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The New York Jets have put their support behind a starting quarterback and his name is not Zach Wilson. The former No. 2 overall pick has seemingly lost the entire locker room.
Although there is no way to know exactly how players feel in New York (well, New Jersey), their public demeanor says it all. They are all-in on Mike White and made that very clear with custom-made t-shirts for their trip to Minnesota on Saturday.
White, who spent two years at South Florida and two years at Western Kentucky, graduated in 2018 and was drafted in the fifth round. He played 2018 in Dallas and has been with New York ever since.
Mike White rises for New York Jets as Zach Wilson falls
Although White was never supposed to reach the top of the depth chart, he was thrust into the starting role in Week 7 of 2021 and provided a spark to a lackluster offense for a few weeks. He was named the starter again last weekend and led the Jets to a dominant win over a (very bad) Bears team.
Meanwhile, Wilson has struggled all season. He has completed just 55.6% of his passes with five interceptions to just four touchdown passes. His QBR is 43.8, which is the 25th-worst in the NFL.
If Wilson’s on-field numbers aren’t bad enough, his off-field issues may loom even larger. After New York lost to New England, a game in which the second-year quarterback played terribly, he did not accept any responsibility for the loss. That reportedly rubbed his teammates the wrong way.
Following the “incident,” or whatever you want to call it, Wilson was benched. Head coach Robert Saleh’s decision mostly stemmed from his young quarterback’s terrible play, but the attitude surely didn’t help.
Wilson did apologize to his teammates after being sent to the metaphorical pine. It might have been too little, too late. The Jets were very celebratory of White after last weekend’s win and their locker room antics made it very clear how they feel about the entire situation.
As did the t-shirts on Saturday. Players did not wear Zach Wilson shirts at any point during his young, 20-game career. They did wear Mike White shirts before just his fifth-career start.
Says a lot, doesn’t it?