This Jets-Saints Trade Sends Zach Wilson To New Orleans

Zach Wilson, Saints
NFL Analysis Network

With the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. The team was hopeful that he would be their long-term answer at a position that has been a sore spot for the franchise for years.

New York had struck out in the 2018 NFL Draft when they traded up with the Indianapolis Colts to No. 3 to select Sam Darnold. Darnold lasted only three seasons as the Jets starter, which looks like it will be one more than Zach Wilson did.

After getting benched twice during the 2022 campaign, it looks as if the Jets are ready to move on from the BYU product. With a championship-caliber defense already in place and the pieces to succeed offensively, Gang Green is in the market for a veteran signal-caller. A quarterback has been deemed the missing piece by owner Woody Johnson and he is willing to do whatever it takes to fill that void.

The Jets have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo and Aaron Rodgers this offseason. Based on early reports, it would be a shock if Zach Wilson is in the mix to be the starter for the team in 2023.

Right now, the plan is to keep Zach Wilson on the roster as the team’s backup quarterback. It would allow him to sit and learn from the veteran that is brought in. While there are no plans to trade him, franchises around the league could still make some calls to check in to see what it would cost.

One team that could use a long-term answer at the quarterback position is the New Orleans Saints. They had hoped former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston would be their answer post-Drew Brees, but that has not been the case.

Acquiring Zach Wilson would give them a chance at finding that franchise quarterback. While he has struggled mightily with the Jets, there is a lot of arm talent there that you cannot teach to a player. With the right coaching staff and environment, he could thrive.

To acquire him, the Saints will have to send a strong offer to pique the Jets’ interest. A third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, that could become a second-rounder if Zach Wilson reaches certain incentives, would be an intriguing offer.

Given his level of performance through two seasons, it would be unreasonable to expect a team to give up a first-round pick or early Day 2 pick right off the bat. If Zach Wilson plays well, the selection could turn into that, but the Saints want some insurance in case he just can’t figure it out.

If New York is serious about making a run at acquiring Rodgers, acquiring as much draft capital as possible to bolster their trade package makes a lot of sense. Adding two more early-round picks to their docket by moving Zach Wilson could really positively benefit the franchise.

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