Facebook Pixel

    Aaron Rodgers Reportedly Planned Absence From Jets Minicamp During Rehab: Is He Causing a Distraction?

    It didn't take long for Jets' head coach Robert Saleh's comments to be eaten up by the NFL world regarding Aaron Rodgers' absence from minicamp.

    There’s never a dull day in Florham Park.

    It didn’t take long for Aaron Rodgers’ absence from New York Jets mandatory minicamp to cause a news storm by the local and national media.

    The absence also brought forth legitimate questions about the “unnecessary distractions” Rodgers once told the Jets to eliminate.

    Is Aaron Rodgers’ Planned Absence Creating a Distraction?

    This was not the first time an aging quarterback sat out of offseason activities before training camp. But Rodgers’ previous comments certainly made his absence Tuesday more notable.

    As first reported by Connor Hughes of SNY, the four-time NFL MVP had made it clear that he would not be available for mandatory minicamp due to an event — something known months before the Jets opened their practice schedule. This event was booked during the quarterback’s rehab, and the Jets were perfectly fine with it.

    The reason the organization called it an “unexcused” absence, according to Hughes’ report, is because they wanted to set the precedent that no other player would be allowed to leave without being fined. Either way, there was no concern at the team facility.

    New York has looked to quell some of the latest concerns from national media pundits regarding its franchise quarterback’s absence.

    During the Jets’ lost season in 2023, anonymous sources ran rampant inside the locker room and facility at 1 Jets Drive. In an attempt to calm everything down, Rodgers spoke during his weekly segment on “The Pat McAfee Show,” calling for New York to change its way of thinking.

    “Anything in this building that we’re doing that has nothing to do with winning needs to be assessed,” Rodgers said. “Everything that we do has to have a purpose … the (expletive) that has nothing to do with winning has to get out of the building.”

    No one is suggesting that Rodgers isn’t allowed a vacation or to go to an event that “means a lot to him,” as Saleh worded it.

    Still, his absence and the subsequent word choice used by New York’s head coach opened the discussion of whether the quarterback has become the very thing he has said needs to be eliminated from the team’s facility.

    Probably the most unfortunate part of Rodgers’ absence is that the story could have been completely avoided.

    Had Saleh quickly mentioned that his starting quarterback would be away from the team during minicamp for an event and the organization was notified months ago, the story would have died as soon as the words left his mouth. After all, this is not the first time 40-year-old quarterbacks have skipped workouts throughout their careers.

    Instead, Saleh called it an “unexcused absence” and said Rodgers would be subject to a fine under the CBA policy.

    KEEP READING: Haason Reddick Misses Jets Minicamp: The Latest on His Contract

    Saleh’s wording specifically opened the door to questions from major networks and media pundits because it’s the difference between the optics of a 40-year-old quarterback getting time off and a player in need of a new deal and willing to hold out because of it.

    While this all will blow over by the time the organization opens training camp, there’s no one to blame for the media jumping on this story more than Saleh and his word choice.

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

    Related Articles