Last season’s NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner welcomed star quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets with a piece of jewelry that had the four-time Most Valuable Player grinning from ear to ear.
Emblazoned with Jets-green emeralds and white diamonds set in white gold, the #8 pendant is a nod to the jersey number the former Packer and 18-year veteran will be wearing during his first season in the Big Apple.
A short video posted by the New York Jets on Twitter and Instagram shows the 22-year-old defensive phenom briefly interrupting the 38-year-old’s weight room session at the Jets’ training camp on Saturday.
“Hear me out, hear me out. So you’re my jeweler’s favorite quarterback,” Gardner said, while toting a gift bag in his left hand. “You know what I mean, Al The Jeweler. So he wanted to cook up something special for you. He brought the idea to me. I said, ‘I think would be a good idea.’”
Then Gardner opened a necklace case, revealing a dazzling pendant dangling from a long gold chain. Rodgers could see that the “8” was rendered in diamonds and outlined in emeralds. Raised white gold lettering on one side of the pendant spelled the signal caller’s name, while the other side in similar lettering spelled out “NEW YORK JETS.”
Despite his low-key persona, Rodgers seemed really pleased with the piece designed by New Jersey-based Al The Jeweler. Rodgers smiled broadly and told Gardner, “You’ve got to put it on me.” Gardner secured the #8 pendant and then the two embraced.
Rodgers can be heard saying, “Thanks, man, I appreciate it.”
The post earned 1.7 million views on Twitter and 94,000 Likes on Instagram.
Gardner had teased during a Friday press conference that he had a “welcome to New York” gift for Rodgers that he thought the QB would like.
Gardner knows a little bit about spectacular necklaces. Back in February, Al the Jeweler (whose real name is Al Bekdas) designed a diamond-encrusted “Sauce” necklace for the Jets’ first-round draft pick. That piece — in the shape of a hot sauce bottle — was reportedly made up of 20 carats of VS-quality diamonds.
(Sauce’s first name is actually Ahmad, but he has been known as “Sauce” since a youth coach gave him the nickname when he was six years old.)
“When I look good, I feel good,” he told the NFL Network. “When I feel good, I play good.”
Credits: Screen captures of the pendant presentation via Twitter / New York Jets. Side view of pendant screen capture and photo via Twitter / Paul Andrew Esden Jr.