Retirement or Jets? Aaron Rodgers Explains Offseason RFK Jr. Decision

Aaron Rodgers may have teased a run for VP earlier in the offseason, but he's back to focusing on the upcoming year for the Jets.

Aaron Rodgers is back on the practice field for the New York Jets.

That wasn’t going to always be the case, though.

The four-time NFL MVP was coming off a torn Achilles in the offseason and was fully expected to be back as the Jets’ starting quarterback. A late push by the Independent presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. pushed Rodgers’ name into the potential vice president race, even if it only lasted a month.

At OTAs, Rodgers explained why he chose to come back to the Jets instead of turning to the political world.

Aaron Rodgers Explains Potential VP Run

During his media session following the second day of OTAs, Rodgers made it clear that the reason he chose to return to the game was due to unfinished business in New York.

“There were really two options,” Rodgers explained. “Retire and be his VP or keep playing. I wanted to keep playing.”

Rodgers’ friendship with Kennedy had grown over the years before the politician announced he would run for President in 2024. The Jets remained steadfast that they were not originally concerned over Rodgers’ rumored political decision.

At the very end, it worked out for both Rodgers and his current team.

Is Aaron Rodgers Fully Healthy?

Outside of his potential Vice President candidacy, the biggest question surrounding Rodgers regarded his overall health. The 40-year-old quarterback was lost for the year four plays into his debut with the Jets in 2023.

A torn Achilles isn’t always easily manageable to recover from, either.

Nevertheless, Rodgers opted to push for the “speed bridge” procedure following the official diagnosis of his injury. The speed bridge was a process to not fully go under the knife, but allow for a quicker recovery timeline.

An injury that typically takes nine months to a year for full recovery has turned into just eight for the Jets starting quarterback.

Rodgers was seen on the second day of OTAs slinging the football downfield in 7-on-7 drills and 11-on-11 work.

MORE: 2024 NFL Quarterback Rankings

While pads were not put on, Rodgers throwing strikes throughout the practice was an excellent sign that the Jets have their franchise quarterback as close to 100% as they can.

Jets’ New-Look Offense Features Help Up Front

Having Rodgers fully healthy isn’t the only major change to the Jets’ offense in 2024.

The organization moved quickly in free agency to add offensive linemen and receivers that could bolster their quarterback’s chances of playing in all 17 games despite his age and injury concern.

One of the newcomers who saw time in Tuesday’s practice was All-Pro tackle Tyron Smith.

Smith signed a one-year deal with the Jets after a 13-year career with the Dallas Cowboys in which he was named to the 2010s All-Decade team for his eight Pro Bowls and two first-team All-Pro selections.

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL OTAs Tracker: The Latest Injuries, Holdouts, More

Rodgers and Smith have a history of being on opposite sides of the Packers-Cowboys rivalry, but the quarterback is more than pleased to have the future Hall-of-Famer blocking for him now.

“It’s great having him next to me in the locker room. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time. He’s a Hall-of-Fame player. He’s a specimen. He’s a big, strong man. Not a fat man, either,” Rodgers explained. “He’s pretty chiseled.”

Rodgers and the Jets begin their second run of OTAs together with expectations as high as they’ve ever been to end the franchise’s 13-year NFL playoff drought.

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