Drafted as the franchise quarterback in 2021, the former No. 2 overall pick may be in his final days as a member of the franchise's roster.
Zach Wilson has lost his starting job for the second year in a row, and it leaves one to wonder where the New York Jets will go from here. When it comes to Wilson's future, Jets' head coach Robert Saleh isn't ready to address the issue.
"We will deal with it in the offseason, guys. Right now, it really is just about Miami," said Saleh after confirming the quarterback change to Tim Boyle on Monday.
There were rumors suggesting the Jets could outright release Wilson this week, giving him a chance to catch on with a new team prior to the end of the regular season. Saleh dismissed the idea that team brass was considering that option internally.
"No, there wasn’t," said Saleh.
With the offense stuck in neutral, however, Saleh decided to end the Wilson experiment that was never supposed to happen this season.
"I felt like he would get an opportunity to sit behind Aaron [Rodgers]. When you look at Zach, he has never had an opportunity to watch someone play the position," said Saleh. "Just sit back and just watch from the ground up. That was his opportunity with Aaron and four plays in, he is back into the starting lineup. He never really got to sit back and absorb and get that redshirt year that you would have love to have given him."
Thrown into the fire, Wilson did enough to help the team to four wins, but the offense was historically ineffective with him at the controls.
Featuring a 6:7 touchdown-to-interceptions ratio for the season, Wilson had connected on only two touchdown passes in his last six games and both were screen passes to running back Breece Hall.
"It essentially comes down to you have to score points. So, when things aren’t getting done, change has to be made, and I understand that." said Wilson after being pulled late in the third quarter against the Bills. "We need to take accountability, and that starts with me, and I’m not getting it done."
As a unit, the Jets' offense has converted at a 22.90 percent clip on third down, accounting for the lowest success rate the NFL has seen in 45 years. Their 26.09 percent red zone touchdown percentage also ranks last on the circuit.
"Zach, it is not all him, but there are some things that he needs to be better at," said Saleh. "This is just another situation to see if we can give another guy an opportunity, see if something can change."
Whether or not it is meant to be interpreted as such, Saleh and the Jets aren't showing much faith in Wilson by dropping him all the way down to third string. The team will call up veteran Trevor Siemian from the Practice Squad to handle gameday backup duties.
"All three will be up on gameday. Trevor will be the immediate backup," said Saleh.
Wilson, who has shown an increased maturity this season, is reportedly handling the news with professionalism.
"Zach's fine. He's come a long way from a year ago. I think we all agree, we wish it was better. We wish we all could have been better for him," said Saleh.
Despite demoting the former franchise quarterback, Saleh didn't completely bury Wilson.
"I stand strong on the belief that Zach is going to have a really good career in this League. He has got tremendous work ethic, he has gotten a lot better over the course of the last year. He definitely has the arm talent," said Saleh.
In spite of what Saleh says, if Wilson does wind up having a really good NFL career, it most likely won't happen in a Jets' uniform.