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Aaron Rodgers suffers season-ending injury: Ranking Jets options, including luring Tom Brady out of retirement

The New York Jets’ Week 1 matchup started as a nightmare that evolved into a fever dream. Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers was injured on the Jets’ fourth offensive play, but the team as a whole stepped up and defeated the Buffalo Bills in overtime — thanks to a 65-yard punt return touchdown in the extra period courtesy of undrafted free agent Xavier Gipson.

The J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets are surely excited after that thrilling, season-opening win, but now comes the issue of Rodgers. Late Monday night, Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters that they fear their brand new quarterback suffered a torn Achilles in Week 1 which, if confirmed, would end his 2023 season. An MRI on Tuesday confirmed their fears.

So, where do the Jets go from here? Just because Rodgers is shelved doesn’t mean the Jets’ season is over. With their elite defense and a rushing attack headlined by Dalvin Cook and Breece Hall, New York can be in the playoff mix. Saleh said former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson will be the guy moving forward, but who knows what will really happen?

Below, we will rank five quarterback options for the Jets.

If the Jets want to add a veteran who could start, well, Wentz is an option to consider. The former No. 2 overall pick has played for three teams over the last three years, the most recent being the Washington Commanders in 2022. Wentz went 2-5 as the starter for Washington, throwing for 1,755 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions in eight total games played. 

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He’s still looking for his new team. Maybe the Jets could come calling. 

4. Roll with Zach Wilson

This is the most likely scenario. Whether you like it or not, the Jets could move forward with Wilson, as Saleh said Monday night. He has certainly been through the ringer early in his NFL career, but the Jets haven’t fully given up on him yet. In 2022, he became the first quarterback since Ed Brown in 1957-58 to record the worst passer rating in the NFL in back-to-back seasons. 

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Wilson completed 14 of 21 passes for 140 yards, one touchdown and one interception Monday night. He rebounded from an ugly INT in the first half to lead a 13-0 run in the second half. Something he has over the other quarterbacks on this list is that he has been working in this new offense all offseason. Wilson is also a very underrated runner, but his biggest issue is decision-making.

There could be a few intriguing signal-callers available via trade. Winston has accepted his role as a backup in New Orleans, but he may be a top 32 QB in the NFL. He’s infamous for the “30 and 30” season he had with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019, but he’s thrown 18 touchdowns compared to just eight interceptions with the New Orleans Saints. 

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Winston went 5-2 as the starter for New Orleans in 2021 before a torn ACL cost him the season, and then a back injury prematurely ended his 2022 campaign. Injuries are obviously an issue for the former No. 1 overall pick, but he’s a gunslinger that could get the most out of downfield weapons like Garrett Wilson. If the Jets are perusing the trade market, Winston is an option. 

Jacoby Brissett was the loser in the Commanders’ quarterback battle, but he was impressive starting for the Cleveland Browns while Deshaun Watson served his suspension last year. The Browns were top 12 in points per game and yards per game with Brissett in 2022.

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The 30-year-old has started in 48 games, and has thrown 48 touchdowns compared to 23 interceptions. New York could make the playoffs with him. It’s unknown if Washington would consider parting ways with Brissett, as he’s the vet that can replace the young Sam Howell at any given moment. But Brissett is an option nonetheless. 

1. Lure Tom Brady out of retirement

Wouldn’t this be something. The GOAT just took part in a Week 1 halftime ceremony with the New England Patriots where he got to run around Gillette Stadium in the No. 12 again in front of a raucous crowd. He told his fans that he is a “Patriot for life,” but this is the same guy that retired from football only to return to the Bucs months later! 

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Not only would Brady have to want to return and want to play against his former team in the AFC East, but then there’s the issue of his ownership stake with the Las Vegas Raiders, which could cause some issues.

Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? There’s no such thing in the NFL. 

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