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New York Jets expected to trade Zach Wilson: 3 ideal landing spots

Zach Wilson
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Jets selected Zach Wilson No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, the hope was that he could help fans with memories of Joe Namath forget about the longtime quarterback woes in the Big Apple. Three years into the former BYU star’s career, Wilson hasn’t come close to living up to expectations.

Now, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says the Jets are expected to trade Wilson this offseason. Since he’ll still be just 25 years old, with one more year left on his contract, there will be a market for the former first-round pick. Teams are always looking for low-cost, high-potential players, especially at quarterback.

With players like Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold, and others getting multiple second chances, Wilson will be no different. That’s the life for a young QB who was drafted so highly. Plus, plenty of teams likely feel the Jets didn’t provide Wilson with all the tools needed to thrive and believe they can do better.

Wilson does have a bit of a higher cap hit for a backup, at $11 million, but that shouldn’t be too much of an impediment for QB-needy teams hoping to create a spark. Here are just a few potential landing spots for Wilson this offseason.

Related: NFL QB rankings

Seattle Seahawks gamble on Zach Wilson

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Geno Smith turns 34 next season and will have just two more years on his contract. Drew Lock will be a free agent, leaving only Smith on the roster heading into the offseason. We heard all about how the Seahawks were sniffing around top QB prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, which is a clear signal of their intent to add a young player at the position.

If the Seahawks don’t commit to drafting a QB, their next best option could be to take on a reclamation project like Zach Wilson. The Seahawks have already had success with a smaller, athletic QB like Wilson, and he likely wouldn’t cost anything more than a late-round selection. If Wilson is called upon for even a few starts and performs well, that trade would be viewed as a steal.

Related: New York Jets coach Robert Saleh makes bold claim about Zach Wilson’s playing future

San Francisco 49ers load up on injury insurance with Wilson

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A year ago, the San Francisco 49ers signed Sam Darnold to provide insurance in case Brock Purdy’s season went awry. We could see Kyle Shanahan do the same thing this offseason, adding another former top pick who hasn’t lived up to his potential quite yet.

However, if Wilson touched down in San Francisco, he’d be in the best position possible, with the benefit of playing in Shanahan’s QB-friendly system that has plenty of weapons able to rack up yards after the catch. If you’re Wilson, would you really want to play anywhere else?

Related: 5 ideal destinations for Joe Flacco in 2024

Indianapolis Colts add another highly-drafted QB to depth chart

zach wilson
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Gardner Minshew did all he could to help the Indianapolis Colts reach the playoffs after Anthony Richardson went down with an injury. But now he’s a free agent and could be looking for a better opportunity to see playing time again instead of being stuck behind a franchise quarterback who will get all the reps he can handle.

Yet, the Colts must do something else at the QB position behind their top pick. Sam Ehlinger will still be under contract, but if he’s thrust into a similar situation as Minshew was, do the Colts have the same confidence that he can lead a winning effort? Wilson on the other hand, could benefit from the creative scheme Shane Steichen has put together while relying on a strong running game. He has no shot of becoming the future in Indianapolis, but with how often Richardson was hurt in his rookie year, Wilson may view the situation as a risk he’s willing to take.

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