Last offseason the New York Jets were squarely in the mix for several big-time franchise quarterbacks who could be on the move.
At one point Gang Green was the leader in the clubhouse for Deshaun Watson and an analyst advocated them to chase Aaron Rodgers. Ultimately they decided to remain pat with the No. 2 overall pick and selected a quarterback of their very own out of BYU.
Taking a rookie instead of a proven commodity guaranteed at the very least there would be growing pains and a learning process, but the Jets were in it for the long haul.
With 15 games in the book, would the Jets make the same decision if given an opt-out right now? One very prominent analyst answered that question recently.
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Thanks, but No Thanks
Ex-NFL quarterback and current analyst for NBC Sports, Chris Simms was asked who would say no to a hypothetical trade where the Seattle Seahawks shipped Russell Wilson away and received Jets’ rookie Zach Wilson in exchange as part of a straight-up swap.
“Wow, that is a good one. Who says no there? Honestly? I’m going to say the Jets say no. Wilson has already shown enough talent and physical ability already. Don’t look at the stats or the win-loss record, look at some of the things he has done throughout the year and I go woah. If it was all about stats we would have given up on John Elway and Josh Allen way too early. The Jets are building something right now and I have several questions about Russell’s game after this year.”
There have been a lot of rumors floating around this offseason that the Seahawks are headed for a massive rebuild. The ‘Legion of Boom’ was destroyed a few years ago and Wilson is one of the last major cogs left from the Super Bowl days of before.
Russell is 33 years old and has shown some signs of regression this year coming off of the finger injury that forced him to miss games for the first time in his career.
“In fact, Zach Wilson moves better than Russell. Zach’s arm has more power than Russell,” Simms argued. “If I was the Jets I’d stand pat, I think Seattle would say yes to this deal though.”
Progress You Can Taste
Russell is an amazing quarterback that is a former Super Bowl champion and is one of the best runners we have seen this century. He is a great leader on and off the field and someone is going to be really happy to land him this offseason, but it won’t be the Jets.
The Jets have pushed all the chips into the middle of the table on their 22-year-old rookie and he has rewarded them with much-improved play.
After imploding initially with five interceptions across his first two starts, he has only had six interceptions in his next nine starts.
In a Week 15 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Wilson had his third straight game without an interception. He has gone 103 straight passes without throwing a pick. In his last six games, he only has two interceptions.
That is progress you can believe in.
Is Wilson as good of a quarterback as Russell is right now? Of course not, let’s not be ridiculous. However, who would you take over the next five years? That is a more interesting question.
Wilson’s arrow is clearly pointing in the right direction for the green and white as we head into the final two games of the regular season.
If the Jets can maximize on their assets this offseason (four picks projected inside the top-40 of the 2022 NFL draft) and a pile of cash in free agency, perhaps the former BYU product can ascend up the quarterback rankings and get the Jets competing for the playoffs next year.
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