New York Jets fans have had to suffer through a lot of bad quarterback play in recent years.
That shouldn’t be a problem for them for at least this next year or two now that they have Aaron Rodgers, but one of those disappointing QBs still remains on their roster.
Zach Wilson was supposed to be the franchise’s future. They spent the 2nd overall pick on him just a couple of years ago, but his NFL career has been a disaster.
He was benched midway through his second season and has now been replaced by one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
Despite the team having moved on from Wilson, Jets GM Joe Douglas is still trying to figure out what went wrong so the franchise doesn’t have the same issue again in the future.
Douglas told Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio that he thinks the Jets needed to have a veteran QB on the team during Wilson’s rookie year for him to learn from and so he had some time to develop.
From #PFTPM, G.M. Joe Douglas addresses how the Jets could have handled Zach Wilson's rookie year differently. https://t.co/cwkzbJ1LKS
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 13, 2023
“I think going back, it would have been great to have a veteran quarterback like a Joe Flacco that first season. But ultimately, we made the decision to jump in head first with our youth movement. We had so many first- and second-year players, new staff. Let’s go in and attack this thing with youth. We know there’s going to be some growing pains, but we’re all going to grow together. I think we saw some of the benefits of that last year. But sometimes you don’t take into account the ramifications of playing a young quarterback early in his career. And so, I think if I had to do everything over again, I would have probably had that veteran presence in the room early for Zach.”
Usually when you spend the 2nd overall pick on a player, you don’t do so expecting them to take too long to be ready to start, even if that pick is a quarterback.
Now the Jets will have a veteran QB playing in front of Wilson. Maybe the next couple of years will give him the chance to develop into a startable quarterback.
It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a QB ruined by the Jets bounce back later in their career.
Geno Smith was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year last season and Sam Darnold was actually a serviceable starter for the Panthers down the stretch, putting together a 4-2 record to close the season.
Zach Wilson hasn’t shown much to prove he can be a starter in the NFL, but maybe the New York Jets will still be able to figure out how to fix him.