Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers is the latest to weigh in on the war of words between the Jets and Broncos, sparked by Sean Payton earlier this week. In an interview with USA TODAY, the new Denver head coach ripped Nathaniel Hackett, who coached the team last year, for what he described to be "one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL." 

Hackett, who is now serving as the Jets new offensive coordinator, was fired by Denver in the middle of his first season with the team in 2022 after the club went 4-11. Prior to getting the job with the Broncos, however, Hackett was a successful offensive coordinator in Green Bay and helped Rodgers to back-to-back MVP awards in 2020 and 2021. The two have since reunited in New York and, while speaking with the NFL Network on Sunday, Rodgers clapped back at Payton and praised Hackett as "arguably my favorite coach." 

"I love Nathaniel Hackett," said Rodgers. "Those comments were very surprising, for a coach to do that to another coach. My love for [Hackett] goes deep. We had some great years together in Green Bay, kept in touch. Love him and his family. He's an incredible family man, an incredible dad. 

"On the field, he's arguably my favorite coach I've ever had in the NFL. His approach to it, how he makes it fun, how he cares about the guys, just how he goes about his business is with respect, with leadership, with honesty, with integrity and it made me feel bad that someone who has accomplished a lot in the league is that insecure that they have to take another man down to set themselves up for some sort of easy fall if it doesn't go well for that team this year. 

"Thought it was way out of line, inappropriate and I think he needs to keep my coaches' names out of his mouth."

Payton didn't just go after Hackett's tenure in Denver during his comments to USA TODAY as he also said that the Jets were focusing more on winning the offseason and the PR aspects of team building rather than actually focusing on winning. Head coach Robert Saleh declined to acknowledge Payton's comments directly, but said that "there are a lot of crows pecking at our neck." 

On Friday, Payton did apologize for his comments, saying he still had his analyst had on "and not my coaching hat on" and added: "It was a learning experience for me, it was a mistake, obviously. I need a little bit more filter."

Rodgers and the Jets will play Payton's Broncos in Denver in Week 5 this season.