Aaron Rodgers and Daniel Jones: A Tale of Two Quarterbacks

Aaron Rodgers and Daniel Jones
Published by NYSB Staff
Last Updated: 04. Sep 2023.

Daniel Jones is the other quarterback in town. The moment future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers signed with the New York Jets, the Giants signal-caller was designated second-tier status in the Big Apple.

Rodgers is entering his 19th year in the NFL and has a Super Bowl ring and four league Most Valuable Player Awards. The 39-year-old has also thrown for over 59,000 yards and is fifth-all-time with 475 touchdown passes. He also has posted 147 victories, including ten seasons with double-digit wins.

2023 will be Jones' fifth season, and the former sixth overall pick has a 21-31-1 career record. The 26-year-old has 72 combined touchdowns (60 passes and 12 rushing) but has committed a whopping 57 turnovers. 

Hopes For The Playoffs & Beyond

Despite his lackluster production, the New York Giants signed Jones to a four-year, $160 million deal during the offseason, making the Duke product the seventh-highest-paid quarterback in average yearly salary. 

While NFL betting markets suggest the Jets are a legitimate Super Bowl contender with Rodgers at the helm of the offense, the Giants will look to duplicate a Cinderella 2022 campaign. Jones led New York to their first playoff victory in 11 years and knocked off the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Although the Giants reside in the same division as the ultra-talented Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, Jones and the rest of the G-Men are overflowing with confidence heading into the upcoming season.

"We're confident," Jones said recently via the New York Post. "And we know we can compete with anybody.

"We feel like we made progress last year and took a step, but what we do from this point on, you start over," Jones said. "It's about what you do now."

Meanwhile, Rodgers has provided his new team with a swagger that has been missing from the Jets' franchise. 

"What has stood out is that everyone knows what a great player he is, and anytime you get a chance to add a Hall of Fame quarterback to your roster, it's an outstanding thing," said Chad Alexander, the Jets' director of player personnel. 

"It affects every aspect of the building. Just the connections he's made with his teammates, and he's really a great teacher, to help the young players understand the system and get acclimated to his way of doing things. He exemplifies everything you want in a leader."

Rodgers’ Return to Preseason

Rodgers, who hasn't played in the preseason since 2018, made his debut for the Gang Green in the preseason finale against the Giants. 

"There's always that risk-reward," Rodgers said of the preseason. "I think over the years, it just hasn't made sense based on a number of different factors. I used to enjoy playing in the preseason back in my younger years, just to kind of maybe take that first hit or feel the nerves on the first drive. So, I look forward to being out there."

The 10-time Pro Bowler was 5-of-8 for 47 yards in two series. He finished a four-play, 52-yard scoring drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson midway through the first quarter before exiting the game.

Can a Confident Jones Perform for the Giants?

While the Giants do not have the swagger of a Super Bowl-caliber squad, running back Saquon Barkley believes that Jones has a different look this season that is all about self-confidence.

"You get to be under a system for another year, have all the coaches basically come back, that just helps your confidence grow. When your confidence grows, you get that swagger. I'm excited for DJ," Barkley said. "He's gonna have a great year. He's worked really hard. I just want to be a teammate to help him make his job a little easier."

Jones also feels that playing in the same offensive system for a second straight has made him more comfortable and confident.

"Absolutely. I think having run a lot of these plays now for a year and seeing a lot of the looks, I get through the reads. I think the more you do anything, the more repetitions you have, the better you get at it," Jones said. "Still a ways to go and things that I've got to sharpen up, but I think that we all feel better in year two in the system."

The Value of Rodgers’ Experience

Unlike his inexperienced counterpart with the Giants, Rodgers' presence has instilled confidence in his new teammates. However, the wily veteran has gone out of his way to connect with everyone in the organization.

"He's very thoughtful and deliberate in the way he goes about things," says Jets head coach Robert Saleh. "During OTAs, he's gone out with the guys. And every weekend, he's gone out with a different set of guys to get some time with everybody. So that's the stuff in the locker room. When he is in the building, it's very important for him to know everyone's name, whether it's the chef, the equipment guys, the trainers, people upstairs."

Saleh also believes that his stud quarterback knows more football than most NFL coaches and is increasing his football knowledge by picking Rodgers' brain.

"This dude has been in the league 19 years. He's played quarterback for 19 years. You're telling me he doesn't know more than 75 percent of coaches in football. So, of course, I'm going to ask him.

"It's like I'm talking to another coach," continued Saleh. " I'm gonna go to that 30-year old and ask his opinion, why the hell wouldn't I ask a 39-year-old who has bullets being shot at all the time?"

The Jets have faith that Rodgers is the missing piece that could lead the team to their first Vince Lombardi Trophy in over five decades. But while the Giants are hopeful that Jones can have a breakout season and post franchise-caliber numbers this season, he will still be just the other quarterback in New York.

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