Not even either before or after the Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag to retain Jackson’s rights for 2023.
“The Jets never pursued Jackson or even really explored it as a possible option,” Jets beat reporter Brian Costello of the New York Post wrote for a piece published Monday. “There were no conversations with Jackson or visits.”
Former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason still has ties to the organization and insisted as far back as January 2023 that those running the franchise believed Jackson wasn’t a good fit for how the team was “constructed.”
NFL insiders Peter King of NBC Sports and Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated later linked Jackson with the Jets, but Douglas made it clear in March that he was “sticking to” his plan of acquiring Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay
Rodgers officially joined the Jets in April, and Jackson ultimately signed a five-year contract reportedly worth up to $260M with $185M guaranteed to stay with the Ravens. “Yes, Jackson asked the Ravens to trade him, but no one in the NFL actually believed the Ravens were going to let a 26-year-old MVP QB leave their building,” Costello continued.
Costello added that “the Rodgers option likely would have been over as well as every other viable starting option” for the Jets had the Ravens simply matched a contract offered to Jackson by Gang Green last offseason.
Rodgers, of course, became mostly a non-factor for the 2023 edition of the Jets after the 40-year-old went down with a torn Achilles four offensive snaps into the regular season.
Meanwhile, Jackson likely will receive the second MVP Award of his career next month. He is also a win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium in this coming Sunday’s AFC Championship Game away from appearing in his first Super Bowl as an active player.