New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers Apr 26, 2023; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) talks to the media during the introductory press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

To get Aaron Rodgers on board, the Jets were willing to do a lot. That was evident in the trade compensation New York parted with for the future Hall of Famer. It was also evident that Joe Namath was willing to let Rodgers wear his retired No. 12.

Namath believes that Rodgers could return the Jets to the promised land, but the legendary quarterback stopped short of making another one of his famous guarantees.

“Oh, I know he could,” Namath said of Rodgers leading the Jets to a Super Bowl in a recent conversation with ESPN “Yes, he’s capable, absolutely. He can pick that team up. He’s one of the best players – one of the greatest players – I’ve ever seen in my life.

“I’ve watched him play. I’m a football fan. I’ve watched him play for the Packers, boy, and I marvel at him. I mean, year in and year out, he continues to make plays.”

Throughout his conversation with ESPN, Namath did just that. He marveled at Rodgers’ talent over and over again, while also stating, “I’ve never seen anybody play better.”

While Namath has never seen anyone play better, Rodgers wanted to respect the franchise’s history and chose not to wear the retired number, despite the Pro Football Hall of Famer’s wishes.

“There’s some iconic names that have played here — probably not more iconic than No. 12,” Rodgers said Wednesday (via The New York Post). “And I heard what he said about un-retiring his number, but to me, 12 is ‘Broadway Joe.’

“I didn’t want to even go down that path, and I’m excited about going back to my college [California] number.”

Those kind words from Rodgers touched Namath.

“I’m humbly respectful for what he did, I promise you, because I did mean what I said: ‘If we could get Aaron, I promise you, he could wear that number,'” Namath said. “He’s a true gentleman.”


About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.