National

Jets give QB Zach Wilson permission to seek a trade

Zach Wilson has been given permission to a seek a trade out of New York, Jets general manager Joe Douglas told reporters Wednesday.

"Where we are exactly, we've given them permission to talk to other teams about a trade," Douglas said at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. "I'm going to circle back with [Wilson's agent] at some point, either this week or next week, just to see how those conversations are going. But other than that, there's nothing else to report."

Wilson, the No. 2 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, underwhelmed in his three seasons and lost his job several timesduring his tenure in New York. He is also the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to have the NFL's worst passer rating in back-to-back seasons. In three seasons with Gang Green, Wilson threw 23 touchdowns, 25 interceptions, had a 57% completion percentage and 113 sacks.

The Jets recorded a 12-21 with Wilson under center.

Wilson will be entering the final year of his rookie contract and is set to be guaranteed $5.45 million, plus a roster bonus of just under $4.4 million, according to OverTheCap.com.

Trades cannot become official until March 13, the day the new NFL year begins, but teams can agree to deals ahead of that date.

Signs this was coming

Following the 2023 season, one in which he was benched after becoming the starter following Aaron Rodgers' injury, Jets head coach Robert Saleh and team owner Woody Johnson didn't exactly have ringing endorsements for Wilson.

When asked if Wilson had a future with the franchise, all Saleh would say in early January was, "We'll see."

Johnson took it much further, criticizing the offense and targeting Wilson's place in the team.

"You need a backup quarterback," Johnson said ahead of the NFL Honors awards show earlier this month. "We didn't have one last year."

Douglas said that finding a quality backup for Rodgers is an important piece of the team's offseason.

"We've had good meetings, good evaluations with the guys who are available," Douglas said. "And I think we’re ready to take the next step and see where the market is exactly with these backup quarterbacks."

Wilson will turn 25 in August and will now get an opportunity to rehabilitate his career elsewhere without the pressure of having to live up to the expectations that come with being a No. 2 overall draft pick.