NFL talent evaluators have shared opinion on Zach Wilson ahead of crucial New York Jets’ decision

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets already granted quarterback Zach Wilson permission to seek a trade this offseason. With the former first-round pick exploring his options and reportedly selling his place in the city, there already appears to be a consensus opinion on the young quarterback.

Jets’ general manager Joe Douglas announced at the NFL Combine that the club permitted Wilson to explore a trade elsewhere. The decision came before New York signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor in free agency, adding the veteran to serve as Aaron Rodgers’ backup in 2024.

Related: Troubling update on trade market for New York Jets QB Zach Wilson

  • Zach Wilson career stats: 12-21 record, 73.2 QB rating, 57% completion rate, 23-25 TD-INT, 6.3 yards per attempt, 185.1 passing yards per game, 113 sacks taken

Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, doesn’t have a future with New York. Given one final opportunity to prove himself last season after Rodgers’ season-ending injury in Week 1, Wilson finished with fewer than 10 touchdown passes and averaged under 190 passing yards per game for the third consecutive year.

Related: Biggest NFL Draft busts ever, including Zach Wilson

Unfortunately for New York, the trade market for quarterbacks has evaporated. It resulted in the Chicago Bears only receiving a conditional sixth-round pick for Justin Fields, while the New England Patriots traded Mac Jones for a sixth-round pick. Both first-round quarterbacks from the 2021 NFL Draft have vastly outperformed Wilson during their respective careers. As a result, NFL teams are now monitoring the situation to see if the Jets eventually cut Wilson.

If that happens, NFL talent evaluators who spoke to Mike Jones of The Athletic, shared a consensus opinion that Wilson is a “backup/reclamation project” whom a few teams would be willing to take a flier on with a belief they can get more out of him than the Jets did.

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While other NFL teams likely weren’t as high on Wilson as the Jets were in 2021, he was still graded as a consensus first-round talent. He’s also at least shown flashes of athleticism and quality arm strength, tools that would provide a coaching staff with something to build from.

Unfortunately for Wilson, the role he’s destined for with a change of scenery isn’t lucrative. Considering how poorly he performed last year, there might not be an NFL team truly willing to bet on him being a fill-in starter if their top quarterback gets hurt. This means that Wilson is more likely to be the third quarterback on the depth chart, which would pay even less than being a backup.

If the Jets can’t find a trade partner for Wilson and they are forced to release him, they will be on the hook for his entire $11.184 million dead cap charge in 2024 with no salary-cap savings if he’s cut. However, that might be New York’s only option considering the non-existent trade market.

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