Robert Wood Johnson said he's "not the patient sort." But any anxiety the Jets' CEO is feeling with the deliberate way the QB negotiations with Green Bay are going and the pace of the offseason heading toward the 2023 regular season is soothed by the manner in which the Jets are being viewed these days as a desirable NFL destination.
"I know the reaction in the building was pretty high," Johnson told Jets reporters at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix this afternoon about word that 39-year-old two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers would like to play for his team. "Everybody was pretty excited. ... We're seeing it more now, what's happening with the Jets, the confidence of where we're going with this plan, with these leaders.
"I think it's really cool," he said. "This hasn't happened in a while, right? I think the administration, Robert [Saleh], Joe [Douglas], the whole staff really has done such a good job in bringing us to this level. One hundred people in the building and they've all done the job. Really, it adds up to something. It's really terrific."
Johnson talked about how remarkable the meeting was between the Jets' brain trust and Rodgers at his California home.
"He's very impressive, extremely smart, authentic," Johnson said. "He's definitely his own person, that's for sure. Great athlete, great golfer. I think he does pretty much everything at the highest level. He just won Pebble Beach [pro-am in February], sunk like a 20-footer to win, so he's a competitor."
And those are the kinds of competitors Johnson acknowledges are showing interest in wearing the green and white, such as a big-name wideout like Odell Beckham Jr., who actually is at the Phoenix hotel where the NFL is conducting its offseason gathering. OBJ is looking for a team to continue his frequently dynamic career, and the Jets have been rumored to be interested.
"The fact that Odell Beckham, a man of his character and quality and ability, would consider us and would want to be with us, if that's what he wants," Johnson said, "is pretty much a compliment."
Outstanding players are important but aren't all that a team like the Jets, growing and reaching to break into the league's upper echelon, need to succeed. Johnson was asked the "missing piece" question regarding Rodgers. He didn't want to go into detail with negotiations ongoing, but his response was encouraging to the team's fans.
"We've got a plan that Joe and I and the coach and my brother [Chris Johnson] put together, and we're going to stick to it," he said. "We're pretty confident we can get something done that's going to help the Jets."
Then, when the "win now" question arose, Johnson hedged, but just a little.
"I'm not the patient sort, really. "We're in the win business. We have to win now. It's the same thing I said 23 years ago," he said.
"I always see the light at the end of the tunnel."