The Jets want to trade Zach Wilson, but for what?

Way to go New York Jets. They halted a losing streak to the New England Patriots that stretched back to the Obama administration. In what might have been Bill Belichick’s final game as head coach of the Patriots, a team that he has dominated since leaving them at the altar in 2000 buried him in the Massachusetts snow, 17-3. The Jets ended their disappointing 2023 season with a win, and 2021 No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson on the bench.

Trevor Siemian, who the Jets signed after Aaron Rodgers’ season-ending Achilles injury, went 8-20 for 70 yards passing, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. He, Wilson, and Tim Boyle have started at QB since Rodgers went down. It is likely that Wilson put on a Jets uniform for the final time on Sunday. The Athletic’s Dianna Russini reports that the team told Wilson during the season that they plan to trade him during the offseason.

They can try to trade him, but I do not imagine there is much of a market for a 24-year-old backup quarterback with Wilson’s checkered history in the NFL. The Jets did not put him in an ideal scenario, but that is usually how the cookie crumbles for QBs selected in the top three. Those teams are usually in a rebuilding situation.

As the Jets have improved, Wilson has not. Their offensive line needs work, and losing Alijah Vera-Tucker in early October certainly hurt, but Wilson led a largely ineffective offense. Per DVOA, going into Week 18 the Jets had the worst offense in the NFL. This while having the league’s third-best defense. They have scored less than 15 points seven times.

The Jets know better than anyone that Wilson did not put out the type of tape in 2023 that would create a demand for his services. This season will be the first in which Wilson has thrown for more touchdowns (8) than interceptions (7). Very seldomly has the Jets passing offense appeared to have any rhythm, and he is not able to make up for those shortcomings with his feet. Wilson is a good runner, but not a great one.

Getting anything for Wilson, even if it’s a backup offensive lineman or a seventh-round pick in 2025, is better than nothing. Maybe there is an offensive coordinator out there who is confident that Wilson can be fixed with proper coaching. Although, there have been precious few flashes of brilliance, and definitely none consistently, to justify enough faith in Wilson’s potential to give up a single asset for him.

If the Jets decide to not pick up Wilson’s fifth-year option — they have until May 2 to make a decision — then at a low price he would be worth signing as a backup. But the only value I would be willing to give up for him is cash. There is no reason to help the Jets get better as they cut their losses on a bad investment.

The Jets’ front office should do their due diligence to make as many calls as possible to try and receive something in return for Wilson. Maybe they will get lucky and a general manager will make a mistake in their favor. But I can’t think of any reason to acquire Wilson unless he is released and the Jets have to eat all of the No. 2 overall pick money owed to him.

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