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N.Y. Jets QB Aaron Rodgers skips minicamp because of 'very important' event

UPI

June 11 (UPI) -- New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers skipped mandatory minicamp because of an event that is "very important to him," coach Robert Saleh told reporters Tuesday.

Saleh did not elaborate, but said Rodgers told him about the planned absence earlier this off-season. Jets pass rusher Haason Reddick also skipped the minicamp in Florham Park, N.J. Fines can be assessed for missing the practice sessions.

"Aaron and I spoke before OTAs [organized team activities] started," Saleh told reporters.

"He's been very good in communication. He's been here the entire time. It's unexcused, but he had an event that was very important to him, which he communicated."

Rodgers participated in the Jets' voluntary workouts. He was at the Jets facility on Monday and participated in media day. The 40-year-old missed 16 games last season because of a torn Achilles tendon.

The four-time NFL MVP told the team website last month that he was "hoping for a little smoother ride" during his second campaign with the AFC East franchise.

"Mentally, I'm there," Rodgers said. "Physically, I just gotta get that confidence to let it loose. I'm getting close to that. ... At some point it will just be a distant memory and I'll feel 100% myself.

"Right now, I'm 90% myself and 10% I'm not sure what's going on with various parts of my body."

Saleh said he was not disappointed or surprised by Rodgers' minicamp absence. Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor is expected to lead the first-team offense amid Rodgers' hiatus.

Reddick -- officially a contract holdout -- was not present for voluntary workouts. Saleh said he spoke to Reddick over the weekend and he is in a "really good place mentally."

"The guy is a great dude," Saleh said of Reddick. "He's played in a high level at multiple places. He's a pro and seasoned vet. He's the last guy I'm worried about will be ready to play football."

Reddick, who joined the Jets in a March trade from the Philadelphia Eagles, is in the final year of the three-year, $45 million pact he signed in 2022 with the Eagles.

He totaled 11 sacks over 17 starts last season with Philadelphia. The two-time Pro Bowl selection logged 50.5 sacks over his last four seasons, including with the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers.

"Selfishly, I want our guys here all the time, but when you get to these mandatory things, you make the best decision for yourself," Saleh said. "Obviously, selfishly, want all of them here all the time, but he made a decision and that's where he went."

The Jets will host the Washington Commanders in their preseason opener Aug. 10 in East Rutherford, N.J. They will open the regular season against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 9 in Santa Clara, Calif.