Zach Wilson’s Most Likely Landing Spot Is a Super Bowl Contender

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 01: Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets looks on against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter in the game at MetLife Stadium on October 01, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Getty Zach Wilson trade rumors

The New York Jets are still trying to find a trade partner for backup quarterback Zach Wilson, but recent rumors suggest that one team still makes sense for the former No. 2 overall pick.

Mike Florio with Pro Football Talk discussed the possibility of the Jets finding a trade partner for Wilson during league meetings. He discussed the financial implications of trading Wilson, and that most teams are likely waiting for the Jets quarterback to be cut rather than taking on his remaining salary of his rookie deal.

Florio also noted that just one team has a backup quarterback position open, and explained why the Kansas City Chiefs make sense as a landing spot for Wilson.

“From the moment it appeared that Wilson wasn’t long for New York (basically, after the Thursday night debacle against the Jaguars in late 2022), a chance to learn from Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, and company made the most sense,” Florio wrote. “It still makes sense for the Chiefs to give Wilson a try.”

Wilson had one of the best games of his career against the Chiefs this season, completing over 70 percent of his passes for 245 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. That breakout performance could be enough for the Chiefs to see what he can do behind Mahomes in 2024.

A Disappointing Career for Zach Wilson

Expectations were high for Wilson coming into the league, but instead it’s been a nightmare start to his NFL career.

Wilson was a breakout start at BYU during the 2020 college season. In 12 games, he threw for 3,692 yards with 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions, adding another 10 rushing touchdowns.  That breakout season, along with Wilson’s clear arm talent, was enough for the Jets to take a chance on him with the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, Wilson hasn’t been able to find his footing as a starter in New York. He went just 3-10 as a starter in his rookie season, and in 33 career starts the Jets have gone just 12-21. His numbers show the kinds of struggles he’s gone through, completing just 57 percent of his passes with only 6.3 yards per attempt, 23 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions. Wilson has also been sacked 113 times, losing 885 yards in those games.

Not all of Wilson’s struggles have been his fault, but poor performances, a crowded QB room, and some questionable answers to questions about his struggles have signaled that it’s time for both sides to move on.

New York’s New Backup Quarterback

With Wilson presumably on the way out, the Jets have turned to a veteran backup quarterback to play behind Aaron Rodgers.

The Jets signed journeyman quarterback Tyrod Taylor to a two-year deal, locking him into the backup role to serve as a potential starter if anything happens to Rodgers. A Pro Bowler back in 2015, Taylor has served in a backup role for the majority of his NFL career since being a sixth-round pick back in 2011.

What’s interesting about Taylor’s contract is that it is filled with playing time incentives, lowering his actual guaranteed money and cap hit for the Jets. The 34-year-old was willing to play at a lower number, but ready to step up if asked when he signed on.

Given the uncertainty surrounding Rodgers and his availability, Taylor could end up being an ideal backup for the Jets over the next couple seasons.