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New York Jets hire Nathaniel Hackett to lead offense, could Aaron Rodgers be next in New York?

The New York Jets have hired former Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett to be their new offensive coordinator, the team announced on Thursday.

Now, let the speculation of quarterback Aaron Rodgers possibly joining the Jets spring into a higher gear this offseason.

Despite Hackett’s failure in Denver, where he was fired before the season even ended after leading the Broncos to a 4-11 record, he is still a respected offensive coach with a pedigree that could help the Jets franchise.

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What are Jets getting into with Nathaniel Hackett?

With the Jets, it’s unclear which quarterback Hackett will be tasked to lead under coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas as the franchise pursues its first AFC East title since 2002 and first playoff berth since 2010.

The Jets have a decision to make at quarterback with former No. 2 pick Zach Wilson losing his starting job to backups Mike White and former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco last season.

Wilson has an 8-14 record in his two seasons as Jets starter, throwing 15 touchdowns, 18 interceptions and completing 55.2 percent of his passes with 182.8 yards per game and a 70.9 passer rating in his career.

If the Jets move on from Wilson, they could be invested into trading for a veteran like Rodgers or quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has yet to reach a new deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

Then-Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett seen with Packers QB Aaron Rodgers before a game against the Detroit Lions on Jan. 9, 2022.
Then-Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett seen with Packers QB Aaron Rodgers before a game against the Detroit Lions on Jan. 9, 2022.

Nathaniel Hackett and Aaron Rodgers connection

Hackett was Rodgers’ offensive coordinator in Green Bay from 2019-21as Rodgers won two NFL MVPs and the Packers reached the NFC title game twice under Hackett's tenure.

So, do the Jets have a chance to land Rodgers with Hackett in tow? It’s a possibility, that did not work out in the Broncos’ favor last season.

Rodgers signed a massive extension that will see him owed $58.3 million guaranteed from the Packers next season. But both sides could move on this offseason.

"I’d love to finish there. I would. And I might have finished there, who knows?" Rodgers said of his 18 years with the Packers organization, on the "Pat McAfee Show" this week.

"When I talk about my future, I don’t talk in cryptic terms. I’m pretty direct about how I feel. I am taking time with my decision. And I’m not egomaniacal thinking I should be able to play wherever I want as long as I want."

Hackett was also on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ staff that reached the AFC title game with Blake Bortles in 2017.

But Hackett’s first season as an NFL head coach was a disaster.

Quarterback Russell Wilson had his worst season of his career after signing a five-year, $245 million extension, while Hackett had troubles as a rookie coach with play calling and clock management. The Broncos ranked 32nd in scoring and 21st in total yards.

Nathaniel Hackett and Robert Saleh have worked together before

Hackett first worked with Saleh when they worked under Doug Marrone in 2015-16, when Saleh was the Jaguars' linebackers coach and Hackett was the quarterbacks coach.

Hackett also joins the Jets, a team his father, Paul, served as offensive coordinator under former Jets coach Herm Edwards from 2001-04.

The Jets also announced Thursday they hired new offensive line coach Keith Carter, who spent the last five seasons in the same position with the Tennessee Titans.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jets hire Nathaniel Hackett, could Aaron Rodgers be next in New York?