Jets Lock in Extra Protection for Zach Wilson on Multi-Year Contract

Zach Wilson, Jets

Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson smiling after a successful play during an NFL game.

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson just got some extra protection heading into his second season.

The team announced that they had signed rookie offensive lineman Max Mitchell to his standard four-year contract on Thursday, July 7:

Rich Cimini of ESPN shared the financial terms of the contract:

  • Worth $4.5 million in total value
  • Features a $796,000 signing bonus
  • Standard four-year contract

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Some Much Needed Insurance

With the uncertainty around Mekhi Becton and George Fant, it is a good feeling knowing the Jets have Mitchell in the fold ahead of training camp.

The former Louisiana product was selected with the No. 111 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

He was the first and only offensive lineman the Jets used a pick on during the draft.

The 6-foot-6, 307-pound hog molly provides some versatility on the line thanks to his varied experience in college.

During his time with the Ragin’ Cajuns, he played at both tackle spots and even got some work in at left guard.

Set Expectations Appropriately

Realistic expectations must be set for the talented 22-year-old who is set to enter his first training camp at the end of July.

From all indications, he is heralded as a “developmental tackle.” In other words, it is going to take him some time for him to adapt to the NFL game from a knowledge of the playbook and strength perspective.

Those were the exact same battles he dealt with in college and the patience was eventually rewarded as he blossomed into an NFL draft prospect later in his collegiate career.

That same level of patience will have to be monitored here in his rookie season. Fortunately, he won’t be expected to see significant playing time outside of an injury situation.

Although if he plays his cards right and develops properly, Mitchell could very much be in the conversation for a starting gig in 2023.

With all of that in mind, the Jets are still very interested in adding a proven veteran tackle to the roster in the mold of Morgan Moses last year. They are going to need someone who is capable of stepping in and protecting their franchise investment (Zach Wilson).

Right now they’re just one injury away from a Chuma Edoga or Conor McDermott from stepping in and seeing serious playing time.

They worked out Riley Reiff earlier this offseason and he remains unsigned after spending last season with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Now the only draft pick that remains unsigned for the green and white is running back Breece Hall. He is expected to be a strong piece of the offense in 2022 and will pair with Michael Carter in the backfield.

With the rookie contracts being so standardized thanks to the new CBA, there is nothing to fear regarding Hall’s situation. With still several more weeks before camp, the signing isn’t a matter of ‘if’ but rather ‘when.’

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