The New York Jets continue to add former teammates of four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers to the roster, but head coach Robert Saleh thinks the wish list narrative is getting a little tiring.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Saleh said it’s common practice for coaches to bring in players they’re familiar with.
“I’m going to try to say this as respectfully as I can. I am not attacking anyone,” Saleh told reporters Friday, according to NFL Network. “It’s just I do think it’s a silly narrative with regards to wish lists, and I say that because there’s 32 teams in the NFL, and it’s common practice for when there’s changes when you have a new coaching staff.
“When you have people coming in that, you surround those people with people they’re familiar with. I had a wish list. There’s Soloman Thomas, Marcell Harris, D.J. Reed, Kwon Alexander. Guys who I’ve worked with who are very familiar with our messaging, very familiar with our scheme, who can come in and play.”
On Wednesday, the Jets signed veteran wide receiver Randall Cobb, a former teammate and good friend of Rodgers.
Cobb joins ex-Packers Allen Lazzard, Billy Turner and Tim Boyle in New York.
The Jets also have a new offensive coordinator in Nathaniel Hackett, who coached Rodgers in Green Bay from 2019-2021.
“Shoot, Tom Brady goes to Tampa, and he gets [Rob] Gronkowski and Antonio Brown,” Saleh said. “So, it is very common for new faces to want old faces. To be able to come in and help accelerate the insulation of a program. And it’s not just everything is being pinned on the quarterback. It’s not just him.
“Hackett has something to say about it. He loves Lazard, loves Randall. Took Billy Turner with him to Denver, wanted here in Green Bay, so of course, you’re going to surround a coach with people who he feels will be able to plant the flags. So, you know, that whole narrative of what people are trying to put on the quarterback, I think it’s tired, but it’s common practice in the NFL.”
The Jets traded for Rodgers after 2021 second-overall draft pick Zach Wilson took a major step back in his second season.
He’ll be expected to snap New York’s 12-year playoff drought.