Zach Wilson given permission to seek trade from Jets

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) looks down at the field during an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec 17, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Wilson has reportedly received permission to seek a trade from the team.

The New York Jets’ Zach Wilson era appears to be even closer to its end.

Jets general manager Jim Douglas told reporters Wednesday at the NFL combine that the team has given the embattled No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft permission to seek a trade.

Wilson has played for the Jets the past three seasons and is under contract to make nearly $5.5 million in guaranteed salary in 2024, according to Over the Cap, with no decision yet from the team on his fifth-year option.

The Deseret News previously reported that the Jets told Wilson he would be traded during the offseason.

What defined Zach Wilson’s career with the New York Jets?

Wilson, the former BYU and Corner Canyon High quarterback, started 33 games over the past three seasons and threw for 6,293 yards, 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions in his career. Wilson also ran for 498 yards and five touchdowns.

During his time in New York, though, the Jets failed to make the postseason and the franchise’s playoff drought extended to 13 seasons.

Several times during his tenure with the Jets, Wilson was benched, only to return to the starting lineup later for a variety of reasons.

This past season, Wilson began the year as New York’s backup quarterback behind All-Pro Aaron Rodgers, who was traded to the Jets during the offseason.

Rodgers tore his Achilles four plays into the season, though, thrusting Wilson back into the starting role.

He ended up starting 11 games during the 2023 season, going 4-7 as a starter with a 30.6 QB rating.

“Wilson has one year remaining on his contract, but he likely will be traded in the coming weeks. His star faded quickly, but not all of it was his fault. It has reached the point where the organization no longer trusts him to be Aaron Rodgers’ backup,” ESPN’s Rich Cimini wrote about the situation.

Where could Zach Wilson be traded to?

ESPN reported in early February that Wilson could bring back a sixth- or seventh-round pick in a trade, or perhaps a swap of middle-round draft picks, after talking with a handful of NFL team executives and personnel about his trade value.

Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, who also played at BYU, suggested seven to eight franchises that could be in the market to bring in Wilson as a backup, with his draft pedigree.

Young told “The Adam Schefter Podcast” earlier this month that Wilson could be a fit for San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles or Baltimore Ravens, as the Deseret News previously reported.

One team that particularly stuck out to Young is the Rams, where veteran Matthew Stafford is the starting quarterback. Stafford will be 36 when the 2024 season kicks off.

“To me, the place he needs to be is in LA. Go with Sean McVay. Follow (Matthew) Stafford and just sit there and watch the magic and then see if you can pick it up,” Young told Schefter. “If you can, then you can be one of the best because you have the talent for it. But he has to get to one of those spots.”

When might a trade happen?

While free agency hasn’t yet opened for the NFL, the Jets could agree to terms with another team on a trade before then.

The league’s new year starts on March 13, so that’s when a trade could become official.

Douglas said he has had conversations with Wilson’s agent, Brian Ayrault.

“I’m going to circle back with Brian at some point this week or next week just to see how those conversations go,” Douglas told reporters. “But other than that, there’s nothing else to report.”