What will the Jets do with Zach Wilson?
After a disastrous Thursday night start against the Jaguars in December, it appeared that the Jets and quarterback Zach Wilson were headed for Splitsville. Since then, suggestions have emerged that the Jets will keep the second overall pick from the 2021 draft.
The latest report along those lines comes from Jeff Howe of TheAthletic.com, who writes that the Jets “don’t intend” to trade Wilson “because there’s hope he can develop while learning more in a backup capacity.”
Howe adds that the potential veteran starters in New York for 2023 are Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Derek Carr.
It’s possible, as MDS noted on Twitter, that the Jets don’t intend to trade Wilson because they know they can’t. So the choices are to cut him or to keep him.
Wilson doesn’t seem to be jostling to be released, at least not yet. But, at a time when it’s obvious the Jets will be adding a veteran quarterback, Wilson has declared an intention to “make that dude’s life hell in practice every day.”
So what if Wilson believes he has won the job over, say, Jimmy Garoppolo? And what if the team decides to give the job to Garoppolo? Will Wilson be content to sit for a year, playing only if/when the new starter gets injured?
As backups go, Wilson has a low price tag. He’ll make $3.855 million this year. That’s far cheaper than it would cost to add a veteran to serve as the No. 2 guy on the depth chart. Thus, it’s easy to keep him around and hope he possibly wakes up, in lieu of sending him to a new team and risk looking even worse if he becomes elsewhere the guy he hasn’t become in New York.
Still, the Jets need to think about their next potential franchise quarterback. If/when it seems that they’re not treating Wilson fairly, that could make their next “next Joe Namath” think twice about signing a contract with the team. And given that the NIL landscape has allowed the best players to make, and to bank, millions of dollars, it will now be easier than ever for incoming quarterbacks who would be taken early in the draft process to say “no thanks” and mean it, if they’re selected by a dysfunctional organization.
Regarding the possibility of Aaron Rodgers becoming Wilson’s new mentor, some think that would work, given that Wilson grew up idolizing Rodgers. But there’s a reason that the phrase “never meet your heroes” became a cliche.
Really, given everything we’ve seen and heard about Wilson and everything we’ve seen and heard about Rodgers, do we think it’s more likely that they’ll be instant BFFs, or that they’ll eventually become mortal enemies?
Now that I think about it, I want the Jets to trade for Aaron Rodgers. If only to see whether Rodgers and Wilson will become friends or foes.
What will the Jets do with Zach Wilson? originally appeared on Pro Football Talk