Jets' QB Aaron Rodgers Meets U.S. Senator, Talks Horses' Names at Kentucky Derby

New York Jets' quarterback Aaron Rodgers has taken a couple of days away from football to attended two major horse races in Churchill Downs, KY.
X / @KelleyAshbyPaul
In this story:

New York Jets' quarterback Aaron Rodgers is expected to return to Florham Park for OTAs later this month, but, not before his annual pilgrimage to Churchill Downs.

Rodgers, a four-time NFL MVP, is again attending one of the premier events on the American sporting calendar. The 40-year-old field general was spotted on Saturday ahead of the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby.

He was stopped by the NBC cameras for a quick interview, a portion of which was posted to an Instagram reel via the @SNFonNBC account. The interview posed the question of "What would you name your horse?"

"Corey Linsley," said Rodgers. "Because that boy's got stamina."

Linsley was Rodgers's former center with the Green Bay Packers for seven seasons.

Rodgers did not just parachute in for Saturday's festivities. He was in town on Friday for the annual Kentucky Oaks stakes race, which boast a $1.5 million purse.

Rodgers apparently spent some time with Kentucky's U.S. Senator Rand Paul at Churchill Downs. The future Hall-of-Fame quarterback posed for a photo with Paul and the Senator's wife, Kelley, who shared the image on social media.

Politics were likely part of the discussion, if only briefly. Paul and Rodgers have both publicly expressed their support for vaccine choice while opposing government mandates. Along with the photo, Paul's wife wrote a message that referred to Rodgers as "great football player and champion of medical freedom." Rodgers has previously opined on the issues through an Instagram story from the 2023 U.S. Tennis Open last September.

It's unknown if there was any talk about the possibility of 2028 Paul-Rodgers Presidential ticket, but, for now, the 40-year-old Rodgers is focused on making a triumphant return from the Achilles tear that derailed his 2023 season four offensive snaps into the opener.

"I know he's had a couple of prior engagements that he's taken care of, but he's here, he's working. The guy can still sling it," said Jets' fourth-year head coach Robert Saleh at rookie minicamp on Friday in Florham Park. "Obviously, he's still working through his rehab, but no issues on the trajectory of which he's going."

When OTAs Phase 3 begins, the Jets will host 10 practices beginning on May 20. According to Saleh, Rodgers will be able to participate in full.

"We're not anticipating any restrictions from what we can and can't do with him," said Saleh.

Ralph Ventre


Ralph, a former college football conference administrator, brings 20 years of media experience to the New York Jets beat. Prior to concentrating on Gang Green, he covered the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision for NFL Draft Bible on FanNation. Ventre remains as an official voter for the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 and the annual legacy awards. The Fordham University graduate is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. The veteran sports media professional resides in his native state of New Jersey.