Jets give Zach Wilson's agent green light to explore trade after disappointing season, GM Joe Douglas says


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Zach Wilson has had a rather turbulent run with the Jets, but it appears his time in New York could be nearing an end.

During a media session at the NFL Combine, Jets General Manager Joe Douglas revealed that he informed Wilson’s representatives that the quarterback could begin exploring a potential trade.

Douglas’ comments come on the heels of team owner Woody Johnson’s assessment of the franchise’s quarterback room: “We need a backup quarterback. We didn’t have one last year,” Johnson said this month. Wilson technically began the 2023 season as the No. 2 quarterback, behind veteran signal-caller Aaron Rodgers.

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Zach Wilson of the New York Jets walks off the field after the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Jets at Allegiant Stadium on November 12, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Dogulas confirmed that he spoke with Wilson’s agent, Brian Ayrault, but the Jets executive stopped short of saying whether the 24-year-old requested a trade.

“I’m going to circle back with Brian at some point this week or next week just to see how those conversations go,” Douglas said. “But other than that, there’s nothing else to report.”

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Wilson was thrust into the starting role for the Jets when Rodgers suffered a season-ending injury in the first quarter of a Week 1 game. Wilson won five of his 12 appearances this season, but his performances failed to convince the Jets front office that he was a franchise-caliber player.

Jets general manager Joe Douglas

New York Jets General Manager Joe Douglas (Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The compensation the Jets could receive in a potential trade for Wilson remains unclear.

Wilson was the second overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and handled the Jets’ starting quarterback duties in his first two seasons.

Zach Wilson drops back

Zach Wilson of the New York Jets drops back to pass against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 17, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

Wilson was largely inconsistent during his first couple of seasons in the NFL. His struggles continued in 2023, prompting head coach Robert Saleh to bench Wilson in favor of journeyman Tim Boyle. Wilson did return to action, until his season ended in Week 15 due to a concussion.

Wilson has one-year remaining on his rookie deal, and the Jets have yet to pick up his contract’s fifth-year option.

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Douglas suggested the team will cast a wide net in its search for a backup quarterback.

“We’re still really early in the offseason, especially when it comes to the veteran backup landscape and market,” he said. “We’ve had good meetings and good evaluations with the guys that are available, and I think we’re ready to take the next step and see where the market is exactly with these backup quarterbacks.”

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