More than a dozen quarterbacks have been traded or signed to free-agent deals around the NFL during the last couple of weeks, but none of them is named Zach Wilson.

He’s only 24½ years old. He was the second overall pick of the 2021 NFL draft only three years ago. His physical skills are undisputed. But here he is, still looking for a second chance with another team. The Jets told him late last season that they would trade him. Since then, they have given Wilson permission to seek his own trade.

So far, no takers.

Other young quarterbacks are getting second chances. Kenny Pickett, who has struggled to find his footing since being drafted by the Steelers in 2022, was traded to the Eagles. Mason Rudolph, who doesn’t have much to show after six years with the Steelers, signed with the Titans. Desmond Ridder, who has struggled during his two pro seasons, was traded to the Cardinals, and former Utes QB Tyler Huntley was signed by the Browns on Sunday.

Other than Trevor Lawrence, who has established himself with the Jaguars, the quarterback class of 2021 has flopped, but all except Wilson are being granted second chances with new teams. Last week, the Bears traded Justin Fields, the 11th overall pick of that draft, to the Steelers for a sixth-round draft pick. The Patriots traded Mac Jones, the 15th overall pick, to Jacksonville. Trey Lance, the third overall pick, was traded to the Cowboys last year and hasn’t played in a game since the second week of the 2022 season, but he’s still employed.

(The 2020 class, by comparison, produced quarterbacks Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts and Jordan Love, who have all become immensely successful in the NFL.)

Wilson’s future is as uncertain as a New York Jets pass block. There appeared to be several good landing spots for him — teams where he could apprentice under a veteran quarterback with an offensive-oriented head coach — but many of those opportunities are gone now. The Vikings might have been the perfect spot for Wilson, but then veteran Kirk Cousins signed with the Falcons. The Broncos looked like an opportunity for a young quarterback-in-training, but Russell Wilson signed with the Steelers. The Rams offered a dream situation for Wilson, backing up aging Matt Stafford and working under coach Sean McVay, but the team signed journeyman Jimmy Garoppolo.

With every passing day, the prospects for Wilson finding a new team and a chance to start over are drying up.

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Wilson’s stats aren’t much to look at, but he did turn in some impressive games along the way, surely enough to warrant another chance. In 34 career starts, he has thrown for 6,293 yards with 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions, winning 12 games and losing 21. His career completion percentage is a paltry 57.0. In 11 starts last season, he threw eight touchdown passes (seven interceptions), winning four games. The mitigating circumstances: He played for the Jets.

Wilson’s situation is greatly complicated by his contract. He is owed the final year of his rookie deal, a guaranteed $5.4 million, a high price tag for a backup role. The Jets would likely have to agree to pay much of that money to convince a team to agree to a trade (and probably have to throw in a draft pick as a sweetener). Wilson also will cost his new team an $11 million salary cap hit, nearly $8 million more than Jones and Fields.

The situation is further complicated by the drama of last season. After starter Aaron Rodgers was injured in the 2023 opener, Wilson started the next nine games and then was benched — his third benching in 13 months. The Jets were 4-6 at the time and averaged just 14 points per game. In a meeting after the benching, Wilson told head coach Robert Saleh that he wanted to be traded; Saleh agreed, saying the Jets would do so after the season.

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When Wilson’s replacements failed to deliver in the next two games, the Jets asked Wilson to start the final five games. Wilson, who had already begun packing his things and mailing them to the family home in Draper, Utah, was reluctant to step back into the lineup for a 4-8 team that planned to trade him. He was roundly criticized for this in the media, but reporters didn’t know at the time that he had been told he would be traded. An injury — a distinct possibility, given the Jets’ porous offensive line — could complicate a potential trade. Wilson called several confidants to discuss it.

Did he burn bridges in the NFL when he didn’t immediately jump at the chance to play again for the sake of his teammates and a team that was paying him millions?

The difference between success and failure in the NFL depends so much on what team a player begins his career with. Wilson landed on a team that is a QB graveyard. He was the 11th quarterback the Jets had drafted in 15 years, including six in the first two rounds. According to ESPN, the Jets are the only team since 1967 to use two top-three overall picks on quarterbacks in a three-year span. Before Wilson’s arrival, the Jets had switched quarterbacks 12 times the previous five seasons, using draft picks, free agents and journeymen. Some teams simply have no knack for quarterbacks, and the Jets are at the top of the list, ahead of the Bears, Browns and modern Raiders.

Whatever Wilson’s shortcomings, he was not helped by the team around him. He was sacked 113 times in 33 games, including 46 last season. The other Jets quarterbacks were sacked frequently, too — 18 times, one of which knocked Rodgers out for the season. Only three teams surrendered more sacks than the Jets — Giants (85), Commanders (65) and Panthers (65). Wilson suffered a concussion in December 2023, a grade 2 sprain of his right knee in October 2021, and a meniscus tear in the same knee in August 2022. Those close to Wilson, including his father, worry about the psychic scars after such an experience and the effect on his confidence.

It is rare that a quarterback who flops with his first team ever gains traction again in the league, although there are exceptions (Steve Young and Geno Smith, for instance). They become career backups. In retrospect, Wilson might have been wise to do what Eli Manning and John Elway did before they were drafted, telling certain teams not to draft them or they would sit out the season.

When Wilson was drafted by the Jets, the rest was fait accompli and now his future is uncertain. The league’s decision about who makes the cut and who doesn’t sometimes seems arbitrary at best. Josh Johnson is 37 years old and recently was offered a one-year contract to re-sign with the Ravens. He has a career passer rating of 70.6, along with 13 touchdown passes, 16 interceptions, a paltry 5.1 yards per attempt and a 1-8 record as a starter. And yet he has endured in the league for nearly a decade.

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson holds a New York Jets jersey with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected second overall by the team in the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini) | Jeff Haynes, Associated Press