FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Fifteen years ago, Brett Favre was in the same position as Aaron Rodgers — traded to the New York Jets after a legendary career with the Green Bay Packers. More than anyone, Favre knows what his former teammate is about to encounter.
And he says Rodgers will be a hit in New York.
“Aaron will do great!!!!” Favre said in a text message to ESPN’s Ed Werder. “He will handle the transition as well as anyone. [He’s a] very smart and instinctive person, on and off the field. In other words, you’re not going to catch him by surprise very often.
“And I think [he’s] the best at making everyone around him better. I would rather not bet at all than bet against him.”
Rodgers, acquired Monday in a blockbuster trade, will be introduced at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday in a news conference. Wearing a Jets sweatshirt, he took a physical and arrived midmorning at the Jets’ facility, where he met with coaches and spent time with owner Woody Johnson.
You’re going to love it here @AaronRodgers12 pic.twitter.com/0HoE2UKcQT
— Woody Johnson (@woodyjohnson4) April 26, 2023
Rodgers was elevated to the starting job in Green Bay in 2008 when Favre was dealt to the Jets in training camp. Because the Jets were in Cleveland for a preseason game, Favre’s introductory news conference occurred in a cramped room in the bowels of the Browns’ stadium.
Despite his unfamiliarity with the team, the personnel and the offense, Favre got off to a terrific start, leading the Jets to an 8-3 record. He suffered a torn biceps tendon in his throwing arm — the injury wasn’t disclosed until after the season — and his performance suffered.
Favre struggled down the stretch and the Jets lost four of their last five games to miss the playoffs, costing coach Eric Mangini his job. Favre passed for 3,472 yards with 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He “retired” after the season but wound up signing with the Minnesota Vikings.
The Favre and Rodgers situations are eerily similar.
Favre was 38 when he was traded, following three league MVPs and one Super Bowl title in Green Bay. Rodgers is 39, following four MVPs and one title.
Favre was 35 when the Packers drafted his replacement — Rodgers. Rodgers was 36 when his heir apparent was drafted — Jordan Love.