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Joe Namath Says He'd Give Aaron Rodgers Permission to Wear No. 12 If He Joined Jets

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 20, 2023

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 08: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before a game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on January 08, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Joe Namath's No. 12 has been retired by the New York Jets since 1985.

However, the Hall of Famer says he's willing to bring it back if Aaron Rodgers decides to come to New York.

"I know [Jets owner] Mr. [Woody] Johnson's trying to get a quarterback, and if there's a way he can get [Aaron] Rodgers. … I'm a big Rodgers fan, and I noticed that he wears No. 12, of course," Namath said Thursday on Tiki and Tierney. "So I'm thinking, 'Man, if we get him on our side, is he still going to be wearing No. 12?' because that number was retired many years ago.

"... If he's there, yeah, I want him to wear his number. We establish ourselves, and we got a real respect for our numbers, and Aaron Rodgers, God almighty yeah, it would be great to have him in New York."

The Jets are expected to make a splash for a veteran quarterback this offseason amid the struggles of 2021 first-round pick Zach Wilson. It's unclear if Wilson, who has two years remaining on his rookie contract, will even be brought back in 2023 after being benched for Mike White down the stretch of this season.

If Wilson is brought back, it'll likely be as a backup behind a stable veteran presence the Jets hope can lead them back to the playoffs.

Rodgers has three years remaining on his contract with the Packers and seems unlikely to leave. The team would incur a cap penalty of $99.8 million if Rodgers is traded or released before June 1, which would more than double the NFL record for dead cap money a team has paid for a single player.

Rodgers is currently contemplating retirement, but it seems the only place he realistically has a chance of playing next season is in Green Bay.