Let's assume for at least a moment or two that the post-Aaron Rodgers Jets will be competitive. That the defense will keep games close. That the offense will do enough to outscore enough opponents to get the Jets to the playoffs.
Yes, I know. It requires the suspension of disbelief as it relates to the past performances of quarterback Zach Wilson. But he did enough to win the game on Monday night against the Bills, one of the best teams in football. If Wilson and the Jets can win enough games to get to postseason, and if they can win a game or two after Week 18, the Jets will have a situation in 2024.
Rodgers apparently plans to play next year; he has more than 38 million reasons to do so. So if — and, again, it's a big if — the Jets and Wilson thrive in 2023, what happens?
Do they send Wilson back to the bench? Do they trade him? Do they trade Rodgers? Do they pay Rodgers $38 million to be the backup?
Some would say it's a good problem to have. I would say, as I often do, the only good problem is no problem. And having Wilson play well enough this year that he believes he deserves to play next year would definitely be a problem.
The compromise could be that the Jets pick up his option for 2025, and to promise him the job after 2024. The possibility of another Rodgers injury could be enough to get Wilson to take a back seat and wait.
Chances are the question will answer itself as the season unfolds. If they miss the playoffs, Wilson likely sits. If they somehow get to the Super Bowl, Wilson likely plays. But there's a middle ground where a decision will have to be made.
Seven years ago, Dak Prescott played well enough in Tony Romo's absence that the Cowboys turned the page. For the Jets to do that with Rodgers, it really will take a special season from Wilson. And if the Jets believed Wilson were capable of that, they wouldn't have traded for Rodgers in the first place.