The Zach Wilson saga is a thing of the past
At long last, it’s over. Zach Wilson has signed his rookie contract and is ready to lead the New York Jets into a new era. In a friendly compromise, Wilson will get his signing bonus immediately while the Jets will retain the offset language that they wanted.
Although . . . was it really that long? It sure felt like an eternity, but ultimately, Wilson only missed three days of training camp, including a mere two non-padded practices. Overreactions were beginning to get out of hand.
Nevertheless, the Wilson-Jets contract saga felt like a petty battle over minutiae that did not need to take place. Every practice rep that Wilson can get is immensely valuable as he prepares to take on a Week 1 starting role in his rookie season. Ripping away two days’ worth of those reps away over a frivolous detail like offset language – which won’t matter unless Wilson is one of the worst busts in NFL history – is certainly not an amazing look for Joe Douglas and the Jets organization.
With all of that being said, the war ended early enough to the point where it would be silly to treat it as a serious issue anymore. Wilson missed two practices. It’s over. He’s back. Period. Give it a little bit of time and this situation will probably never be mentioned again.
That’s not hyperbole. I ran a Google search looking at the nearly three-year time period between the weekend of Sam Darnold’s NFL debut (September 9, 2018) through the first day of June 2021, and there is zero mention of his rookie-year training camp holdout. Obviously, Darnold’s situation came back to the forefront once Wilson’s holdout developed and the parallels to Darnold began being made, but before that, Darnold’s contract drama was never a popular discussion topic again.
There are a lot of intriguing details to talk about regarding this situation. However, once those topics are covered, we can put a bow on this skirmish and forget it ever happened.
The battle behind Wilson takes center stage
With Wilson’s contract drama a thing of the past, Jets fans can now turn their attention to the many competitive positional battles that will take place across the roster.
One of the most intriguing competitions on the team is the one that will transpire behind Wilson at the running back position. The Jets are set to run a committee backfield approach similar to the one employed by Mike LaFleur‘s 49ers, meaning that there are plenty of snaps up for grabs, but there are five legitimate competitors at the position – Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, La’Mical Perine, and Josh Adams.
How does the pecking order fall? Who will be the odd man – or men – out?
On the latest episode of the Cool Your Jets podcast, Ben Blessington and Michael Nania provide their reaction and key takeaways from the Zach Wilson saga while making their early predictions for the winners of the positional battles at running back, outside cornerback, slot cornerback, right tackle, and linebacker.