The Green Bay Packers traded 39-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets on Monday, April 24, 2023.
This trade had been discussed and negotiated for some time so it was not a surprise.
The most surprising news resulting from the trade was what jersey number Rodgers was planning to wear in New York.
Throughout his NFL career, he has worn number 12, and Jets legend Joe Namath gave his permission for Rodgers to wear his retired number, but that is not what Rogers chose.
He chose his college number 8.
Despite Joe Namath giving Aaron Rodgers his blessing to take his retired No. 12, Rodgers will be changing his jersey number from 12 to 8
He wore No. 8 in college when he played at Cal, per @AdamSchefter pic.twitter.com/gUGuI4hEpz
— JM Football (@JomboyMediaFB) April 24, 2023
Rodgers wants a fresh start, and he is getting one in many ways.
Selecting number 8 was a wise move because he will be the fourth and presumably most successful quarterback in franchise history to wear that number.
Let’s take a look at the other three quarterbacks who wore that number and review how their Jets careers went.
1. Browning Nagle, 1991-1992
Enough about this Johnny-come-lately #8 on the Jets, #Rodgers.
The Real #8 for the #Jets will always be Browning Nagle pic.twitter.com/dWXqvff5V4
— Clayton Trutor (@ClaytonTrutor) April 24, 2023
Browning Nagle had 13 starts through two seasons with the Jets.
His record was 3-10, and he threw 7 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
He completed 199 passes for 2,361 yards.
2. Mark Brunell, 2010-2011
Like Rodgers, Brunell showed up with the Jets at the latter stages of his career.
He turned 40 in his first season in New York.
Brunell was the backup quarterback who had no starts with the Jets and completed 8 passes for 27 yards.
3. Luke Falk, 2019
Luke Falk spent one season with the Jets.
He started two games and was 0-2.
Falk completed 47 passes for 416 yards.
He had zero touchdowns and three interceptions in his brief Jets career.
Aaron Rodgers is planning to create his own Jets history by selecting number 8.
He did not want to ride Joe Namath’s number 12 coattails.
Rodgers wants his second act to go better than his predecessor Brett Favre’s and hopes for a similar result as his peer Tom Brady who won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay after a long career in New England.
The media analysts will certainly list the Jets as contenders, but it is worth noting that these were the same people who listed the Broncos as contenders last year when Russell Wilson was traded from Seattle.
The AFC is loaded with great teams and is arguably stronger than the NFC in terms of talent and competitiveness.
Rogers got the trade he wanted, and he now needs to get to work to prove that he was worth all of the collateral the Jets gave up to get him on their team.