Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is on the bench for the second time this season. He was shipped to the sideline following a dreadful Week 11 loss to New England and was benched again last Thursday night during a loss to the Jaguars.
Mike White, now healthy after missing two games with a rib injury, will be back in the starting lineup for Weeks 17 and 18. This comes as the Jets must win out (with the Patriots also losing at least once) to make the playoffs.
So with the season on the line, the coaching staff chose White over Wilson. And even worse for Zach: head coach Robert Saleh announced Monday he would be inactive. This means Wilson is most likely done for the year, a move that essentially says it all about the young quarterback’s Jets future.
Because not only was Wilson not chosen to lead his team to the postseason – he won’t even be available to contribute if an injury occurs.
Sunday afternoon’s matchup with the Seahawks (4:05 p.m. ET) is as must-win as it gets. If the Jets emerge victorious, the following Sunday’s season-finale against the Dolphins will be even more critical. And Wilson, first-round pedigree and all, won’t even be a part of it.
Only 20 months after the Jets selected Wilson No. 2 overall, they’re deactivating him for what could be the franchise’s biggest games in years. He’ll be a glorified practice squad player with the team’s first postseason berth in over a decade on the line.
The writing is on the wall, folks. The decision has been made and the justifying of the draft pick has concluded. The Jets are done with Wilson and don’t see a future with him. And they’re already letting you know about it before the regular season ends.
Where could Wilson play next? The Jets are most certainly not releasing Wilson when he has two years left on his rookie deal, plus the fifth-year option. They’ll look to get something back for him, and he could render a collection of draft picks as high as second- or third-rounders.
Teams that come to mind right off the bat are the Buccaneers (if Tom Brady leaves), Commanders, and Ravens (if Lamar Jackson leaves). While the Texans and Colts are also in need of a quarterback, they’re on track to have top-five picks and will likely address the issue via the draft.