogged about it yesterday too, and you'll never believe it, but he said there's no reason for the Patriots to worry.
I'll concede the painfully obvious: The Jets are significantly better. Frankly, any slightly below average QB would've been a vast improvement, and Rodgers is one season removed from an MVP. Even in the game where he got Pick-6'ed by Jack Jones, Belichick said the difference in the game was Rodgers completing passes no one else can. I beg to differ that it was the defense's inability to stop Aaron Jones (110 yards) and AJ Dillon (73 yards, 24 of them on the game-winning drive in overtime). But that's neither here nor there.
Still, this was a bad trade by any objective measure. As good as Jets fans feel today, it's just a sugar and caffeine rush, like chugging a quart of Mountain Dew. And when they come down off that high, they'll realize this was an absurd price to pay. :
I’ll start with the compensation, which many seem to be pointing to as the best way to explain away giving the Jets any credit on this whatsoever.
Sure they Jets gave up a lot. And sure they could have negotiated harder and not given up any of their leverage but it’s the Jets we’re talking about. There’s a better chance of pigs flying than the Jets drafting AND developing a quarterback. Two very different, very important things. If you can’t spot talent you’re fucked. But if you can’t develop it either, you’re equally fucked. Which is why I love this move. You have one of the best to ever do it, with not only gas still in the tank, but just a year removed from one of the best seasons of his career. If you’re the Jets, the absolute best you could ever pray to do with draft capital at the qb position would be to turn it into 2-3 seasons of Aaron Rodgers. Beggars cannot be choosers.
I said this on twitter yesterday but nobody cared, so I'll say it again here on the blog- why aren't people acting like there's been a major power shift in the NFL and taking the Jets very very seriously now?
It it simply because "it's the Jets"?
If so, that's fair and I kind of get it. We're talking about an organization that can (and has) fucked up the unthinkable: gift-wrapped and handed to them.
But things are different now.
This isn't the Brett Favre circus sequel here.
I legit like them to win the division. And no, I'm not just saying that.
Because Rodgers makes them SO much better as a team, and the division is getting worse.
Barring Tom Brady coming back to take the snaps in Miami (which I'm still not ruling out), Miami is a mess because of Tua's head. It's really a shame because he's such a fun player to watch, and makes that team electric on offense. They're well coached, and have a great defense. But they're stuck in purgatory because of his health questions.
The Bills are taking a big step back this season. Not just because the salary cap is forcing them to shed lots of talent on both sides of the ball, but because they had their shot last season and pissed it away. They're not sneaking up on anybody anymore, or catching anybody sleeping. Opposing teams are circling them on the schedule now and gearing up for them every week. Josh Allen is a bonafide superstar and face of the league, and as much as I love him, he's not built like Brady and he doesn't have the coach of all coaches aiding him. Also- his arm might or might not be shot?
Speaking of shot, the Patriots are a fucking disaster.
You can let Jerry pour you all the Kool-Aid in the world and convince you the ships not sinking, but the Pats had a zillion holes to plug this offseason and sat on their hands while they watched teams like the Bears make major moves. Unless Lamar Jackson miraculously walks through that door at Patriot Place, they're heading into this season with the same quasi-commitment to a guy everybody knows deep down, "isn't the guy", in Mac Jones, and another coaching schematics nightmare. One could argue the only upgrade this offseason has been the addition by subtraction removal of Matt Patricia, and the hiring of hopeful savior Bill O'Brien.
But back to the Jets. Even with Zach Wilson last season, this team wasn't a total clown show. Well, until the final month or so when his mom started spouting off and he couldn't keep his mouth shut.
But this team has a legitimate elite defense.
Quinnen Williams is arguably the second-best defensive tackle in the league now. The team's pass rush is one of the best in the league. And they have an elite cornerback duo in Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed, who will be playing together for the second year in 2023. The team also has Michael Carter II in the slot, making for a strong defensive backfield core Safety is an area that the team might need to address. The Jets have already acquired Chuck Clark from the Baltimore Ravens, which could signal Jordan Whitehead's release and save the team over $7 million in cap space, but hardly anything to panic about.
I mean, these are big-boy stats-
And again, we're talking about a team that had the WORST QB rating in the entire league last year and still managed to beat the Bills. They still managed to win 8 games (that should have been 10).
You're telling me that bringing one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, who's still at the top of his game, doesn't make this team scary good?
Rodgers has something to prove and a chip on his shoulder much like Manning did in Denver & Brady did in TB. He will have good young WRs that he missed in GB, & yes, he won back-to-back league MVPs only 2 years ago. T
Robert Saleh seems like a good coach. Again, for him to have to handle the Zack Wilson fiasco like he did, and still keep the locker room composed, and able to rattle off 8 wins says a lot. The Jets' addition of new offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, who has worked with Rodgers in the past, will also benefit him. I don't think Rodgers is headed into a dysfunctional coaching situation. (Dysfunctional front office, ownership, organization, franchise, and city yes, but I think they're good on coaching.)
The Jets' Super Bowl odds have gone from +1500 to +1400, and they are now the sixth odds-on-favorite to win the Lombardi Trophy next season. Their odds to win the AFC Championship are +850, the fourth-shortest in the conference.
Yes, the Jets need to address their offensive line. Over the past three seasons, Rodgers was night and day when protected vs not protected. Just like any other QB. The Jets' offensive line ranked 21st in pass block win rate, and everybody in the world knows the need to address their hole in the middle at center with one of their selections in the second round.
Call me crazy, but I like this Jets team not only this season, but for the next 2-3 with Rodgers.