What will the Jets do to Zack Wilson?


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Coach Robert Salih recently complained about the nature of instant coffee to the NFL. Regardless, quarterback Zack Wilson Really feels like an old room temperature cup of joe for airplanes.

Returning from a hiatus intended to allow him to “reset” his career, Wilson brought back the offensive football of two decades back Thursday night with a lackluster performance against the Jaguars, in a game the Jets desperately needed to win, in order to keep their hopes alive. Qualifiers from becoming “win the last two I hope to get a lot of help.” Wilson’s uninspired performance looks like the final nail in the coffin of two years of New York’s second overall pick career.

Even before he returned to the starting line-up after being sidelined with a broken rib Mike White, it looked as if the Jets were hoping to save trade value and/or save Wilson. Based on two games played just four days apart in which Wilson has done more well than bad, it’s hard to imagine the Jets getting anything significant to their contract from another team.

Wilson has fully guaranteed salaries of $3.855 million in 2023 and $5.453 million in 2024. While that’s not a lot to pay for a good quarterback, even if he’s not a rookie, it’s hard to imagine anyone embracing Wilson on this one. stage.

However, there is always a coach or GM who thinks a player who was held in high esteem right out of college, like Wilson, can be reformed. And maybe someone will take a flight on Wilson for 2023. But the Jets have lost significant leverage over the last two games, which could force them to shell out a chunk of Wilson’s salary in order to get something more than a conditional seventh-round pick. Wilson.

He lost, by all appearances, his locker room and fan base. And while Jets fans can be fickle and ruthless, the Jets knew that when they used the second overall pick in 2021 to get him. They knew the pressure would be great, and the expectations would be very high. They knew that Wilson would have to surrender sooner rather than later to justify the faith he necessarily shows by the decision to make him second overall.

It was difficult to reach by planes. He was seen as a can’t-miss prospect, and a top-two pick. There was little doubt that the planes would take him, and none of the voices calling for him to be shot down said, “What the hell?” When it became clear that it would be Trevor Lawrence No. 1 and No. 2 Wilson, with the biggest mystery of draft day being who the other 49 players will take, after trading up to No. 3.

But like any other college player who plays well enough to be considered, on paper, a great NFL player, no one knows what he’s going to do until he gets there. The ceiling is always somewhere between “can’t be played at this level” and canton. There’s only one way to find out where that roof is – line him up against talent of NFL caliber and see what happens.

In hindsight, should the Jets have realized that the bar would have been too high for a team that continues to search for the next Joe Namath? potential. The two were drafted in the first round by Wilson (Mark Sanchez and Sam Darnold) did not work. The Jets could have dangled the second overall pick to another team that loved Wilson, and the Jets could have gotten someone like, say, linebacker Micah Parsons.

As with Wilson, however, no one really knew what Parson would be like until he donned an NFL uniform and competed against NFL talent. This is the crazy beauty of the project. It’s a complete and total crapshoot, despite all the resources devoted to scouting college players, by every NFL team.

Through it all, it comes down to one basic truth. Shit happens. And for the Jets and Wilson, the fudge happened. The question now becomes whether they double down (or triple down) trying to make chicken salad, or whether they just admit their mistake and move on.

Then there’s the possibility that a fresh start could be the wake-up call Wilson needed, becoming the player everyone thought he’d be. This would make it worse for the Jets, if an ice water bucket was thrown at his head by trading Wilson for peanuts or simply cutting him off at the end pushes him to become the player he was meant to be.

Airplanes are neither the first nor the last to deal with such a situation. As the offseason approaches, what they chose to do with Wilson will become one of the most interesting stories to watch, across the entire league.

And yes, Jobs may end up focusing on how you solve it.

They may, eventually, be tempted to keep him around as a backup and hope he moves to a quarterback without being sent to a new area code. The question then becomes whether the team’s fear of becoming the man they hope to be elsewhere replaces the potential tendency to admit their mistake and move on.

Regardless, it had already become clear that it was indeed a mistake. Whatever the reasons, and there is certainly more than one (not all of them Wilson’s fault), it doesn’t work for Wilson with the Jets. Whatever they choose to do, they need to forget the past and focus on the future. Even if that means assuming the risk that Wilson will react to the indignity of the team that drafted him by becoming to another team the player he hoped he would be to them.

Sometimes the only good decision is to cut the cord and move on. Even if that pushes Wilson to reach his full potential elsewhere, he’ll clearly never quite realize that with the Jets.

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