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Jets’ Aaron Rodgers skips mandatory minicamp, absence considered ‘unexcused’

The New York Jets entered the 2023 season with high hopes, due in part to quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ arrival. But, the four-time NFL MVP suffered a season-ending injury in the season opener.

Rodgers is on track to enter this season at full strength, but he will not participate in the team’s mandatory minicam this week. Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters on Tuesday that although Rodgers’ absence would be considered unexcused, the quarterback previously told the team about the conflict in his schedule.

“Aaron and I spoke before OTAs started,” Saleh said. “He’s been very good in communication. He’s been here the entire time. It’s inexcused, but he had an event that was very important to him, which he communicated.”

Rodgers has been around the team facilities at various points throughout the offseason. He was on the practice field last month for organized team activities (OTAs) and he arrived at the training facility on Monday to participate in team photos.

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Haason Reddick was also missing on the first day of minicamp. The Jets acquired the two-time pass rusher from the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade in April. While Rodgers is skipping mandatory minicam in order to fulfill other obligations, Reddick appears to be sitting out due to a contract dispute.

Aaron Rodgers participates in a drill during a Jets practice

The 29-year-old has one year remaining on his contract. The state of his deal had been a sticking point for the past several months, which ultimately led to him being traded.

Saleh wasn’t worried about Reddick’s holdout continuing into training camp, though the two didn’t discuss that, or his contractual status. Despite Reddick not physically being with the team, he has kept the lines of communication open with his head coach.

Aaron Rodgers speaks to the media

“Spoke to him over the weekend. I appreciate the dialogue. He’s in a really good place mentally, working his tail off like we already know, but he’s choosing to sit out this one. Inexcused,” Saleh said on Tuesday.

“I’m not concerned about Haason Reddick. I understand everything that’s happening, but at the same time, I know that when it comes time to play football, he’s gonna be ready to play football.”

Skipping minicamp without an excused absence means players could face fines, per the terms of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

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