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Sports Illustrated Grades Jets atop AFC for Free Agency Frenzy Haul

Gang Green and the Miami Dolphins share top honors for moves made during March

The New York Jets are earning Honor Roll status for their offseason activity.

Out of the 16 AFC franchises, Gang Green was one of only two who received an “A” grade on Sports Illustrated’s free agency report card.

Recapping a busy month of March around the National Football League, writer Gilberto Manzano examined all 16 AFC teams while fellow SI scribe Matt Verderame was responsible for the 16 NFC grades.

The Jets and the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins topped the conference with their near-perfect marks. The Cincinnati Bengals came close, earning an “A-,” but no other teams reached the elite tier.

Naturally, the Jets earned the “A” on the assumption that 39-year old Aaron Rodgers will be their quarterback for the 2023 season.

“Everyone is tired of waiting. Let’s just assume Rodgers will play for the Jets, and whenever the trade with the Packers occurs, they’ll be one of the biggest winners of free agency. The Jets added a versatile and familiar wideout for Rodgers with the signing of Lazard. They shipped Moore to Cleveland, but gained a speedy receiver in Hardman.” - Gliberto Manzano

When he finally arrives, Rodgers provides an instant upgrade at the most-important position on the field.

Rodgers, a four-time NFL Most Valuable Player, accounted for one of his more modest statistical seasons in 2022, but still offered substantially more production than the Jets’ quarterbacks’ room showed last year.

Logging a 64.6 completion percentage, Rodgers threw 542 passes for 3,695 yards and 26 touchdowns to 12 interceptions with the Packers in 2022.

Meanwhile, four different Jets quarterbacks combined for 14 touchdown passes, 14 interceptions and a 56.98 completion percentage last season.

Putting the Jets’ poor quarterback play in perspective, Gang Green ranked 27th out of 32 NFL teams in yards per pass attempt (6.45) last year. Accounting for his second-lowest mark since becoming the Packers’ full-time starter in 2008, Rodgers averaged 6.8 yards per pass in 2022.

Rodgers’ arrival will also boost Jets’ free-agent signing Allen Lazard’s value to the offense. The former undrafted receiver established himself as a reliable pass-catcher in Green Bay with Rodgers as the signal caller. In 2022, Lazard led all Packers players in receptions (60) and receiving yards (788).

CBS Sports writer Tyler Sullivan also gave the Jets an “A” for their offseason accomplishments last week. Gang Green’s grade was the highest mark awarded on Sullivan’s AFC East Free Agency Report Card.

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