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Aaron Rodgers and Haason Reddick are not attending Jets' mandatory minicamp

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — (AP) — New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and edge rusher Haason Reddick are not participating in the team's mandatory minicamp this week, unexcused absences that subject both to fines.

Coach Robert Saleh said Tuesday he has spoken to both players. Rodgers' absence is related to a previous commitment that Saleh said “is very important to him,” while Reddick's appears to stem from a contract issue.

Both players could be fined $16,953 for missing the first day of minicamp and $33,908 for the second day for a total of $50,861.

Rodgers, who's coming off a torn left Achilles tendon that ended his season after four snaps last year, attended the Jets' voluntary workouts and organized team activities throughout the offseason. Saleh said Rodgers was at the facility Monday for a physical and team photo shoots, but then left to attend the undisclosed event, which the quarterback told the coach about well in advance.

“Aaron and I spoke before OTAs started,” Saleh said. “He's been very good with 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.”

Saleh added that Rodgers would not be back Wednesday to attend the final practice session of the two-day minicamp.

“If it's important to him, it's important to us,” Saleh said.

Veteran backup Tyrod Taylor, who worked with the starting offense in Rodgers' place, said he found out he'd be leading the first-stringers on Tuesday morning.

“I've been in this league long enough to know it's a next-man up mentality,” said Taylor, who signed with the Jets — his seventh NFL team — in March.

Rodgers' teammates seemed unfazed by his absence at minicamp.

“I know he's working his tail off,” running back Breece Hall said. “Whether he's here or not, I know he's all-in.”

Reddick didn't attend the team's voluntary workouts after being acquired from Philadelphia in March, but Saleh said last week he wasn't concerned despite not communicating with the former Eagles star during the past several weeks.

Saleh reiterated then that the offseason sessions were voluntary and he expected Reddick to attend mandatory minicamp. The coach said Tuesday the two spoke over the weekend.

“I appreciated the dialogue," Saleh said. “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.”

The 29-year-old Reddick is entering the final year of a three-year, $45 million contract — worth a base salary of $14.25 million this season — and was given permission during the offseason by the Eagles to seek a trade. None of Reddick’s salary for this season is guaranteed and it’s speculated he’s seeking an extension, but Saleh has deferred to general manager Joe Douglas when asked if he thought that was the case.

Reddick also forfeited a $250,000 workout bonus for not attending the offseason workouts.

The Jets acquired Reddick, a two-time Pro Bowl edge rusher with 58 career sacks in seven NFL seasons, from the Eagles in March for a conditional third-round pick in 2026. The pick would become a second-rounder if Reddick plays 67.5% of the defensive snaps and gets 10 sacks this upcoming season.

“I’m not concerned,” Saleh said. “I understand everything that’s happening, but at the same time I know that when it comes time to play football, like I've said before, he’s going to be ready to play football.”

Young again

Taylor, who'll turn 35 in August, has gotten used to being the oldest player in his team's quarterbacks room the past several seasons. With the Jets, the 40-year-old Rodgers holds that distinction.

“It's refreshing,” Taylor said with a laugh. “Nah, it's good. Me and Aaron joke about it all the time: Between us two, that's 34 years of (NFL) experience. You don't see that often.”

Another chance

One-time Pro Bowl return specialist/wide receiver Jakeem Grant and 2017 first-rounder Takkarist McKinley were among six players attending minicamp on a tryout basis.

Grant hasn't played in a regular-season game since 2021 because of injuries, including a ruptured knee tendon in the preseason finale last summer while with Cleveland. He has returned four punts and two kickoffs for scores in his career.

McKinley, the 26th overall pick by Atlanta seven years ago, also hasn't played since 2021. The defensive end has 20 career sacks.

Also trying out were offensive linemen Pat Elflein, Corey Luciano and Ilm Manning, and defensive lineman Jeremy Lewis.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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