Proposed Jets Trade Flips Zach Wilson in Rare QB-for-QB Swap

Zach Wilson, Jets

Getty New York Jets QB Zach Wilson warming up on the sideline ahead of an NFL game.

Things haven’t gone according to plan for two teams that selected a quarterback inside the top three of the NFL draft.

Perhaps the perfect solution is for each squad to hit the reset button and start fresh. That very trade idea was proposed on social media on Wednesday, April 19.

New York Jets receive: quarterback Trey Lance

San Francisco 49ers receive: quarterback Zach Wilson

Trey Lance Bubbling Rumors, Rationale for QB-QB Trade

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport shared on Wednesday, April 19 that the 49ers have had trade conversations with other teams regarding Lance’s potential availability.

During an appearance later in the day on NFL Now, Rapoport explained that teams can read the landscape on what’s happening in San Francisco:

“It is very clear that Brock Purdy is expected to be the 49ers starting quarterback of the future. Don’t take my word for it, take the word of basically every 49ers executive and coach who has spoken.”

Lance is only 22 years of age and he will turn 23 before the start of the 2023 season. In his two years in the league, he has only started in four contests.

Lance rode the bench as the backup quarterback throughout the majority of his rookie season. Then in 2022, he suffered a season-ending ankle injury that required surgery “to repair two” different injuries to his right ankle, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic.

The former North Dakota State product has completed 54.9 percent of his passes and owns a five-touchdown to three-interception ratio. He also has contributed 235 rushing yards and a rushing score.

On the other side of the coin, Wilson is only 23 years of age and he will turn 24 before the start of the 2023 season. He has started a lot more games (22) than Lance but he hasn’t looked good in them.

The former BYU product has completed 55.2 percent of his passes, has thrown for 4,022 passing yards, and has a 15 touchdown to 18 interception ratio. Wilson has also rushed for 287 yards on the ground with six total touchdowns when you combine rushing and receiving.

Jets-49ers Have Trey Lance-Zach Wilson Connective Tissue

Both players have two years left on their rookie deals plus a fifth-year option that can be exercised during the 2024 offseason.

Lance is in the midst of a four-year $34 million contract after being the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Wilson has a slightly larger four-year contract at $35 million because he was taken one pick ahead at No. 2 overall.

One player can’t stay on the field and another player has been wildly inconsistent when he is on the field.

For two very different reasons, both players have failed to live up to the expectations of the teams that drafted them.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh came from San Francisco so those two organizations have a very good relationship. Leading up to the 2021 NFL draft there were a ton of rumors that the 49ers wanted Zach Wilson in that draft class.

“There’s no question in my mind, if [the 49ers] can figure out how to get Zach, that’s their No. 1 first choice,” Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young stated on KNBR Sports Radio during the pre-draft process.

In theory, a fresh start could work out for all sides. Maybe Wilson will fit the 49ers’ system better with a quarterback whisperer like Kyle Shanahan. Maybe Lance can finally stay healthy and realize his full potential.

The only potential snag in all of this is the Aaron Rodgers factor.

There is a relationship between Wilson-Rodgers and it is well documented. That same connective tissue isn’t necessarily there with Lance. If A-Rod comes to NY would Lance be cool playing backup again until his time comes? That is unclear.

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