Jets trade Zach Wilson to Broncos to end QB’s failed tenure

Jets trade Zach Wilson to Broncos to end QB’s failed tenure

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The Zach Wilson era – or error – has come to an end for the Jets.

The team agreed to trade Wilson to the Broncos on Monday.

The Jets will also send a seventh-round pick, No. 256, to Denver and receive a sixth-round pick, No. 203, in the trade.

The Jets were finally able to unload Zach Wilson on the Broncos. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Gang Green will also be on the hook for some of the $4.4 million roster bonus Wilson is due this summer.

The move brings an end to one of the most disappointing careers in Jets history.

The team selected Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of BYU, expecting him to become the franchise quarterback they have been trying to find for decades. 

Instead, he was a disappointment on the field and unpopular with teammates off the field and only showed flashes of ability during his three seasons with the team. 

The Jets went 12-21 in games started by Wilson. 

He completed 57 percent (566-of-993) of his passes for 6,293 yards, 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. He rushed for 498 yards and five touchdowns and had 17 fumbles, 12 of which were lost.

Wilson failed to live up the the high expectations that came with being the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft. Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Wilson started 13 games as a rookie, missing time with a knee injury in the middle of the season. 

He had some memorable games against the Titans and the Buccaneers but he also had some major flops like a four-interception game against the Patriots and the decision to try to run a quarterback sneak on fourth down against Tampa Bay.

His second season was delayed by a preseason knee injury. He did not return until Week 4 in Pittsburgh, where he played well in the fourth quarter and led the Jets to a comeback win. 

But he then went through a three-game stretch without a touchdown pass before a three-interception game against the Patriots. 

There were rumblings that Wilson was performing terribly in practice and clashing with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur. 

The Jets defense emerged during the 2022 season as a force and resentment began to grow inside the locker room.

Thing bubbled over on Nov. 20, 2022 when the Jets lost to the Patriots 10-3. 

Wilson completed just 9-of-22 passing for 77 yards that day and was sacked four times. 

The Jets lost on a punt return for a touchdown by the Patriots. 

After the game, Wilson was asked if he felt he had led the defense down and he said he did not think that

The episode essentially ended his time as the Jets starter. Mike White replaced him at quarterback

Aaron Rodgers was supposed to give Wilson some space, but an Achilles injury four plays into the season scuttled that plan. Bill Kostroun/New York Post

He made two more starts that season after White was injured but the Jets chose to start veteran Joe Flacco in the final game of the season over a healthy Wilson.

The team moved on from Wilson entering the 2023 season by trading for four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers. 

They kept Wilson as Rodgers’ backup, believing a year watching and learning from Rodgers would benefit Wilson.

Wilson and girlfriend Nicolette Dellanno made their way around New York. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Po

The move backfired on the Jets when Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon in Week 1, forcing Wilson to become the starter. 

Wilson mostly struggled as Rodgers’ replacement and was benched after a Week 11 loss to the Bills that saw Wilson go 7-of-15 for one touchdown and one interception. 

The Jets went back to Wilson three weeks later against the Texans and he played the best game of his career, going 27-of-36 for 301 yards and two touchdowns. 

Wilson was inactive for the final three games of his Jets career/ Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

This came after a report from The Athletic that Wilson had expressed reluctance to return to the starting job. 

A week after the Texans upset, Wilson suffered a concussion against the Dolphins in his final game as a Jet. 

He was inactive for the final three games of the season and the Jets began trying to find a trade partner. They gave Wilson’s agent permission to seek a trade shortly after the season ended.

Wilson’s departure from the Jets is another piece of a disappointing 2021 quarterback class. 

Wilson was unable to win games — or win over teammates — in an error-plague trio of seasons. Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Trevor Lawrence is the only first-round quarterback who is expected to be with the team that drafted him from that class. 

The 49ers traded Trey Lance to the Cowboys last year. The Patriots traded Mac Jones to the Jaguars this offseason. The Bears are expected to trade Justin Fields in the coming weeks.

Brian Costello

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