Jets 2024 Position Breakdown: What’s this team look like with a healthy Aaron Rodgers?

Heading into the 2024 season, the Jets have made a series of moves to improve the state of their roster and overall depth, but are they ready to compete for a playoff spot?

In this series, we’ll break down the depth chart for every position group. This time, we’ll go in-depth at the quarterback position…

Projected depth chart

Starter: Aaron Rodgers

Backups: Tyrod Taylor, Jordan Travis

Key additions/losses: Signed Taylor, drafted Travis in the fifth round, traded Zach Wilson to Denver

Top performer in 2023: Taylor (with the Giants) 116-of-180, 1,341 yards, five touchdowns, three interceptions and 38-197 rushing

2023 ranking via PFF: Taylor — 20th out of 41 qualifying quarterbacks

What Jets’ quarterbacks have going for them

When the Jets traded for Rodgers just over a year ago, fans were just getting used to the idea of having an elite performer at the quarterback position for the first time in recent memory.

Unfortunately, Rodgers’ season ended prematurely as he tore his Achilles on just the fourth offensive snap of the season. Despite a 4-3 start, the Jets’ season soon unravelled without Rodgers at the helm.

The return of a healthy Rodgers gives the Jets a four-time MVP who can claim to be one of the best passers in NFL history and the team is optimistic he can return and play at a high level. However, they’re leaving nothing to chance this time, as they went out and signed Taylor, who was one of the best backup options on the market.

The team should still be able to win games if they have to turn to the veteran, who has guided a team to the postseason before and has a win-loss record as a starter of right around .500.

If all goes to plan, he won’t be needed, though.

Key concern for 2024: Rodgers’ health

The Jets prioritized the offensive line during the offseason to further mitigate the risk of Rodgers getting hurt again. He’s also a smart player who will be able to protect himself by anticipating pressure and getting rid of the ball early. However, if his mobility is compromised due to the injury he’s coming back from, it will be more difficult for him to escape pressure with his legs.

Taylor should be able to hold the fort for a game or two if Rodgers suffers a minor injury, but he’s had durability issues of his own over the past few seasons, so if he is needed for multiple games, things could get dicey.

Player who must step up in 2024: Rodgers

It’s very difficult to know what to expect from Rodgers, who had a mediocre year by his standards in 2022 before joining the Jets. The original hope was that he would be revitalized by coming to a new team with a strong supporting cast and reuniting with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, but the pressure is on for him to deliver with the Jets in win-now mode.

Rodgers will turn 41 in December, and it will be important to his legacy to succeed with the Jets, but there may be some rust to shake of. If he can’t move around as well or get the same kind of velocity on his throws, this will make it virtually impossible for him to replicate his past successes.

Biggest camp battle: Travis vs. Andrew Peasley vs. possible incoming veteran for the QB3 role

Rodgers isn’t the only Jets quarterback coming off an injury. Rookie Jordan Travis, who could be Rodgers’ heir apparent in a few years’ time, suffered a gruesome leg injury last November in college at Florida State and may not be ready for the start of the regular season.

If he’s not ready, the Jets will presumably retain Travis on the PUP list. However, they’ll need someone to step up to be the number three. The only other quarterback currently on the roster is undrafted rookie Andrew Peasley, so the team could look to bring in a veteran. Trevor Siemian, who won a couple of games down the stretch with the 2023 Jets is still available and could be an option.

Overall 2024 outlook

It would be overly simplistic to suggest that all will be well if Rodgers is healthy and that if he gets hurt it will be a disaster. Rodgers may take some time to shake off the rust and could never get back to his former elite level. On the other hand, if he misses time, the Jets should be better equipped to remain in contention without him this season.

One thing that is certain is that the Jets’ quarterback play has been disappointing for many years, so if Rodgers can play at an elite level that will dramatically elevate the team. In fact, even if he falls short of that, this could still produce an upgrade that could make the Jets a viable contender.

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