Two All-Pro Players Show Social Media Support for Jets' QB Aaron Rodgers

Offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and cornerback Sauce Gardner both weighed in on New York Jets' QB Aaron Rodgers and his absence from minicamp.
Aug 19, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (left) and quarterback Aaron Rodgers (right ) on the field before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium.
Aug 19, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (left) and quarterback Aaron Rodgers (right ) on the field before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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New York Jets' starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers saw current and former teammates coming to his defense publicly this week.

Although technically labeled as "unexcused," and subject to the CBA fine schedule as a result, the future Hall-of-Fame field general's absence from mandatory minicamp has been viewed as perfectly acceptable by two All-Pro performers who have experienced going into battle with Rodgers.

First, free agent offensive tackle David Bakhtiari began protecting his former quarterback on the social media site now known as X. Rodgers and Bakhtiari built a lasting friendship while spending 10 seasons together as Green Bay Packers.

"Friendly reminder that teams don’t win games in June. Teams can only lose games (injuries) during this time," said Bakhtiari in an X post that didn't mention Rodgers by name, but came on Wednesday at the height of the media-incited drama.

The 32-year-old Bakhtiari next challenged a disapproving user that jumped into the post's replies. X user @Raz_J93 sent a reply that suggested Rodgers is setting the Jets up for failure by opting out of minicamp.

"That’s when you build a locker room though, and if you can’t put your ego aside in June you won’t in September/October when it matters," said the critical reply guy.

Immediately dismissing that idea, Bakhtiari said "Because you know first hand??!?.. Please go sit back down and drink your juice."

Bakhtiari, a five-time All-Pro selection who has been plagued by knee injuries in recent years, was released by the Packers earlier this offseason and has been rumored to eventually land with the Jets due to his ties to Rodgers.

By late Thursday night, Jets' starting cornerback Sauce Gardner apparently became fed up with the discord and provided his hot take on the "non-issue" via X.

"Are y'all really making a big deal because a 15+ year HOF QB missed 2 days of practice after being with the team all throughout Phase 1, 2, & 3 of OTA's?? GG's," said Gardner via his social media account.

Gardner, who has two All-Pro First Team honors to show for his first two NFL seasons, highlighted the overlooked fact that the 40-year-old Rodgers has vigorously participated in voluntary Organized Team Activities since they started in mid-April.

New York Jets running back Breece Hall and cornerback DJ Reed were also amongst current Jets who voiced their support of Rodgers and his decision to skip minicamp for "an event that was very important to him."


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Ralph Ventre

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.