Aaron Rodgers aiming to play past 2024, says Jets will be on 'hot seat' next season

When Aaron Rodgers went down with his Achilles injury, the Jets' season was lost and the future Hall of Fame quarterback agrees -- at least on a personal level.

Just four snaps into his tenure with a new team, Rodgers’ year was over.

"It was a really difficult year. It hit me last night after the game. Just feeling like a lost year and that I missed out on a lot of opportunity,” Rodgers told reporters on Monday. "Just thinking if I would have been out there things would be different.

"I’m thankful for a lot of things that happened during that time, the relationships that formed and the people that showed up for me. Adversity can bring the worst or the best in you. And I’m thankful for the lessons that I learned in the process of the sadness and frustration."

The Jets finished 7-10, the same record as a season ago. With so much hype around Rodgers and what he was expected to bring to the team’s fledgling offense, the year didn’t go as planned. But as Gang Green embarks on what could be a long offseason, Rodgers had a positive message for Jets fans.

"There’s only one team that holds up that trophy and we want to be that team. Stick with us," Rodgers said. "It’s going to be a long offseason for all of us. Looking forward to getting back here in April and start building the excitement like we did last year and hopefully have a little more good fortune this time."

Rodgers says he’s ready to complete his rehab after having surgery on his Achilles last year, and will then start training to be ready for a full return in the fall.

But his time away from the team and on the sidelines gave the 40-year-old some interesting new perspectives and insight on what the team needs, and it’s no surprise that those changes need to come on the offensive side.

"I think we need some pieces. We had a lot of injuries up front, shore up the offensive line, that’s important," Rodgers said. "We need some more receiver help, probably. I like where we’re at from a schematic standpoint and what I know I can do in the offense. There are always changes, [offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett] now can take a deep dive into the offense and what we want to do moving forward."

Rodgers said that he will help recruit free agents if GM Joe Douglas and the organization ask him to -- a way to help ensure the Jets have what they need for their quarterback as long as he decides to play.

Heading into the 2023-24 season, Rodgers said this wasn't a one-year commitment, and doubled down on that Monday.

"This is not a one-year, in my mind," he said. "It's a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately. And I'm going to have go out and prove I can still play at a high level, but I would like this to be more than just this year."

Rodgers added that he wants to prove that he still belongs as the Jets starting quarterback the year after, but admitted that next season is a tipping point for a lot of people in the organization.

"We’re all going to be on the hot seat next year. It’s going to be an important year for all of us. I love that. We should approach that every single year. If you have a down year, there’s going to be people calling for you to move on -- especially when you’re 40 years old.

"I'm going to go out there and play as well as I can and if I have the season I'm capable of having, if we have the success I know we’re capable of having, that stuff takes care of itself."