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Aaron Rodgers might be declining. He's still a huge upgrade for the Jets.

More than a month after announcing his desire to join a different organization, future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers got his wish Monday, with the Green Bay Packers tentatively agreeing to send the four-time MVP to the New York Jets, ending Rodgers's 18-year run with the only pro club he's suited up for.

New York is expected to send this year's No. 13 overall pick, a 2023 second-round pick (No. 42), a sixth-round pick (No. 207) and a conditional 2024 second-round pick to Green Bay for Rodgers, the No. 15 pick and a 2023 fifth-round pick (No. 170). The 2024 second-round pick would become a first-round choice if Rodgers plays 65 percent of New York's snaps this season.

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In a vacuum, this appears to be a poor trade for New York. The Jets traded away significant draft capital for the right to pay a 39-year-old passer, coming off the worst season of his career, nearly $60 million. According to draft value charts based on approximate value - an all-in-one metric designed to compare players at different positions and in different eras - the Jets traded away picks that are expected to be worth 620 in approximate value over the players' careers, while receiving 318 AV plus Rodgers. For context, Tom Brady has amassed an NFL-high 326 AV during his storied career. It's a near-certainty that Rodgers will not provide enough value to make up for that estimated deficit, swinging this trade, at least from a draft value perspective, heavily in Green Bay's favor.

However, the Jets organization - and their fans - probably see this trade as a mechanism to get New York to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1969. That's a tough ask - but not necessarily a misguided one.

Rodgers threw for 3,695 yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season, earning a 91.1 passer rating, his lowest mark in 15 seasons as Green Bay's starting quarterback. Yet that was still better than the league average (89.1) - and significantly better than the collective 75.0 passer rating tabulated by New York's assorted quarterbacks, who included Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, Mike White and Chris Streveler. Rodgers's 5.95 adjusted net yards per pass, an improved version of passer rating that more closely aligns with team wins, was also better than the league average (5.48) - and again, much better than the Jets passers (4.60). And finally, Rodgers's expected points added per dropback - a measure of how much more successful each play was than an average play from the same down, distance and field position - was also superior to each individual Jets quarterback taking a snap in 2022, albeit lower than the league average.

Of course, Rodgers is now another year older, and quarterbacks almost inevitably decline in the latter stages of their careers. Generally speaking, quarterbacks peak in expected points added per dropback between the ages of 23 and 26. It's typically a slow, steady slide from there. Rodgers will turn 40 in December, but because he plays at such a high level, his decline has still left him as a credible starter; in fact, he won his fourth MVP award barely more than a year ago. And even his 2022 diminished performance was certainly better than that of any of the passers New York used last season.

After Wilson was injured in the preseason, Flacco started the season under center for New York, an experiment that proved to be a bust. The then-37-year-old veteran completed just 58 percent of his passes for 1,051 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions over five games, earning a passer rating of 75.2. The team scored 22 fewer points than expected on his dropbacks, with almost all of those lost points due to sacks. (Flacco was sacked 10 times in five games.)

Wilson, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, was up next. The former BYU star improved his passer rating from his rookie season (to 72.8, from 69.7 in 2021) but that was still well below average, ranking last among 33 qualified quarterbacks. The Jets also scored 38 fewer points than expected on Wilson's dropbacks in 2022. Only four passers were worse.

White couldn't save the Jets' offense, either. He completed 59 percent of passes for 1,1,92 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions in four games, resulting in a 75.7 passer rating.

The Packers, of course, were an 8-9 disappointment in 2022; they scored about eight fewer points than you would expect with Rodgers under center. It was the first time since he took over the job that Green Bay scored fewer points than expected over the course of a season with Rodgers at the helm. By comparison, Green Bay and Rodgers scored 172 and 132 more points than expected during his 2020 and 2021 MVP seasons. Most importantly, New York passers, as a group, tallied 100 fewer points than expected in 2022.

And therein lies the upside for the Jets - and the justification for this big swing. A team will, on average, win one extra game per season for every 31 net points they can improve, from either their offense or defense. In this case, Rodgers is about a three-win improvement if he simply gives the Jets what he gave the Packers last season, all other things being equal. In other words, if New York had Rodgers in 2022, it's possible the Jets would have finished 10-7 instead of 7-10, perhaps earning the third wild-card spot in the AFC.

Oddsmakers would likely agree. The Jets were +500 (wager $100 to win $500) to win the AFC East during the first week in March; after this week's news, they moved to +210, which is the equivalent of improving their chances from 15 to 29 percent. New York's Super Bowl odds also improved from +2500 to +1400 in that same span, leaving only five teams - the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles - ahead of them.

Would a playoff spot be worth the price the Jets paid? How about one or two playoff wins? A trip to the Super Bowl? Those questions will surely be debated next fall, when we will find out whether Rodgers can turn his superior talents into significantly more wins for a long-suffering franchise.

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