Jets rookie quarterback and No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson has signed his contract and is present at training camp in Florham Park.
This comes after the rookie quarterback and 2021 first-round draft selection missed the first two days of practice due to a contract dispute. The money wasn’t the issue, but instead, the concept of offset language in the deal. Offset language prevents a team from needing to pay a player the full amount it originally owed him if that player is eventually cut and signs with a new team.
The four-year deal worth $35.1 million (which includes offset language but pays out Zach’s signing bonus over the first 15 days), is officially done though, and work has thus commenced.
But is there any grief from teammates due to Wilson’s absence the first few days?
“No, that’s what’s so cool is that they all have my back. And that’s one thing I can say is they understand it’s a business too and they understand what I was looking for,” Wilson said Friday when asked by the New York Post‘s Brian Costello about the possible grief. “I had a lot of support. A lot of guys reached out to me and just said, “You know, we have your back. We support you in everything you’re doing and we can’t wait to have you back.” So, it was cool to have that support.”
While there may have been some concern in regard to the contract situation, it was clear Wilson was going to put pen to paper and arrive at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center at some point.
It’s obviously a crucial document that will partly define your financial future, but it’s reasonable to assume Wilson was chomping at the bit to get to the field.
“Yeah, there’s a part of you that just wants to get it done,” he told SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano and the rest of the media. “But you want to get it done the right way. It’s a rookie contract that you’re going to have to play with for four years, and so, you’ve got to handle the business side of it to where both sides of the party can agree. So, we just had to make sure we got that done.”
$35.1 million is obviously a superb deal of cash for anyone, let alone a 21-year-old. Lavish purchases could be en route for Zach, but that’s not why he’s here.
“Well, you can’t buy a Super Bowl, so I guess I have to work for that, we’re going to get one of those, we’re going to work hard for one of those, man,” he said when asked by Costello about any potential big purchases. “It’s going to be a process but that’s what’s so crazy. My girlfriend said to me, “I forgot you get money out of all this stuff” and I said, ‘Well, that’s because the best part of it is the game.’ The fun part of it isn’t the money, it’s definitely playing football.”
Much work still needs to be put in for Wilson to find noteworthy success. Like he said about winning a title, it’ll be a process.
Now that he’s on the field, we’ll see how that process evolves moving forward.