2023 didn’t exactly go to plan, but Aaron Rodgers is doing his best to rally the troops ahead of 2024. For many Jets fans, the promise of future success is all too familiar, but you can take comfort in the fact you’ll be welcoming back a Hall of Fame Quarterback next season, and one who believes we’re a lot closer to where we want to be than the record may suggest.

“I believe in the leadership that we have here,” Rodgers said on his weekly appearance on the Pat McAfee show. “I believe in our guys. I think it’s not a situation where we have to rebuild. We need to reload a little bit, and there’ll be some tough decisions for sure, but I like the pieces that we have in place.”

Earlier this week we looked at some of those tough decisions, but Rodgers isn’t wrong to be optimistic about the direction of this franchise. It’s just hard to accept another season without playoff football; but for as frustrated as we are, every single person inside 1JD is just as, if not more, frustrated.

The Jets will need to make a lot of very tough roster decisions with 21 players set to hit free agency. Within that group of players are regular starters like Mekhi Becton, Connor McGovern, Jordan Whitehead, Quinton Jefferson, Greg Zurlein, Thomas Morstead and Justin Hardee, not to mention star pass-rusher Bryce Huff.

You won’t be able to keep everyone and strengthen the side, so while the core of the team will remain unchanged in 2024, there will be significant change. Rodgers spoke about his ability as a recruiter, and like college coaches who travel up and down the country ahead of National Signing Day, Rodgers will have to break out his best pitch ahead of NFL free agency.

That said, the Jets do have some key factors in their favour as we head into an offseason that will shape the future of this franchise. So what do the Jets have going in their favour? Like a questionable 90’s dating show, let’s list the attributes.

To start with the very obvious one: the Jets have Aaron Rodgers, a future Hall of Fame QB who has openly said that he doesn’t see 2024 being his final year. If you’re a player, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, you can sign on knowing that one of the best to ever play the game is going to be leading the team in 2024 and beyond. If you want a selling point, that’s a pretty big one.

The Jets currently have one of the best defences in football, and the vast majority of the core is signed through the 2024 season. Players like Quinnen, CJ Mosley, Quincy, Sauce, MC2, Reed, Johnson, JFM and more are here to stay. When you’re pitching to free agents on any side of the ball, being able to say you have a top-10 defensive unit is a huge positive, especially when that unit has unlimited potential.

Despite the defence being on the field a lot this year, they’re still ranked as the 5th best unit in terms of red-zone scoring, allowing touchdowns on 43.59% of opponent trips, the 11th best unit in terms of opponent scoring with 20.5 points allowed per game, and the 2nd best unit against the pass, allowing a measly 170.4 passing yards per game. The NFL is a passing league and the Jets defence is dominant against the pass.

Despite the offensive struggles this year, there is very real talent in the unit. If you look at Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, AVT and Tyler Conklin, you have four pillars that you can build around. When you’re averaging 14.4 points per game, you know there is work to do. But welcoming back Aaron Rodgers is a very good start, and we all know that the offensive line is going to be a priority over the course of the off-season.

Which brings me to another positive. Due to the season we’ve had, we’re almost guaranteed to have a top-10 draft selection, and considering we’ve mentioned the likes of Sauce and Garrett on this list, you know how vital those picks are. I’m sure we all would have taken a full season of Rodgers and the 1st-round pick heading to Green Bay, but if we couldn’t have that, I’ll certainly take a premium choice.

It’s hard right now to keep the positivity flowing, but with Christmas just around the corner…it’s a time for hope, and the hope is that 2024 will be significantly better for your New York Jets.