Troubling update for New York Jets on Zach Wilson trade market

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas announced at the NFL Combine that quarterback Zach Wilson was granted permission to seek a trade elsewhere. Weeks later, efforts to find him a new home reportedly aren’t going well for Wilson or New York.

Selected with the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Wilson is one of the last quarterbacks standing from that disastrous quarterback class with his original team. Justin Fields was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2025 conditional sixth-round pick, while Mac Jones was dealt to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a sixth-round pick in 2024.

  • 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, 10.2% sack rate

Related: Biggest NFL Draft busts ever, including Zach Wilson

Wilson and Jacksonville Jaguars star Trevor Lawrence are the only first-round quarterbacks remaining with their first NFL team. However, while Lawrence will eventually sign a contract to become one of the highest-paid NFL players, Wilson is struggling to find himself a new home.

According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the Jets’ front office has looked around the league for a trade partner and thus far found that “the trade market hasn’t been kind” to Wilson. This, even though the New York Post reported Wilson’s condo went on the market two weeks ago.

Related: New York Jets finally own up to mistake with Zach Wilson

  • Zach Wilson contract: $11.184 million cap hit in 2024, 2025 NFL free agent

Examining Zach Wilson’s trade value

Wilson’s on-field play is the biggest problem, but it certainly isn’t the only factor resulting in a reduced market. Any NFL team that acquires Wilson will view him as a backup quarterback, or even worse a third-string option, for the 2024 season. However, that comes with an $11.184 million cap hit whereas Jones ($2.785 million) and Fields ($3.233 million) have much lower cap hits in 2024.

There are also going to be limited suitors interested in taking on Wilson as a reclamation project. The Steelers now have Fields and Russell Wilson, the Los Angeles Rams signed Jimmy Garoppolo to backup Matthew Stafford and most teams feel settled at their backup quarterback spot now.

Considering Fields only netted a conditional sixth-round pick and Jones was only worth a later-round pick, the return for New York in exchange for Wilson would be even less. However, given the recent signing of Tyrod Taylor and Wilson’s desire to leave, the two sides will have to find a way to separate this offseason.

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