Former Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett, Aaron Rodgers rumors resurface
Who doesn’t love a good sequel, am I right? Some D2: The Mighty Ducks, the Fast and Furious series, The Dark Knight, Toy Story 2, The Empire Strikes Back…Sequels can sometimes be better than the original, depending on who’s writing the story. When it comes to another round of connecting Nathaniel Hackett and Aaron Rodgers on the NFL rumor mill? Count me in.
Nathaniel Hackett has resurfaced, joining the New York Jets and head coach Robert Saleh as their new offensive coordinator. As it turns out, Hackett’s replacement in Denver could end up being Saleh’s former understudy when he was in San Francisco just a couple of seasons ago.
More on that in another post. For now, let’s break down the news that Hackett has joined the New York Jets and what that means for him, the Broncos, and that franchise going forward.
Former Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett lands on his feet quickly
First of all, nobody needs to feel sorry for Nathaniel Hackett at this point. Although he joined a very short list of head coaches to be fired before the end of their first season on the job, he also is still getting paid by the Broncos while working for the Jets, and him being hired this quickly also indicates that he was one of the best candidates on the offensive coordinator market, at least according to the Jets.
There are a ton of NFL teams right now with offensive coordinator openings. The Jets maybe didn’t exactly have their pick of the litter, but Hackett has been a good play-caller in the past and perhaps after seeing him as a head coach, that is the niche that best suits him in the NFL.
He did tremendous work once upon a time with the Jaguars, and he helped coach the Packers’ offense while Aaron Rodgers won back-to-back MVP awards. Upon arriving in Denver a year ago, rumors of Aaron Rodgers joining the Broncos had already been ongoing for almost a year.
Dating back to the 2021 NFL Draft, there were rumors that Rodgers wanted to be traded away from the Packers, and specifically to the Denver Broncos. When Denver hired Rodgers’ buddy Hackett as well as some other people directly tied to the former MVP like Ben Steele, the connections were too obvious to ignore.
It looked from the outside like the Broncos were about to go zero coverage on getting Aaron Rodgers. An all-out blitz. And it felt like they had a really good shot. Like, a really good one.
Up until the day Rodgers signed a deal with the Packers, it felt like that was the direction the Broncos were heading until it wasn’t. It wasn’t long after news broke of Rodgers returning to Green Bay that the Broncos struck a deal for Russell Wilson. Little did we know at the time pairing Hackett with Wilson would ultimately seal Hackett’s fate.
The two were about as good of a combination for their less-than-one-year in Denver as Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. The more you look back, the more it feels like the Broncos’ Plan A was Rodgers, and when that didn’t come to pass, they pivoted to Russ.
On paper, a very good pivot. In reality? There have been some problems.
News of Hackett getting hired by the Jets has certainly prompted photoshop and jersey swap experts around the internet to act quickly.
Broncos Country certainly knows a thing or two about jersey swap season. Time will tell what will happen between Rodgers and the Packers, but certainly, the Jets could use Rodgers as Zach Wilson grows and hopefully develops. That’s a team ready for the playoffs right now if the QB position can be consistent.
Denver Broncos need to prioritize having CEO head coach
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It’s already shaping up to be a fun 2023 NFL offseason, isn’t it?