14 September, 2023
It’s amusing to speculate about what may occur if the Jets made another risky move or convinced a retired player, like Tom Brady, to come out of retirement. HC Robert Saleh, however, is adamant that the hunt for a backup quarterback will be limited to depth. The Jets assert that they won’t make Wilson the subject of a quarterback battle, whether through a trade or free agency.
Zach is our quarterback, I do want to be very clear about that,” Saleh stated on Tuesday during a Zoom media conference. We had a lot of confidence in Zach. His opportunity has us incredibly excited. We support Zach and are thrilled for him and the chance he will have.
Wilson was chosen by the Jets with the second overall choice in the 2021 draft. The two years that followed saw Wilson fall short of his potential as a franchise quarterback both on and off the field.
The Jets finished 8-14 in 22 games over those two seasons as Wilson completed only 55.2% of his passes and threw more interceptions (18) than touchdowns (15). Saleh argued in favor of Wilson on Tuesday, citing the Jets’ 5-1 record with Wilson at the helm last year, before the team suffered season-ending injuries to offensive tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker (torn triceps) and running back Breece Hall (torn ACL).
Zach is an excellent quarterback, according to Saleh. He has demonstrated that he is an excellent quarterback.
During that time, Wilson completed 57.5% of his throws for 1,202 yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions. The Jets may have won five out of six games despite their quarterback, not because of him.
When the Jets benched Wilson for Mike White in November of last year, Wilson also lost the trust of the team’s locker room. White’s Jets teammates even went so far as to wear T-shirts with his face on them to their next game after White completed 78.6% of his throw attempts for 315 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-10 victory over the Bears. Their chests were boldly printed with the words “MIKE F’N WHITE.”
Wilson was no longer viewed as the team’s leader, even if White’s next three starts were more concerning—three losses, zero touchdowns to four interceptions, and a rib injury.
The Jets’ highly public offseason romance with Rodgers began when they dropped their final six games and missed the playoffs. Wilson has received praise from coaches and Rodgers alike for embracing the veteran and being a good sport, guaranteeing that he would eventually be prepared to succeed the man they were treating as a savior.
However, none anticipated Wilson’s recovery to occur so quickly. Since he has no other choice, Saleh is embracing his new position as Wilson’s “hype man”.