Zach Wilson’s struggles during his second season with the Jets were well-documented, but despite finding himself on the bench and dropping to third on the depth chart, Wilson said Monday that he “absolutely” wants to be back with the Jets next season.
“Absolutely, I do, and I think it’s because this is a special place and the people here are special and this locker room is full of special guys who I truly think are people that you play really hard for,” he said.
With Wilson still having two guaranteed years left on his rookie contract, it’s unlikely the Jets would release him, though a trade could potentially be on the table. If the young signal-caller is indeed back with the Jets next season, the question becomes whether or not he’s the team’s starter.
Wilson was asked on Monday about the possibility of wanting a change of scenery if he is not in the team’s starting plans for 2023.
“It’s tough, because it’s really kind of out of my control,” he said. “I love this franchise and what they’ve given me in my life and the coaching staff and everybody that we have. So for me, it’s ‘Alright, I’m going to approach this offseason the way I know how,’ and I’m going to give everything to the guys who have supported me along the way and just try to approach it, attack it, and get better and control the things that I can so when things like that come up, whatever way things go, I’m able to handle them and be ready for any opportunity.”
He later added: “It’s out of my control, and for me I think it’s the same mindset of it doesn’t matter, because whether I go in there as the one, the two, or the three, I’m going to work to prove that I should be (the starter). I’m going to go in there and approach and attack every single day like I deserve to be."
The Jets ended the 2022-23 season on a six-game losing streak, but even with the disappointing finish, the team took a huge step forward and accelerated what the franchise hopes is a path back to the playoffs.
With that in mind, the thought exists that the Jets could go out and sign or trade for a more stablished quarterback like Lamar Jackson, Jimmy Garoppolo or Derek Carr this offseason in an effort to maximize the team’s playoff window.
And if that’s the case, Wilson is prepared to do everything he can to prove he should be playing.
“Yeah, I’m gonna make that dude’s life hell in practice every day,” Wilson said with a smile. “I’m going to go out there and do my best to show the coaches that I deserve to be there. And it’s not in a negative way, it’s a positive way. It’s making everyone else better, hopefully, and you go out there and attack every single day.”