Jets Trade Disappointing Pick Zach Wilson to Denver Broncos


The promise of Zach Wilson as the New York Jets’ franchise face has instead resulted in a shroud of disappointment. However, a surprising, yet golden opportunity has presented itself for him with the Denver Broncos. Amid rumors and anticipation, it was confirmed on Monday that the Jets had traded their 2021 second overall draft pick, Wilson, to the Broncos, along with a seventh-round pick in the imminent NFL draft.

In return, the Jets got off on the lighter end, receiving just a sixth-rounder from the Broncos. The unfulfilled expectations driving this decision were evident, as Wilson had failed to deliver in his three seasons as a Jet. Heralded as a promising talent selected from BYU for his remarkable athletic ability and penchant for making impressive throws on the run, his tenure was instead marked by struggle and inconsistency.

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When the Jets acquired Aaron Rodgers to be their main man last offseason, Wilson was automatically benominated. However, the tables turned when Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon four snaps into his debut, putting Wilson back in the starting position. The opportunity was short-lived, as his continued lack of consistency and improvement were starkly discernible.

Twice benched in his second season, Wilson’s woes didn’t stop there. After ten games, he found himself on the sideline once again. His replacement, Tim Boyle, was given two games to prove himself but failed to impress. The Jets once again turned to Wilson, questioning his reluctance to return as per reports, due to potential injury concerns. However, Wilson denied these claims, expressing his excitement to get back on the field.

In a surprising twist, Wilson responded with his arguably best performance to date, throwing for 27 of 36 for 301 yards against Houston, earning him the AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor. His triumphant return was soon marred as he suffered a concussion the following week.

Nevertheless, Jets coach Robert Saleh lauded Wilson’s commitment and performance, expressing faith in his long-term potential in the league. Unfortunately, the road ended with the Jets.

With Rodgers back for the season and the recent signing of veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Wilson’s position became unstable. The initial plan was for him to learn from Rodgers and take over eventually, but Rodgers’ injury destabilized these plans.

In light of the developments, the Jets gave Wilson and his agents the green light to seek a trade. With the news of the trade now confirmed, Denver beckons as the fresh start that Wilson needs.

He joins Denver amidst a few notable changes — Russell Wilson’s departure after two seasons and the onboarding of Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci. Despite Wilson joining, the Broncos could still be on the hunt for a quarterback.

Stidham, a fifth-year pro and a 1-3 starting record holder, found himself starting after the Broncos benched Russell Wilson for the final two games last season. His competition, DiNucci, lost his only NFL start back in 2020 with Dallas. Entering Peyton Manning’s retirement aftermath, Stidham became Denver’s 13th starting quarterback since 2015, marking years of lackluster performance and seven straight losing seasons.

As he heads to Denver, Wilson must prove his worth, with the Broncos carrying a heavy financial burden from Russell Wilson’s release. Furthermore, the Broncos might not be willing to exercise the $22.4 million fifth-year option on Wilson’s rookie contract, putting him on the brink of becoming a free agent next season.

Over his career, Wilson has played 33 games as a starter with a 12-21 win-loss record, thrown 6,293 yards with 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. His completion percentage stands at 57%, with a 73.2 passer rating, alarmingly ranking him among the NFL’s lowest in both measures over his three seasons.

This move echoes the Jets’ decision in 2021 when they traded Sam Darnold to Carolina weeks before drafting Wilson. Darnold, like Wilson, had been scouted as a top-tier talent but fell short of fulfilling the lofty expectations.