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'Simple!': Sauce Gardner Reveals Jets' Offseason Wish List

The New York Jets need a lot of help on offense this offseason, and cornerback Sauce Gardner is well aware of what general manager Joe Douglas needs to get done.

As the fanbase panics over the moves the New York Jets look to make during the legal tampering period, some of the players have made it known what they expect from the front office.

Having experienced the league-worst Jets offense firsthand, Gardner shares a similar vision to most of the fans – upgrade the offense by any means necessary. Of course, the return of a healthy Aaron Rodgers should be a massive improvement in itself, but there is work left to be done as free agency opens.

On “The Pivot,” Gardner spoke about what New York’s offense should look like in 2024.

Sauce Gardner celebrates the Jets' 27-10 win over the Green Bay Packers

“I want Aaron to be protected back there,” Gardner told former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark. “I want him to feel comfortable out there in that pocket. It’s really simple, I want him to feel comfortable in the pocket.”

So far, general manager Joe Douglas has made an effort to check that box. He signed former Baltimore Ravens left guard John Simpson to a two-year, $12 million deal on Monday night. Many also suspect that longtime Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari will find his way back to Rodgers’ blindside, too. The Jets needed three new starters along the offensive line, meaning two more boxes are yet to be checked off.

“I want Garrett [Wilson] to not get double-teamed,” Gardner continued. “So if that means bringing another guy in for eight to be able to throw to, you know, then that’s what it’s going to be.

“It's gotta be that much of a threat to the point where it’s like, ‘Alright, we can’t just double team him. If we double team him, we gotta double team both of them.’”

Of course, New York has the 10th pick in this year’s NFL Draft at its disposal. Virtually every mock draft has them attacking offensive tackle or receiver, but with the crop thinning in free agency, the Jets may be incentivized to act fast. Without a second-round pick to use (traded to Green Bay), the trade block and open market will remain significant in determining the team’s fate.

Simply put, Rodgers is a boost, but without a functional receiving corps and time to throw, the aging quarterback is at risk of falling short of Gang Green’s expectations. Coming off of an Achilles tear and on the wrong side of 40, Rodgers likely won’t be rushing to evade defenders with his legs.

The Jets, more than most teams, need adequate play up front. At this point, they haven’t done enough to be taken seriously as a threatening offense. With plenty of time to make the requisite move and breach the conference’s playoff contenders, New York will look to make good on Gardner’s wishlist.

They can’t afford to let the defense down again.