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NFL insider suggests New York Jets could pursue Matthew Stafford trade as backup plan to Aaron Rodgers

The New York Jets held off on signing quarterback Derek Carr, losing him to the New Orleans Saints, so they could go all-in for Aaron Rodgers. If a trade for the four-time NFL MVP doesn’t materialize, New York will need to go in a very different direction.

While NFL free agency offers some quarterback solutions, the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett likely won’t move the needle enough for the franchise. While there’s an array of options that are better than quarterback Zach Wilson, New York wants a player who puts them over the top for the 2023 season.

Related: New York Jets, Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers trade ‘in place’

Lamar Jackson could be that for the Jets. However, it would cost them two first-round picks and owner Woody Johnson might need to be willing to offer a fully guaranteed contract. Even if that happens, New York would need to wait for the Baltimore Ravens to decide if they will match the offer or decline it and receive the two first-round picks. Instead, there could be another trade option out there for New York.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggested Stafford might be a viable alternative for New York if Rodgers retires. He also noted that Stafford’s name has been rattling around as a trade candidate, with the Jets viewed as a viable landing spot.

The Los Angeles Rams are entering a rebuilding, dumping as many contracts as they can this offseason. While the franchise publicly committed to Stafford, there is a scenario where the front office and ownership would likely be willing to move off his salary.

  • Matthew Stafford stats (Los Angeles Rams): 97.7 QB rating, 51-25 TD-INT, 67.5% completion rate, 15-11 record, 268.2 pass ypg

Related: Los Angeles Rams fielding trade calls on nine players

Before suffering a spinal contusion, Stafford was playing in an offense that fell apart quickly last season. While his 10-8 TD-INT ratio and 87.4 passer rating are well below his career norms, he posted a 102.9 passer rating with a 41-17 TD-INT line in 2021.

Just as they are asking the Green Bay Packers to cover a portion of Rodgers’ contract, New York would want Los Angeles to cover some of the money owed to Stafford in the next three seasons. While acquiring him doesn’t have the same upside as a Rodgers trade, the Jets would get to keep the 13th overall pick and could still end their playoff drought with Stafford at quarterback.

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