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New York Jets Give QB Zach Wilson Permission to Seek Trade



Zach Wilson Jets

INDIANAPOLIS — The New York Jets are giving quarterback Zach Wilson permission to seek a trade, potentially ending the journey of the 2021 No. 2 overall pick with the franchise that drafted him.

“I’ve had a good conversation with his agent, Brian Ayrault,” general manager Joe Douglas said on Wednesday. “We’ve given them permission to talk to other teams about a trade. I’m going to circle back with Brian at some point either this week or next week just to see how those conversations go.”

The Jets already tried to replace Wilson once, trading for Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers last offseason. Rodgers’ Achilles injury in the first week of the 2023 season put Wilson back into the starter’s role, but without much success.

Wilson completed 60.1% of his passes in 2023, throwing for 2,271 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 starts. His 77.2 passer rating was a career high, but that’s damning with faint praise.

The Jets are likely to find another quarterback to back up the 40-year-old Rodgers, who said he was nearing a return from his injury by the end of the 2023 season.

It’s not clear what the trade market will be for Wilson, who is obviously talented, but has struggled in three NFL seasons. He joins Chicago Bears starter Justin Fields and Washington Commanders starter Sam Howell as quarterbacks currently being shopped.

Wilson still has one season remaining on his rookie contract. The deadline to pick up fifth-year option for the 2025 season is in May. Wilson will leave the Jets with a $5.73 million dead cap hit if he is released or traded before June 1.

It’s not clear who the Jets have in mind to replace Wilson as a backup for Rodgers, or if they will plan to draft a quarterback with an eye to the future. Rodgers is under contract through the 2025 season, when he will be 42 years old.

Trading for Zach Wilson does’t seem to make much sense for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have their own struggling young quarterback in Kenny Pickett — who has been much better than Wilson despite being taken 18 picks later in the draft. But the addition of yet another talented quarterback to the pool of available players could have the impact of reducing the overall cost in the marketplace.

Pickett is currently the only Steelers quarterback under contract, and they will likely sign, trade for or draft three more quarterbacks over the course of this offseason.