Jets reportedly won’t ask Tom Brady to come out of retirement to replace Aaron Rodgers

Any hopes Jets fans had of their team signing Tom Brady following Aaron Rodgers‘ injury can be put to rest. 

The Jets won’t ask Brady about coming out of retirement to join them, as the former quarterback has “made clear to people close to him” that he won’t play football again, The Athletic reported Wednesday

The possibility of the Jets signing Brady appeared to be a long shot in the wake of Rodgers suffering a torn Achilles. The 46-year-old announced his retirement from football in February and unlike what he did in 2022, he hasn’t shown any indications of returning. 

Brady also purchased a minority stake in the Las Vegas Raiders in May, further complicating any possible return to playing football. In addition, Brady has stated that he plans to join FOX Sports in 2024 and was recently honored by the New England Patriots on Sunday. 

With Brady out of the mix, the speculation on which veteran quarterback the Jets could add rages on. However, Jets coach Robert Saleh indicated that even if the Jets make any quarterback moves, Zach Wilson will be the team’s starting quarterback. 

“I want to make it very clear: Zach is our quarterback,” Saleh told reporters on Tuesday. “We have a lot of faith in Zach, and we are really excited about this opportunity. We are rolling with Zach, and we are excited for him and this opportunity he is going to get.”

[NFL roundtable: Which QBs can Jets add after Aaron Rodgers’ injury? Is there hope for Zach Wilson?]

Saleh also said following the Jets’ dramatic win over the Bills on Monday that Wilson would be the starting quarterback moving forward. Wilson, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, struggled through much of the first two seasons of his career, leading the Jets to trade for Rodgers. But he helped the Jets pull off a comeback, upset win against the Bills, completing 14 of 21 passes for 140 yards, one touchdown and an interception. 

Will Zach Wilson be able to STEP UP for the Jets without Aaron Rodgers?

While Saleh said that the Jets will elevate quarterback Tim Boyle from the practice squad and that they’ll look at possible outside options, it’s more doing due diligence than anything else. 

“The message I was trying to deliver is that we are going to look at everything. You are going to look at veterans, you are going to look at young guys,” Saleh said. “But under no circumstance is any of this a competition. This is Zach’s team, and we are rolling with Zach.”

There are plenty of notable quarterbacks on the free-agent market. Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Colt McCoy, Joe Flacco, Chad Henne and even Colin Kaepernick have been among those who have been speculated as possible options for the Jets. Flacco is the only one with a former connection to the Jets though, serving as a backup in New York over the last three seasons. 

The Jets could also pursue a trade to acquire a quarterback, with backups Jameis Winston, Gardner Minshew and Jacoby Brissett, among others, being speculated as possible targets. 

So far, there haven’t been any indications as to whom the Jets might be interested in signing. 

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