Jets' optimism growing in Aaron Rodgers chase, sources say

Russini: 'Gigantic loss' for the Jets if they fail to land Rodgers (1:45)

Dianna Russini and Bart Scott discuss the importance of the New York Jets landing Aaron Rodgers. (1:45)

The New York Jets are becoming more confident in their chances of landing quarterback Aaron Rodgers, sources close to the situation told ESPN's Dianna Russini on Thursday.

The Jets' increasing optimism follows their meeting this week with the Green Bay Packers quarterback. A contingent of Jets team officials, including owner Woody Johnson, general manager Joe Douglas, coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, flew to California on Tuesday to meet in person with Rodgers, sources previously told ESPN's Dan Graziano.

Johnson left the meeting excited and satisfied about the potential match, sources told Russini.

The Jets and Packers remain engaged in conversations about possible trade compensation, sources said -- discussions that had started before the Jets' meeting with Rodgers.

Rodgers, 39, has not made any announcements about what he intends to do this coming season. It's still possible he decides to retire or stay in Green Bay. But if he wants to play and he and the Packers agree it's time for him to go somewhere else, the Jets appear to be a realistic option.

A four-time MVP, Rodgers is under contract through 2024 for $108.8 million. Technically, the contract, signed last March, runs through 2026, but 2025 and 2026 are considered "dummy" years for cap purposes. His deal includes a fully guaranteed $59.5 million this season, with $58.3 million coming in the form of an option bonus, payable before the start of the regular season.

Because his bonus money is prorated, Rodgers wouldn't hamper the Jets' cap situation. He would count $15.8 million in 2023 and $32.5 million in 2024, cap-friendly for a player of his stature.

If Rodgers leaves, the Packers would get hit with a $40.3 million "dead" charge in 2023 -- nearly $9 million more than he would count if he were on the roster.