Aaron Rodgers, pictured with the Green Bay Packers last season, is now commanding the Jets’ offense Credit: Wikipedia, All-Pro Reels

For the NFL’s 32 teams, the spring and summer brings the hope of ample improvement and Super Bowl aspirations. The Philadelphia Eagles finished the 2021-22 regular season 9-8 and a unimposing wildcard team. A little over a year later they ended the 2022-23 regular season campaign with the league’s best record at 14-3 and had a gut-wrenching and thrilling 38-35 loss to the Kansas Chiefs this past February in Super Bowl LVII (57).

The Jets and Giants have plausible visions of playing in Super LVIII next February 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. It’s nine months away but training camp begins in just eight weeks with the organized team activities, or OTAs, already in session. The Jets, who were 7-10 last season, last in the AFC East, made the most widely covered and analyzed move this off-season, executing a trade with the Green Bay Packers in April for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a four-time NFL MVP.

Rodgers, who turns 40 on December 2, has the Jets fan base believing the franchise can make it to and win its first Super Bowl since 1969. Being an integral presence and voice at OTAs is a key to building the foundation.

“With a new offense, being my first year here, I really wanted to be around for at least some of the beginning things to just let [my teammates] know how I like to do things,” said Rodgers on May 23 from the Jets OTAs at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey. “Like I said, some of the code words, some of the little adjustments, some of the ways I see the game––sparking that conversation.”

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Last season, the Giants were a postseason participant for the first time since 2016, going 9-7-1, third in the NFC East and defeating the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 in their wildcard game match up before losing 38-7 to the Eagles in the divisional round. In March, they signed quarterback Daniel Jones to a four-year, $160-million contract coming off of the best season of his four-year career.

Jones was drafted by the Giants in the first round, sixth overall, in 2019. Under first-year head coach Brian Dabol, Jones passed for 3,205 yards, completing 67.2 percent of his attempts, the highest of his career, and ran for a career best 708. Most importantly he had a career low five interceptions and just two fumbles lost after being plagued by turnovers the previous three seasons.

With the Giants trading with the Las Vegas Raiders for 2020 Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller, Jones was provided a much needed weapon for the passing game. The duo have been mutually impressed at OTAs.

“Darren’s been great,” Jones said last week via the Giants website. “I think as soon as you walk on the field, you can see he’s a big guy. He can run. He can run every route. Catches the ball really well, great body control. He’s been really fun to work with.”

Waller noted that he and Jones are already establishing chemistry. “Arm talent, intelligence, funny guy,” said Waller. “He’s got a lot of personality that you really get to see once you get to know him some more. It’s been fun, man.”

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