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Jets will keep Zach Wilson if team can’t find trade partner for quarterback, owner says

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Zach Wilson His time with the New York Jets appeared to be coming to an end last month when the organization granted him permission to seek a trade. However, owner Woody Johnson told reporters this week that it’s possible the 2021 first-round pick sticks around.

Speaking to the media at the NFL owners meetings on Monday, Johnson explained that Wilson would stay with the Jets if they fail to find a business partner.

Zach Wilson vs. Raiders

Zach Wilson, #2 of the New York Jets, leaves the field after the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Jets to win the game at Allegiant Stadium on November 12, 2023 in Las Vegas. (Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

“If we don’t trade him, we’re going to keep him,” Johnson said, adding that it’s “possible” Wilson could still learn from Aaron Rodgers in the upcoming season.

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“I feel bad for Zach in a way because last year would have been great – it would have been the first time he could just sit and watch a master at work, and he didn’t never had that,” Johnson added.

“He’s been in the fire since Day 1, and I think that’s what he needs. He needs to be in a place where he can observe for a while. He’s got the skills. He can do it all .There’s a reason we drafted him No. 2 overall, and I have faith he’ll get there at some point.”

Johnson admitted, however, that it would be “better” if Wilson moved on.

Zach Wilson watches

Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets reacts during the second half against the Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium on November 6, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

JETS OWNER WOODY JOHNSON SHOOTS AT ZACH WILSON, PUTS OFFENSE ON NOTICE: ‘WE HAVE TO PRODUCE THIS YEAR’

“From his point of view, it’s probably better if he gets a change of face, comes to a new place and can wipe the slate clean. I think that would probably be better for him.”

Over the past month NFL Honors, Johnson appeared to take aim at Wilson while discussing the quarterback position and the team’s offensive struggles. On Monday, he appeared to clarify those comments, saying the fault didn’t lie solely with the quarterback.

“The quarterback is just one player. The quarterback – Zach included – can’t play if he doesn’t have a line, and without a line it’s hard to pass the ball, it’s hard to protect the quarterback. So it’s not just the quarterback. . I have to have everyone’s cooperation.

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson applauds during introductions for the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 3, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Al Pereira/Getty Images)

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Wilson’s turbulent three-year tenure with the Jets may be coming to an end. After being drafted second overall out of BYU, Wilson struggled through multiple benches, threw more interceptions (25) than touchdowns (23), and was 12-21 as a quarterback leaving.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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