Aaron Rodgers Responds to Exec Saying Jets 'Owe' NFL for Poor Prime-Time Games in 2023

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the 2023 season opener.
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the 2023 season opener. / Danielle Parhizkaran / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Mike North, the NFL VP of broadcast planning, said earlier this month that the New York Jets "owe" the NFL this year after failing to compete in many of their scheduled prime-time games last season.

The biggest factor in the Jets' unremarkable 7–10 season in 2023, of course, was quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffering a torn Achilles on the fourth play of the year. North has since taken back his comments, but Rodgers chimed in Thursday about the prime-time chatter surrounding his team.

"As far as us owing people? Yeah that's fine," Rodgers said to Sirius XM's Adam Schein. "Whatever, I don't care what anybody had to say about that. It was s---ty for me, it was rough for the league, I get it, me only playing a few plays last year. That's going to be different this year. What happens when we pay them back this year with six great prime-time games? What are they going to say next year?"

Rodgers and the Jets will play six prime-time games—either Thursday, Sunday or Monday night—in the first 11 weeks of the 2024 campaign. They also face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5 across the pond in London at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a standalone game in the early morning window.

The NFL is once again betting on Rodgers and the Jets to be a factor this season.

"I love it. I love it," Rodgers said. "We are must-watch TV. That's pretty obvious; everybody knows that. Whether you love me or hate me, people want to see me play. They enjoy watching me play. We are a team to watch this year. Not surprising. Six prime-time games in the first 11 or 12 weeks. I love it."

The Jets start the season with a bang, too. They open the year with a matchup against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, go across the country six days later to visit the Tennessee Titans in Week 2, and host their home opener against the division rival New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football in Week 3.

"Make it difficult, let's see how we stack up against one of the top teams in the league," Rodgers said. "... I love it. It's fantastic. No excuses—three games in 10 days, we'll be ready to rock and roll, I'm not worried about it. I'm sure we'll have a good plan for the schedule for all that."


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Tom Dierberger

TOM DIERBERGER

Tom is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In the industry since 2016, Tom joined Sports Illustrated in 2023 after working with FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. Off the clock, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.