Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling believes former teammate, New York Jets quarterback and four-time regular-season Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers will bounce back in a big way from the torn Achilles that Rodgers suffered four offensive snaps into New York’s regular-season opener on Sept. 11.
“I expect him to go out there and have another MVP season,” Valdes-Scantling said about Rodgers during media obligations related to Super Bowl LVIII, as shared by Al Iannazzone of Newsday. “He’s one of the best to ever do it. I’m excited to see him get back healthy and go out there and throw the ball really well.”
Valdes-Scantling played alongside Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers from 2018 until the 29-year-old signed with the Chiefs as a free agent in March 2022. That decision worked out quite well for Valdes-Scantling, as he’s already hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy once with his current employer and will look to do so again when Kansas City faces the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday.
Rodgers earned MVP honors for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
“That broke my heart to watch him,” Valdes-Scantling said about seeing Rodgers go down in Week 1 with an injury that ultimately sidelined the future Hall of Famer through Week 18. “I know the work he puts in, I know the competitive nature that he has. I talked to him after he got hurt. I talked to him two weeks ago. We still have a great relationship. I’m super excited to see him come back next year and play.”
Rodgers accepted a significant pay cut last summer to help the Jets build around him through at least next season, but that was before he experienced a setback known to threaten the careers of veteran athletes. While he turned 40 years old on Dec. 2, he suggested after his birthday that he’d like to give the Jets a minimum of two healthy campaigns.
It’s widely thought Jets owner Woody Johnson retained head coach Robert Saleh largely because of Rodgers’ endorsement.
Valdes-Scantling added that he hopes he’ll be able to “watch Aaron finish his career over in New York.” Rodgers probably won’t play a meaningful down for a different NFL team before he retires, but it remains to be seen exactly how his Jets tenure will finish following one of the franchise’s most disappointing seasons in recent memory.