Aaron Rodgers on what Jets can learn from 2023: ‘The bulls--- that has nothing to do with winning needs to get out of the building’

Obviously, the 2023 season didn’t go the way Aaron Rodgers and the Jets envisioned it.

At 7-10, the Jets missed the playoffs for the 13th consecutive year, which is the longest drought in the four major North American professional sports.

According to the four-time MVP, the Jets can learn a lot from what happened this season.

“Anything that doesn’t have anything to do with winning needs to be assessed,” Rodgers said Monday. “Anything in this building that we’re doing, individually or collectively, that has nothing to do with real winning needs to be assessed. Everything we do has to have a purpose to it. When we step in the building, there’s intentionality with everything that you do.

“It is not a half-the-time thing,” Rodgers said. “It is not a sometimes thing. It is not a most-of-the-time thing. It’s an every-time thing. If you want to be a winning organization and to put yourself in position to win championships and be competitive, everything you do matters and the bulls--- that has nothing to do with winning needs to get out of the building. That will be the focus moving forward. That’s the focus of these conversations.

“It’s important when you’re having exit meetings to create an environment where there’s no judgment. It’s a free conversation. Guys shoot out their differences, and we know there will be a percentage of that that’s just b----ing for no reason. That’s part of it. I think there’s some things in every organization, and we did this for 18 years in Green Bay, the exit meetings are important to just get everything on the table that’s happened, flush the bulls--- that you need to move forward away from, and then refine your focus moving forward.”

Rodgers could be talking about a number of things. On “The Pat McAfee Show” earlier this season, Rodgers expressed disappointment that a conversation before the Chiefs game on Oct. 1 leaked to the media. He also ripped the media after The Athletic reported last month that Zach Wilson, who was benched at the time, was reluctant to play again because of an injury risk.

“I think it’s chicken s--- at its core, and I think it has no place at a winning organization,” Rodgers said last month.

The Jets acquired Rodgers in a trade with the Packers last April. Because of that, the Jets entered the 2023 season with playoff and Super Bowl aspirations.

But Rodgers played only four snaps for the Jets before tearing his Achilles in the season opener against the Bills on Sept. 11. Two days later, the 40-year-old underwent a “SpeedBridge” surgical procedure, which placed an internal brace on his Achilles.

That procedure was done because Rodgers planned to return later in the season, which would have been unprecedented because Achilles tears typically take six-to-nine months to recover from. The Jets cleared Rodgers for some but not all football activities on Nov. 29 when they opened his 21-practice window.

Rodgers’ goal was to return for the Jets’ Dec. 24 game against the Commanders, but the team was eliminated from playoff contention the week prior with a 30-0 loss to the Dolphins. The Jets activated Rodgers so he could continue practicing with the team, but coach Robert Saleh announced the quarterback would not play again this season. Rodgers said earlier that month it wouldn’t “make a ton of sense” to return at less than 100% if the team didn’t have a shot at making the playoffs.

Rodgers was practicing on the Jets’ scout team at the time. The team has high expectations for Rodgers heading into the 2024 season.

“I just watched him carve us up over the last month playing playing the scout team,” Saleh said. “So he still has all kinds of juice, energy, arm talent. I think he’s going to come out with more fire.

“My expectation for him is just to be him. He’s 40 years old. He knows this process. He knows what’s best for him in terms of preparation … mentally and physically, and I think he’s going to attack it with the same mindset he had a year ago. He’s on a mission and he is not going to stop until his mission is complete.”

In order for the Jets to complete their mission to win a Super Bowl, they will need a lot of retooling this offseason. Among that is on the offensive line.

Gang Green had 13 different offensive line combinations in 17 games, which led the NFL. The Jets and general manager Joe Douglas also whiffed on a few free-agent signings, including running back Dalvin Cook and wide receivers Mecole Hardman and Allen Lazard.

“We’re close. There’s some tough decisions about certain individuals,” Rodgers said. “But I think we’ve got a core group of guys that’s really solid. I think you saw a lot of great play this year from a lot of individuals. Some guys took some steps from year one to two.

“I think there’s a lot of great cornerstone foundational pieces to build around, which you need. Great young talent, guys on their first contract. Guys who just got paid and played at a high level,” Rodgers said.

“We had two Pro Bowlers [Sauce Gardner and Quinnen Williams] and a lot of other guys who could have been. But those are all on the defensive side of the ball or our two specialists [Thomas Morstead and Greg Zuerlein]. So we need to make sure we get some of those guys getting recognition and playing at a Pro Bowl, All-Pro level, on the offensive side of the ball.”