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New York Jets trade Zach Wilson to Denver Broncos (Report)

Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson, Getty Images

Zach Wilson is finally on the move

Would another NFL team actually take him, or would Joe Douglas be forced to cut him at some point this offseason? The great Zach Wilson debate raged on this offseason, yet we finally have our answer.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the New York Jets traded Zach Wilson to the Denver Broncos on Monday. The deal results in a sixth and seventh-round NFL draft pick swap.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jets are on the hook for exactly half of Wilson’s $5.5 million salary this coming season ($2.75 million apiece). According to numerous reports this offseason, New York listened to several offers for the BYU product, but it was the salary considerations that held Joe Douglas back from greenlighting a package.

Wilson, 24, was chosen No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL draft. After a stellar junior season at BYU, the now-former Jets quarterback raised his draft stock considerably with a 3,692-yard, 33-touchdown performance over 12 games in 2020.

Ultimately, Douglas and his regime pulled the trigger on Wilson as the No. 2 overall pick in 2021—immediately after the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Trevor Lawrence.

To say Wilson’s Jets career didn’t turn out the way he envisioned would be a massive understatement.

Playing 13 games as a rookie (2021), Wilson threw for just 2,334 yards and nine touchdowns to 11 interceptions. He followed that up with another injury-plagued season in 2022, playing just nine games and finishing with 1,688 yards and six touchdowns to seven interceptions.

Despite the early-career struggles, the Jets were on board with keeping Wilson in town to play understudy to Aaron Rodgers. Unfortunately, Wilson was thrust into the fire once the future Hall of Famer went down early in Week 1 with a devastating Achilles injury.

Yet again, Wilson faded despite the Jets bouncing out to a solid start (4-3). The raw talent is always present in his game, but how everything unfolds between his ears has always been the dreaded issue.

And, naturally, what happens between the ears means everything to a quarterback.

However, all it took was one quarterback guru to take a chance on the kid, and Douglas found that man in Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton.

Denver moving on from Russell Wilson opened this opportunity. For Wilson, it couldn’t be a better spot. Not only does he have Payton’s mind leading the way, but Denver is the closest NFL city to his home state of Utah.

Although the odds are long that Wilson turns things around to a degree that fulfills his No. 2 pick status, the fact that Wilson’s mind, personality and overall confidence as a human has been his downfall. Considering that, if Payton were to find a way to unlock those struggles—en route to providing the kid with genuine confidence and swagger—a legitimate quarterback could emerge.

Then again, as already mentioned, those odds remain extremely long.

Zach Wilson finishes his New York Jets career with 6,293 yards and 23 touchdowns to 25 interceptions on 57 percent passing (34 games).

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Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 month ago

Now that this is in the rear view let’s finish this “super” team.
Restructure Q Will, extend JFM and DJ Reed opening enough cap space to trade for either Higgins or Aiyuk…then trade up for Joe Alt.
Won’t be much of a draft next year but every possible upgrade to this team will have been done.
On a 4 year deal either Aiyuk or Higgens will still be shy of 30 when thier deal expires.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 month ago

All I can say is it’s better than cutting him..in most deals you wouldn’t have to ask this but I hope we’re getting the 6th for a 7th and not the other way.
I’d do the other way if Denver ate the entire $5.5m

1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Buell

Jets get the 6th.