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The Jets Announce That Aaron Rodgers is an Unexcused Absence from Mandatory Minicamp

Mike Stobe. Getty Images.

One thing you start to notice when you know a lot of people who reach retirement age, is how few of them just stop working altogether. Some do; but the vast majority of them turn to some sort of part time, zero pressure line of work that they enjoy doing. I know a fair number of cops and teachers - two professions where you tend to qualify for a pension at an early age that still leaves many years of activity - and to a person they all do gratifying part time jobs like working at golf courses, carpentry, wineries and the like. That way you still get the satisfaction of having something to go to. The enjoyment that comes from being around other people. But with none of the grind of the full time, work-a-day world you've been part of since you were in your early 20s. 

Which is precisely what I think Aaron Rodgers considers the Jets phase of his career to be. Remember how all those rumors were floating around during his last few seasons in Green Bay that he was going to retire? How weirdly and precisely it echoed Brett Favre's final years there? Both went to the Jets, while Favre bounced back to the NFC North after one season. Rodgers is in New York to stay. But just not all the way in in New York. It's his part time, not-quite-retirement job. Something he's just dabbling in. It was last season:

And it is again in 2024:

"Aaron and I spoke before OTAs started. He's been very good in communications. He's been here the entire time. It's unexcused, but he had an event that was very important to him, which he communicated."

Rodgers has his own definition of what "mandatory" means. And it doesn't quite dovetail with Robert Saleh's. 

Giphy Images.

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To Saleh, it means it's super important that his franchise player show up so they can get ready for a season where he's fighting for his job by building an offense around a guy who played one set of downs all last season. For Rodgers, it means he'd be there if he didn't have something more important to do. But he does. So he'll mandatorily pay the mandatory fine with some of the mandatory massive amounts of money the Jets are giving him and do whatever it is he'd rather be doing. 

That's the luxury of being a part time worker. You get to come and go as you please. Tyrod Taylor will just have cover his shift, because he's got places to be and has no time for stressing about getting ready for 2024. And since we're less than two weeks away from every Jets fan who put their hopes into his 40 year old hands throwing up in their mouths at the optional workout he actually bothered to attend:

… this can't bode well for a franchise used to having it's dreams crushed. 

As someone who gets almost as much perverse joy out of seeing the Jets fail than my own team succeed (and I've had a lot more practice with Jets over the last four years, I can only hope we find out what exactly was a higher priority for Rodgers than minicamp. And that it turns out to be something farking ridiculous. Like, for example, where he was right around this time last year:

Please, universe. I'm begging you. Let it be this. Let it be Rodgers delivering the keynote address at a convention filled with Ayahuasca Sweat Lodge enthusiasts. And not, say, visiting sick kids at a hospital or attending some solemn family event. And above all else, turn this into something that will drive the Jets and their fans insane as they're forced to keep talking about it all summer and into (also mandatory) training camp. 

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For now though, this will do. And once again I find myself saying that if the New York Football Jets did not exist, I would've had to invent them.