Aaron Rodgers’ time with the Green Bay Packers came to an end when he was traded to the New York Jets after months of speculation.

Shortly before Rodgers officially became a member of the Green Gang, Allen Lazard signed with the Jets in March. Lazard spent five years with Rodgers in Green Bay. On Thursday, Lazard and Rodgers worked together again on a football practice field at the Jets’ training facility.

This week marked the next step in a new chapter in Rodgers’ storied football career, and Rodgers was well aware of how «different» this year’s training camp is for him.

«Everything is different,» Rodgers said. «After nineteen years, there have been many training camps, all of them at 1265 Lombardi. Showing up at 1 Jets Drive was a little different.»


New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, #8, participates in a drill at the NFL football teams’ training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Thursday, July 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Rodgers spent his first 18 NFL seasons with the Packers, winning a Super Bowl and four league MVP awards along the way.


Now, he plays for a franchise that has made it to the NFL’s biggest game only once, and that was when Joe Namath led the Jets to an upset victory over the Baltimore Colts in 1969.

Rodgers acknowledges the extra attention now being placed on a team that hasn’t made the postseason in 12 years. After his first practice in training camp with the Jets, he’s controlling himself amid all the hoopla.

Aaron Rodgers participates in a drill during a Jets practice

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, #8, participates in a drill at the NFL football team’s training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Thursday, July 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

«Yeah, it’s spectacular,» Rodgers said. «I mean, that’s what you want. You want to be a part of a place that has high expectations. And there’s a lot of positivity around here, which I think is a good thing.»

Rodgers said that when he joined the Jets, he came to New York to win and finally give that «lonely» — as he described it — Super Bowl trophy a partner. His teammates have followed his lead, with many saying that’s the goal each year, and they shouldn’t be afraid to let everyone know.

«I’m not going to beat around the bush, man: we want to win the Super Bowl,» wide receiver Garrett Wilson said. «You don’t go through the motions like we did unless you want to get there. You know that’s the mentality.»

Aaron Rodgers on OTAs

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, #8, during team OTAs at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on June 9, 2023 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Rodgers has certainly experienced his fair share of ups and downs throughout his long career. He stressed the importance of taking a patient approach to the early parts of training camp.

«I feel like I’ve grown a lot over the years,» Rodgers said. «I think it’s always important to be patient with shorts and helmets, so be patient the first few days of camp. Sometimes patience can wear thin if it’s repeated mistakes, but we’re just building this right now. We want to build the right way.

«And, yeah, I would say maybe early in my career, I got angry a little bit more easily and I feel like I’m a little less triggered as I get older.»

Rodgers also appears to have taken on a new role since joining the team: being an on-field teacher to his teammates.

«He’s a coach who can still play football,» Jets head coach Robert Saleh said.

Lazard has also noticed how differently the veteran signal caller is doing things in New York as he builds a relationship with the new teammates.

«He’s taking his time,» Lazard said. «I’m seeing it. I’m seeing how much he cares about these guys and how much he really wants to put the icing on the cake when it comes to his career.»


Even before Rodgers joined the Jets, his possible retirement became a topic of conversation. When his trade to the Jets became official, many still wondered if he would quit after just one season in New York.

However, Rodgers recently hinted that he intends to play beyond the 2023 season.

«I love being around the young energy, that excitement,» Rodgers said. «There’s a great feel to this team of guys who are young and super talented on their first contract… When you have so many great players on rookie deals, it’s very exciting to know that you can do something, you have a good window.

«You know it’s not just a one-year thing where you can be competitive, which is fun.»

Associated Press contributed to this report.