Zach Wilson
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re a Jets fan and you didn’t expect to be sitting here with Zach Wilson basically wasting the season away, you’re not alone. The organization itself didn’t anticipate it either. This was supposed to be a dream season with Aaron Rodgers, an actual star quarterback who could’ve rounded out the talented roster and brought this team to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.

But Rodgers is done for the year with an Achilles injury and Wilson looks much of what he’s looked like since he was drafted: a quarterback with zero confidence, poor accuracy, weak decision-making, blurred vision, and just about every other negative attribute. It’s been disastrous and now the Jets are 1-2 with not much success on the horizon.

But even with the Rodgers injury, the Jets have no one to blame for this awful situation but themselves. Because their plan for Wilson, accompanying 2023 and beyond, was bizarre from the start.

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The Jets had this unique plan that they were going to bring in Rodgers for a year or two and try to eclipse gridiron glory by hoisting the Lombardi Trophy once, maybe twice during that brief window, all while developing Wilson at the same time. Then after two years and hopefully at least one title with Rodgers, they were going to hand the keys back to Wilson in what would be his fifth NFL season after he rode the bench for two years.

The idea was to have Wilson take a step back and perceive the game from the outside looking in, in hopes he’ll eventually use that and Rodgers’ guidance to grow into the quarterback he was expected to be. But if the Jets really wanted him to take a step back, why did he enter the season as the second-string quarterback? Why didn’t the Jets acquire an established veteran to back up Rodgers while Wilson was an emergency third quarterback?

And what did they think they were going to do in order to bring him back for year five?  Re-sign him or pick up his fifth-year option? And guarantee him even more money after he’s proven time and time again he’s not the answer?

None of it makes sense. It’s understandable the Jets found themselves in a weird situation where it seems they got every position right except the quarterback. So they had to jump on the idea of getting Rodgers but still wanted Wilson to be an eventual long-term solution. But if you want to develop Wilson while riding Rodgers’ back to the promised land, you don’t put him in a position where he’s your top option in the event of injury. Because like we’re seeing right now, him taking the reigns still isn’t a pretty sight in Florham Park.

You acquire Rodgers, bring in someone else to back him up, and develop Wilson while he serves as an emergency third quarterback. Not put faith in Wilson and screw your season over if Rodgers goes down.

There were multiple backup quarterbacks on the field for their respective teams on Sunday, too. This includes the Colts’ Gardner Minshew, Panthers’ Andy Dalton, and Saints’ Jameis Winston. All are better options than Wilson — this makes not acquiring one in the offseason, and the Jets’ overall plan for Wilson, that much more puzzling.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.