NFL free agency: Aaron Rodgers reportedly wants Jets to sign Odell Beckham Jr., Packers teammates before trade
The New York Jets have shown full commitment to acquiring Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. While the four-time MVP acknowledged Saturday that "there's a time limit for all this," he has reportedly presented the pursuing team with substantial requests.
According to ESPN's Dianna Russini, Rodgers has provided the Jets with a wish-list of free agents he would like for them to secure. He's not making small asks either, as the list reportedly includes Odell Beckham Jr., Randall Cobb and Packers teammates Marcedes Lewis and Allen Lazard.
The team may have taken a big step in that direction Wednesday, reporting moving close to a deal with Lazard. The receiver hinted that news could be coming, sending out farewell tweets to Green Bay.
The past four years have been a roller coaster of emotions for me. Since day one Packer fans have always had my back. Y’all have never failed to impress me with your overwhelming love and support, no matter where we played.
— Allen Lazard 👑 (@AllenLazard) March 15, 2023
After waiting for Rodgers to finish his darkness retreat to make a decision on his future, reportedly loading an army of coaches, team executives and even team owner Woody Johnson on a private plane fly to California for a face-to-face meeting with the quarterback, and hiring former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, it seems unlikely the Jets would stop their pursuit of the veteran quarterback now.
Jets after Rodgers' Green Bay targets
In fact, it appears they are already working to fulfill Rodgers' desires. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday the Jets are among teams interested in Lewis, the veteran tight end Rodgers said he wanted to end his career with earlier this year. Lewis signed a two-year $5.925 million contract with Green Bay in 2021 and has also reportedly drawn interest from the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Jets are reportedly closing on a deal with Lazard, who has spent his entire four-year career in Green Bay. As New York is reportedly the only team negotiating with the 27-year-old wide receiver, it tracks that Rodgers could have played a role in his potential next team securing a player he referred to as a “Hall of Famer” last offseason.
Considering Lewis and Lazard appear to be on the Jets' train, Cobb seems like a likely add. The 12-year NFL veteran has spent 10 years of his career with Rodgers in Green Bay. His 2022 season saw 417 receiving yards and a team-high catch rate of 68%.
No reported talks with OBJ yet
Rodgers and Beckham have never played together, but have been friends. Beckham is still looking for a team after missing all of last season due to a torn ACL and strained negotiations. The former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver is free to sign with a team. To showcase his readiness, he held a workout for teams on Friday in Arizona, where the Jets were represented.
The Jets already have a solid group of returning starting receivers, which includes Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis and Elijah Moore. They also have former second-round draft pick Denzel Mims.
So far, there have been no reports the Jets have been in communication with Beckham.