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Aaron Rodgers and Haason Reddick will skip the Jets’ mandatory minicamp

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and edge rusher Haason Reddick were notable absences from the team’s mandatory minicamp that began Tuesday.

Rodgers previously told the team he would miss Minicamp, so it came as no surprise, coach Robert Saleh said at a news conference on Tuesday. Saleh said Rodgers’ absence was unexcused, but said Rodgers was attending an “event that is important to him.”

“He has made a decision,” Saleh said.

The Jets coach later said he was not disappointed by Rodgers’ unexcused absence. The quarterback has been with the team and practicing during the team’s organized team activity sessions, which are voluntary, leading up to the mini-camp. The 40-year-old quarterback is working his way back into the game after suffering a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in Week 1 last season.

“Again, selfishly, I want our guys to be here all the time, but when you get to these mandatory things, you make the best decision for yourself,” Saleh said. “Obviously, selfishly, I always want them here, but he made a decision and that’s where he went.”

Conversely, Saleh said he did not know if Reddick, who has missed the team’s OTAs, will not attend due to his contract situation.

“The guy is a great guy,” Saleh said of Reddick. “He has played at a high level in several places. He is a professional and seasoned veterinarian. He’s the last guy I’m afraid will be ready to play football.”

Saleh said both Rodgers and Reddick would face fines for skipping minicamp.

The Jets acquired the 29-year-old Reddick from the Philadelphia Eagles this season. He is in the final year of his contract and will earn a salary of $14.25 million with the Jets in 2024. Reddick is coming off four consecutive 10-sack seasons, including 27 over the past two years in Philadelphia.

It appears Reddick still wants a new deal. There is a $250,000 roster bonus included in Reddick’s contract, which he forfeited by not showing up for the voluntary portion of the offseason, the clearest sign he wants more long-term security.

After the trade in March, Reddick told reporters about his contract: “No matter what happens, I’ll be happy. I’m going to give it my all, no matter what.”

What to do with absences

When the Jets traded for Reddick, they were under the impression he would participate in the offseason program. He obviously changed his mind due to a desire for a new contract, which was one of the main reasons the Eagles wanted to trade him in the first place. Before the trade, it was reported that Reddick was looking for a salary of around $25 million per season, which would make him one of the highest-paid pass rushers in the NFL. He currently expects to earn a salary of $14.25 million in the final year of his contract.

By skipping voluntary workouts and the mandatory minicamp, Reddick gave up $250,000 in training bonuses and will face an additional $50,000 fine for skipping the minicamp. Saleh didn’t seem concerned about the possibility of him skipping training camp, though it’s not yet clear what Reddick’s intentions are. The Jets were hoping for a quiet offseason and this obviously creates unnecessary distractions. There’s no indication yet if the Jets will actually be open to signing Reddick to a new deal, although the feeling after the trade was that they would play out his current contract this year.

As for Rodgers, the Jets’ star quarterback was a full participant in the offseason program and OTA workouts. He also attended the photo shoot with his teammates on Monday before leaving for the unknown ‘event’ that Saleh mentioned. Ultimately, it’s not a big deal that Rodgers isn’t in attendance, although the rest of his teammates should be in attendance and it’s fair to wonder if they would be extended the same courtesy – Saleh said he didn’t mind Rodgers skipping – if they didn’t come to training. Regardless, Rodgers has been building chemistry with his teammates this offseason, so this shouldn’t be a big problem.

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(Photo: Cooper Neill/Getty Images)