NFC Foe Could Make Trade for Jets QB Zach Wilson, Says Analyst

Zach Wilson, Jets

Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson walking off of the field after an NFL game.

The New York Jets could be moving on from a former first-round pick in 2023.

Or at least that is a strong possibility according to NFL analyst Bill Barnwell. He wrote a column for ESPN attempting to predict the NFL’s quarterback carousel this offseason and the future of the Jets’ quarterback position came into question.

Barnwell stated that things haven’t gone “exactly” as the Jets planned this season in regards to Zach Wilson and said the Jets could look to “trade him for draft capital.”

“They won’t get anything close to the No. 2 overall pick in return for him, but a midround pick could be possible if a team picking toward the end of the round wants to take a shot at a former top prospect. The Buccaneers and Vikings come to mind as possible landing spots in a Wilson deal.”

Zach Wilson’s Future Is up in the Air With the Jets

The former BYU passer is only in his second professional season, but the NFL cycle doesn’t stop for anyone.

Wilson has struggled to make the mundane throws that are necessary to be a quarterback in the league for a long time.

In his rookie campaign, he only completed 55.6 percent of his passes. A year later he is completing even less than that in 2022 with a 54.9 conversion rate.

The 23-year-old still has an additional two years left on his contract after 2022 as part of his $35 million rookie deal.

Barnwell provided an interesting nugget on his contract saying, “the Jets could get out of the remaining $9.3 million if they trade Wilson this offseason.”

Barnwell listed two teams as trade possibilities both coming from the NFC conference:

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay is a complete mystery with Tom Brady set to be an unrestricted free agent. In theory, Wilson could be a plug-and-play prospect with the Buccaneers as they transition to a new era.

In Minnesota, the youngster would get a chance to sit behind veteran Kirk Cousins. He just signed a brand new contract extension that takes him through the 2023 season.

Barnwell suggested that a “midround pick” could be possible in a deal.

From speaking to a few people around the league they are a bit more optimistic about the Jets’ potential return in a deal suggesting it could be very similar to the Sam Darnold package they got in April of 2021.

That trade with the Carolina Panthers included a second-rounder, a fourth-rounder, and a sixth-rounder. While that isn’t the same value as the No. 2 overall pick they originally invested, it is much better than just a middle-round selection.

Evaluating Door No. 2 for Jets QB Zach Wilson

If Barnwell is correct and all the Jets could get back for Wilson in a potential trade this offseason is a midround pick, they’d be better served to hold onto him.

Gang Green invested a high draft choice, the majority of the contract is paid, and he’s still an incredibly young player.

Regardless of how things turn out, the Jets will be adding some more quarterbacks to the room this offseason. Wilson still has at least one more game to prove himself versus the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football and maybe more depending on the health of Mike White.

The Jets front office and coaching staff still believe Wilson can become a really good quarterback in this league with his traits.

However, this competitive season was somewhat unexpected by the coaching staff. Most people in NFL circles expected the Jets to truly take the next step in 2023.

If the Jets weren’t as good record-wise as they’re, there wouldn’t be as much pressure on Wilson to accelerate his development. Since they’re competing and playing meaningful games down the stretch, the Jets need the best guy that can win right now and development has suddenly become less important at the moment.

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