You may have heard, but the New York Jets made a big move this offseason. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be walking into Jets OTAs like Ron Burgundy to a Channel 4 News team pool party. He’s kind of a big deal. How will Rodgers gel with his new team? How do the receivers look catching passes from him?
It’s not all about Rodgers, though. Will Quinnen Williams show up? Where are they in his contract negotiations?
2023 New York Jets OTAs Preview
Aaron Rodgers Finally on the Field
When he steps on the field for the Jets’ OTAs, it will be for the first time in nearly two decades for Rodgers with a team not named the Green Bay Packers. The tension of anticipation can be cut with a knife in the Empire State. We’ll be able to get some early answers to the questions that come along with an acquisition like that.
How does Rodgers look throwing to the Jets receivers? Some of them, like Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard, are familiar with both Rodgers and Nathaniel Hackett’s system from their time together in Green Bay. So if we see rust there, that could be something to monitor.
But how does Garrett Wilson look? Is the timing where it needs to be? Does he look smooth receiving the ball out of Rodgers’ hands? The answers to those questions will tell us if the Jets are on track to meet the expectation bestowed upon them.
How about the answer to this question, does Rodgers even go to OTAs? Consensus tells us that he will because it’s a brand-new team. However, when new pieces or environments were present in Green Bay the last few years, he notoriously did not attend Packers OTAs.
MORE: An Average Aaron Rodgers Makes Jets a Playoff Team
Does that change in New York? Here’s what Rodgers said about OTAs last year amid some early-season Packers offensive struggles:
“You know, not really, training camp is a long experience. There’s plenty of time for conversations, for practice, for a lot of the things that expect them to do in the regular season…I rely on the coaching staff to pass on the message as we’re learning the offense, and then I’m kind of the 202 professor. They’ve got to get kind of the base concepts, and when I come in, we have the offense outside of the paper offense…”
Will Quinnen Williams Show Up?
New York and star defensive player Quinnen Williams are locked up in a fierce contract negotiation that doesn’t seem to be close to a resolution. Williams is an elite interior force for a top-five NFL defense.
Not having him would be a massive blow, and the assumption would be that the Jets know this. OTAs are mostly voluntary, so the question is whether or not, absent a resolution, Williams shows up to the Jets’ OTAs.
MORE: Quinnen Williams Potential Landing Spots
Back in January, Williams talked about his mindset regarding the contract:
“Everybody knows I’m a team guy, man,” Williams told reporters. “But I do want to get a contract done before the offseason program. I do feel like I deserve to get a contract done before the offseason program just because I did everything right on the field and everything right off the field. Having the organization behind me just like I’m behind them to show that they really support me is a major thing for me.”
To add further context, Williams has done the modern version of players putting public pressure on the club to play ball. He has edited his social media profile. In what used to say “Defensive Tackle for the New York Jets,” it now says “Defensive Tackle for…”
He also changed his profile photo from him in a Jets uniform to one in his Alabama University uniform. This doesn’t mean he leaves New York. However, it does cast doubt this gets resolved in time for Williams to show up to OTAs.
What Williams actually does at OTAs is inconsequential. OTAs for linemen on either side of the ball are rarely reflective of regular-season performance, given all of the contact restrictions. But whether or not he is actually present would indicate what is going on with his contract dispute.