Skip to Content

The Jets Are Desperate Enough To Enable Aaron Rodgers

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 29: New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks on during the UFC 303 event at T-Mobile Arena on June 29, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers is back from his mysterious sojourn, an unexcused absence from New York Jets mandatory minicamp for which the team bent over backward to downplay the whole "unexcused" and "mandatory" parts of the sentence. Given Rodgers's inclinations, speculation ran wild, with guesses from the relatively unremarkable darkness retreat or ayahuasca journey to more novel pursuits like an all-sunlight diet or becoming Javier Milei's chief of staff. But it was none of those things! It was something boring.

Rodgers was one of only two Jets to miss minicamp (Haason Reddick, holding out for a new contract, was the other) because he was on a preplanned trip to Egypt. While we cannot yet rule out that Rodgers was there in an attempt to get to the bottom of who built the pyramids, or consuming holistic stingray venom in Sharm El-Sheikh, I can say this with authority, as someone who also once went on a preplanned trip to Egypt: That sounds like a vacation.

Rodgers originally pieced this trip together during his recovery from his Achilles injury. It gave him something to look forward to during one of the lowest points of his career. He’s long admired Egyptian culture and scheduled the visit for what was believed to be after the offseason programs.


Look, we all make scheduling errors. So what if Rodgers failed to consider in his vacation planning the existence of minicamp, where he might get some much-needed reps in with receivers to whom he threw a grand total of one pass attempt last season? He still managed to schedule that trip around similarly important things like "going to a UFC event and hanging out with Donald Trump," and "going to a different UFC event, this time without Donald Trump."

The trip "was very important to him," said Jets head coach Robert Saleh of the team captain, who I guess couldn't reschedule his flights or hotels. Saleh has taken every opportunity to play down his starting quarterback's absence, a gambit that could be respected if the cause was, for example (for some other player, obviously), a serious family matter, but comes across as more self-abasing when it turns out that player was on a Nile cruise. "Aaron and I are on the exact same page," insisted Saleh, a page that does not, apparently, contain mention of attending minicamp.

Rodgers is old, camp sucks, he skipped it and willingly paid the fine and went somewhere cool instead. Whatever. But it's almost inspiring that he has the Jets and his coach in such a headlock that they've fawningly gone out of their way to make clear to everyone he doesn't have to abide by the same rules as his teammates. The Jets had better hope Rodgers can provide his much-vaunted leadership, because Saleh sure can't.

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter