Jets owner says they are open to keeping QB Zach Wilson should trade offers fall through

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) drops back to pass during the first half against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets made it clear that they wanted to move on from backup quarterback Zach Wilson once the offseason began, but now they’ve had a change of heart. Jets owner Woody Johnson is newly committed to Wilson on one condition. The Jets would have to find no success in the trade market in order for Johnson to pen the young passer to another deal.

Jets owner Woody Johnson won’t release Zach Wilson if a trade doesn’t materialize

Brian Costello of the New York Post shared a quote from the billionaire owner during the NFL owners’ meeting on March 25:

“If we don’t trade him, we’re going to keep him,” Johnson said matter-of-factly.

The current backup QB situation in New York is strong. Veteran Tyrod Taylor left the New York Giants to be the Jets’ second-string QB behind Aaron Rodgers. Taylor battled through a rib injury that the Jets inflicted on him in their Week 8 matchup against the Giants, yet he completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 1,341 passing yards and a 5-3 TD-INT ratio on the year.

Wilson would not only take a backseat to Rodgers but vie for time behind Taylor as well should he find no suitors on the open market. Rodgers is expected to make a full recovery from his torn Achilles suffered in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season and reinvigorate a Jets offense with new additions such as wide receiver Mike Williams.

Would Wilson be on board with a demotion to the third string?

The 24-year-old Wilson may not be seeking a further demotion after making 20 starts over the last two years. Wilson mutually agreed to find a new NFL home after the Jets revealed their intentions to part ways with him. Jets head coach Robert Saleh was not fully invested in the Brigham Young product and swapped him in and out of the starting lineup on two occasions last year.

Johnson’s declaration at least ensures that Wilson will be on an NFL roster next season. Though, the 6-2 QB may not have many options remaining elsewhere. His days as a starter are likely destined to halt for the foreseeable future.

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