Two-time Super Bowl champion Chad Henne rejected a contract offer from the New York Jets after Aaron Rodgers went down with an Achilles injury. The former quarterback retired in mid-February following the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVII win.
Henne spent the last five seasons of his professional career backing up Patrick Mahomes at Kansas City. Before that, the Michigan product split the previous decade between the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars, primarily as a second-string quarterback.
After Rodgers sustained what is potentially a season-ending injury, a backup is just what the Jets needed. At the time, Zach Wilson was the only fit quarterback on the active roster.
Head coach Robert Saleh had such a dearth of options that ahead of their Week 2 road game against the Dallas Cowboys, wide receiver Randall Cobb was ready as an emergency quarterback. Practice squad QB Tim Boyle has since gone onto the active roster to back up Wilson, but that could have been Henne.
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The 15-year pro said as much to the Reading Eagle. “I hung them up for the right reasons,” Henne said after revealing the Jets did reach out. “I didn’t want to go back and put my body into it.”
The Reading, Pennsylvania-based publication reports that the chance did excite Henne – but he did not ultimately take them up on the offer. Speaking time with his family was mentioned as a reason behind initially retiring.
“My kids are getting older,” Henne said. “They’ve been supporting me for quite a while, and now it was just time where I wasn’t around, and I just wanted to get a chance to see them and be around my wife, as well.”
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The organization making Henne an offer was likely due to the veteran’s history of working under Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. While the QB was in Jacksonville, Hackett was his quarterbacks coach and became the Jaguars OC too.
However, Henne reportedly told The Athletic: “The timing doesn’t work.” They also claim that former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy also received contact from the Jets around the same time.
The Texas Longhorns legend is said to be not short of opportunities across the league, though, with no decision on his next destination yet made. Henne and McCoy are the only two QBs the Jets have had any interest in, with Ben Roethlisberger, Blake Bortles, Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers and Tom Brady not under consideration.
Regardless of failing to tempt anyone to MetLife Stadium, their stance on Wilson has not changed. The Jets always saw him as the undisputed starter, no matter who came in.
Saleh has made that clear publicly, reiterating that Wilson would be “the guy” with Rodgers out of action. That remains so despite going 12-of-27 for 170 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in his first start against the Cowboys.
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