What Jets owner Woody Johnson said about Zach Wilson

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) looks to pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during game Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. The embattled former BYU QB has yet to land a deal with a new team.

While Zach Wilson hasn’t received much interest on the trade market this offseason, the New York Jets aren’t necessarily opposed to bringing him back for a fourth season with the team.

Jets owner Woody Johnson shared some thoughts on Wilson to reporters at the NFL league meetings Monday in Orlando, stating that “we’re going to keep him” if a trade partner cannot be found.

“I feel badly about Zach in some ways because last year it would’ve been great,” Johnson said. “It would’ve been the first time he could just sit back and watch a master at work, and he’s never had that. He’s been in the fire from day one, and I think that’s what he needs. He needs to be in a place where he can observe for a while. He’s got the skill. He can do everything. There’s a reason we drafted him No. 2 overall, and I have confidence that he’ll get there at some point.”

According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, Johnson also “walked back” critical comments he had made regarding Wilson in February, though still maintaining he felt a change of scenery would be most beneficial for the former BYU star.

“From his standpoint, it’s probably better if he changes faces and he gets to a new (team),” Johnson said of Wilson. “He can wipe the slate clean in that way. I think that would probably be better for him.”

New York is set to return four-time MVP award winner Aaron Rodgers as its starting quarterback in 2024 after he spent all but four plays of the past campaign sidelined with a torn Achilles. The Jets have also signed veteran passer Tyrod Taylor to back up Rodgers, putting Wilson in an awkward position on the trade block.

Due to his largely unspectacular New York tenure and $5.5 million upcoming salary, however, finding anyone interested in trading for Wilson has proven difficult. Previously rumored destinations for Wilson have included Los Angeles, San Francisco and Minnesota, all three of which have already found different answers for their backup QB spots.

Jets general manager Joe Douglas announced his intention to deal Wilson on Feb. 28, with Douglas telling reporters Monday that there have been “some discussions” with other organizations, but “nothing is close” to being done.

In 34 games over three seasons for New York, Wilson has thrown for 6,293 yards with 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. The Jets have gone 12-21 in his starts and have not qualified for the playoffs since 2010.