The New York Jets are expected to trade Zach Wilson soon, but NFL insiders doubt the team will get much out of the deal.
Three personnel executives, an NFL scout and two assistant coaches who recently spoke with ESPN said the young quarterback will likely be worth only a Day 3 draft pick.
“The consensus is Wilson could bring back a sixth- or seventh-round pick (or perhaps a swap of middle-round picks) from a team willing to take a chance on him as a backup due to his draft pedigree,” ESPN reported.
Zach Wilson’s time with the Jets
Wilson, a BYU product, was the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. He’s underperformed during his first three seasons, in part because of broader offensive issues that were outside of his control, including bad offensive line play.
Last offseason, the Jets brought in superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers to not just jumpstart the offense but also mentor Wilson. Both men seemed amenable to the plan, but then disaster struck when Rodgers tore his Achilles during the first Jets game of the season.
Wilson was thrust back into the starting lineup and his past struggles continued. The team had done him no favors by designing the Jets’ 2023 offense around Rodgers’ unique set of skills, as The Athletic recently reported.
After an up-and-down first half of the season, the Jets benched Wilson in mid-November and informed him that he would be traded in the offseason, as the Deseret News exclusively reported in early December.
Then, in mid-December, Wilson returned to the starting lineup and played the best game of his young career against the Houston Texans. But after being injured the next week during a game against the Miami Dolphins, he rode out the end of the regular season on the bench.
Zach Wilson trade
As the Jets look to trade Wilson, potential landing spots will have to weigh his performance over the past three seasons against the potential he was thought to have back in 2021.
In other words, they’ll have to decide how big of a role the Jets organization played in Wilson’s failure to develop as expected.
“Because of the demand for the (quarterback) position, there’s usually interest in depreciated quarterbacks. They were high picks because of top-shelf traits, and some coaches like the challenge of reclamation projects,” ESPN reported.
As assistant coach noted to ESPN that Wilson did show flashes of greatness this season, but not often enough to overcome other concerns.
“He has to become more mature and be consistent in everything, especially his decision making,” the unnamed coach said.
ESPN reported that no team views Wilson as a starting quarterback for next season, so the eventual trade deal will reflect his value as a backup.
When will Zach Wilson be traded?
NFL teams can work on trade deals this month, but they can’t be finalized until March 13, according to ESPN. However, that won’t stop word of an expected trade from getting out early.
ESPN believes the Jets will have to wait on other, more desirable quarterbacks to find a landing spot before the team can move Wilson.
“Chances are, Wilson won’t find a landing spot until the top end of the quarterback market is settled in March,” the article said.