Jets HC Robert Saleh Says Aaron Rodgers Trade Didn’t Impact Team’s Draft Strategy

New York Jets coach Robert Saleh

Getty Image

Last week, we brought you the story of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reportedly being motivated to trade the team’s first-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in an attempt to screw over the New York Jets, their AFC East rivals.

During the 2023 NFL Draft late last month, the Patriots traded the 14th pick in the draft Steelers in exchange for the 17th pick and a 4th-round pick. The reason, according to one NFL general manager that spoke to reporter Jason La Canfora, was so that they could f*** the Jets over.

“Belichick did it just to f— the Jets,” the anonymous GM said. “Bill will try to screw them over any chance he gets. He knew exactly what he was doing.”

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh, however, is pushing back on that narrative, as he claims that the Jets were eyeing outside linebacker Will McDonald back when they were the owners of the 13th overall pick, which they ultimately shipped to Green Bay in the Aaron Rodgers trade.

“The difference between 13 and 15 in the way everything shook out made no difference to us,” Saleh said during a recent appearance on The Rich Eisen Show.

While it’s understandable for Saleh to back the team’s first round draft pick and act like they always wanted him, he certainly better hope Aaron Rodgers understands his comments, as the 39-year-old quarterback was famously perturbed by the Packers lack of offensive draft picks in recent years.

Rodgers, however, should be plenty content with the offensive weapons that he has at his disposal, which includes offensive rookie of the year Garrett Wilson, longtime Green Bay Packers teammates Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, speedster Mecole Hardman Jr., and veteran possesion receiver Corey Davis.

As a result of this presumed-to-be high-flying offense and potential Top 5 defense, the Jets find themselves as one of the betting favorites to win next year’s Super Bowl, with their odds only trailing the Chiefs, Eagles, Niners, Bills, Bengals, and Cowboys.

Eric Italiano Avatar
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him