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The New York Jets traded for Aaron Rodgers on Monday. On Tuesday, Jets GM Joe Douglas addressed the media for his pre-draft news conference. Of course, the conference focused mostly on Rodgers and Zach Wilson.
The team benched Wilson last season in favor of Mike White. Clearly, the Jets were desperate to upgrade at quarterback, going out and getting future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers.
Despite that, Douglas says he has confidence in Zach Wilson. Not only that, but he sees the Rodgers trade as a “great thing” for Wilson.
Apparently, Douglas agrees with Wilson’s mom, Lisa.
Learning from Aaron Rodgers probably is a good thing for Zach Wilson. But, as a former #2 pick, Wilson probably has no chance to start for the Jets over the next two seasons.
So if he stays with the team, Wilson’s next chance to be the team’s quarterback likely comes in 2025 at the earliest, four seasons after his draft. And, at that point, the Jets would need to pick up Wilson’s fifth-year option — which they almost certainly won’t do — or re-sign him.
Of course, re-signing him after serving as the backup for two seasons probably isn’t in the cards either.
So what is Douglas really saying? It might be a great thing for Zach Wilson, personally, but it’s nearly impossible that this is a “great thing” for Wilson’s future with the Jets.
And, if he truly has an “unlimited ceiling” the Jets sure have a funny way of saying they believe that.
That’s because they don’t. If they believed in Zach Wilson, they would give him another year. But having him backup Rodgers for a year or two — the years he needs to impress to get a contract extension — says the opposite.
And if Wilson can’t help the Jets now, while he’s making rookie money, then how much help is he going to be when he’s on a second contract?
The truth is that Wilson needs to go to another team after this season, unless Rodgers retires. He needs to compete for a starting gig.
They say NFL Draft season is when league executives share the most misinformation. Front office personnel try to hide their true intentions.
Usually, that’s with regard to NFL Draft prospects.
But Joe Douglas used the opportunity to pretend he believes in Zach Wilson.
Thankfully, the “silly season” is almost over.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak