HomeFootball DirtNewest Updates on New York Jets Quarterback Zach Wilson

Newest Updates on New York Jets Quarterback Zach Wilson

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It was reported last month that the Jets plan to trade quarterback Zach Wilson, which was not at all surprising given Wilson’s largely disappointing three-year run with the club. Subsequent reports suggesting that the Wilson-Aaron Rodgers relationship was not in a good place, coupled with owner Woody Johnson‘s candid remarks about his team’s quarterback situation, underscored the likelihood of a Wilson exit.

To that end, Wilson himself has begun to evaluate trade options, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com recently detailed (subscription required). Gang Green selected Wilson in head coach Robert Saleh‘s first draft with the team, which means Wilson has never worked under an offensive-minded HC; per Fowler, the BYU product is interested in a bench boss with more of an offensive background. It is unclear whether the Jets have granted Wilson permission to seek a trade at this point, though the fact that Wilson is likely not near the top of the wishlist for QB-needy clubs means that a deal may not be consummated before the draft anyway.

Wilson, who will turn 25 before the start of the 2024 regular season, was supposed to serve as Rodgers’ backup in 2023. But when Rodgers’ season was cut short just four snaps into the campaign, Wilson was against thrust into the starting lineup. Playing behind an injury-riddled O-line and under an offensive coordinator (Nathaniel Hackett) who has been criticized for his inability to adequately adjust to the Rodgers injury, Wilson did not show much improvement over his prior work, completing 60.1% of his passes for eight TDs and seven interceptions. That amounted to a QBR of 30.6 (worst among qualified players) and a quarterback rating of 77.2 (third-worst). The Jets went 4-7 in his starts.

Rich Cimini of ESPN.com thinks it is unlikely that the Jets will simply cut Wilson — aside from the embarrassment such a move would be for the team, a pre-June 1 cut would yield a dead money charge of over $11MM with no corresponding cap savings — though their return will obviously be limited. Cimini’s sources believe that Wilson will fetch a sixth- or seventh-round selection, and that a swap of middle-round picks is also a possibility. One exec also floated the idea of a conditional 2025 selection (with the condition being how many snaps Wilson takes for the acquiring team in 2024).

One way or another, it sounds as if Wilson has played his last snap for the Jets, as Johnson made it abundantly clear that New York will need a new No. 2 passer. Interestingly, Connor Hughes of SNY.tv writes that some within the organization are high on Commanders QB Sam Howell, who just finished a disappointing season of his own.

There is no indication that Washington, which is likely to select a top quarterback prospect with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, is prepared to deal Howell, who led the league with 21 interceptions in 2023 but who did show flashes of high-end ability. The Commanders may prefer to hold on to the 2022 draftee in case their rookie passer is not immediately ready to take reins, or simply to have a capable backup on hand. But if the team elects to move him, Hughes believes the Jets should pounce.

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