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Jets in process of evaluating Zach Wilson, backup QB position for next season

The Jets didn’t anticipate how big of a role their backup quarterback would have this season, and it cost them.

When Aaron Rodgers was lost for the year due to an Achilles injury, former first-round pick Zach Wilson stepped in to be the team’s starter. While he had his moments, Wilson was ultimately not the answer for the Jets.

Two other quarterbacks started in place of Wilson to finish out the season as the Jets fell short of the postseason for the 13th straight year. But with Rodgers ready to step back into the starter’s role, the question becomes, who will back him up?

When asked a day after the season ended, head coach Robert Saleh said that it’s a position that still needs to be evaluated with general manager Joe Douglas.

“Those are the discussions Joe and I will have over the next three to four months,” Saleh said. “We’ll start this week evaluating the roster and going over the things we need to address the things we have, the things we need. But it’s definitely one of the things we’ll talk about.”

Wilson is entering the final year of his rookie deal and could be a movable piece this offseason. Jets brass has not made it known what they plan to do with him. But it could be time for a change for both sides.

In 34 games (33 starts) across three seasons with Gang Green, Wilson has a 12-21 record while throwing 23 touchdowns, 25 interceptions and having a passer rating of 73.2. And while the team’s struggles don’t all fall on Wilson’s shoulders, he hasn’t developed into what the team was hoping for from the No. 2 overall pick.

Douglas revealed that he spoke with Wilson and said he's going to do what's "right for the team" adding, "Had a good conversation with Zach, going to get together after these player exit interviews and get with the staff and put our gameplan together for the offseason."

When the prospect of trading Wilson was brought up, Douglas was non-committal.

“If the phone answers I’m going to pick it up," he said. "I don’t have a crystal ball into what exactly is going to happen here in the future.”

“I love Zach and I want what’s best for him,” Rodgers said on Monday. “If he wants to be here, and if that’s what’s best for him, I’d love to have that relationship for another year. But I want what’s best for him and where he wants to be.

“And sometimes a change of scenery, as I know, can be a breath of fresh air. And it’s good to be able to have a new start sometimes. I love Zach and we’ll still be connected, and we’ll see what happens.”

Tim Boyle, who started two games for the Jets, was released earlier this season and veteran Trevor Siemian -- who started the team's final three games -- is now a free agent.

Rodgers is aiming to play past the 2024-25 season, so the Jets will have some time to come up with a long-term plan on who will succeed him. With the No. 10 pick in this year's draft and a bevy of free agents available, the Jets will need to decide on Wilson's future and who they want backing up their 40-year-old quarterback sooner rather than later.