New York Jets give QB Zach Wilson permission to seek trade as prospects arrive at NFL combine

General manager Joe Douglas said the Jets have given Zach Wilson permission to seek a trade, perhaps marking an end to his tumultuous stint in New York.

Associated Press

Feb 29, 2024, 12:22 PM

Updated 88 days ago

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The New York Jets expected quarterback Zach Wilson to emerge as the new face of their franchise.
Three years later, he's looking for a new team.
General manager Joe Douglas said the Jets have given Wilson permission to seek a trade, perhaps marking an end to his tumultuous stint in New York.
“We have had good conversation with his agent,” Douglas said Wednesday at the NFL's annual scouting combine in Indianapolis. "We’ve given them permission to talk to other teams about a trade. I’m going to circle back with Brian (Ayrault) at some point, maybe this weekend, just to see how those conversations go. Other than that, there’s nothing to report.”
Wilson's rocky three-year tenure included plenty of struggles.
He went 12-21 as a starting quarterback. He threw more interceptions (25) than touchdowns (23). He was benched multiple times — including once after responding to a postgame news conference question about whether he felt he let the defense down with “no.”
Wilson is yet another player who could be traded in what may be a very active offseason among quarterbacks. Others who could be dealt include Russell Wilson and Justin Fields.
Douglas also said the Jets will not use the franchise tag on edge rusher Bryce Huff, who signed as an undrafted rookie in 2020 and had a breakout 2023 season with a career-high 10 sacks.
The franchise tag would cost the Jets $21.3 million, which could be too much for an already well-compensated defense. But Douglas still wants to work out a deal.
“Those conversations are going to pick up as we get going here,” Douglas said. “This is a big week, just to have a lot of different discussions with a lot of different agents. Obviously, Bryce is an outstanding player. He definitely deserves this opportunity to see where he is on the open market.”
BODY TALK
Some coaches and team executives have been asked this week about how much value they place on body language. For the Cleveland Browns, it's a serious investment.
Coach Kevin Stefanski acknowledged Wednesday his team fines players for what he dubbed as “BBL,” Bad Body Language.
“We coach it. We never want to see a player on the field going like this (hands out)," he said. “There’s a palms up fine. Certainly how you conduct yourself specifically at the quarterback position is important. Everything you’re doing, you’re saying something even when you’re not saying it verbally. We certainly coach our players up on it.”
Stefanski said the player with the fewest fines is running back Nick Chubb. He declined to say who had the most.
COLTS UPDATES
Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson believes he's ahead of schedule following last fall's season-ending shoulder surgery after playing just four games in his rookie season.
Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard is trying to reel in those expectations, though.
Ballard said Wednesday that he “learned” some valuable lessons when he was dealing with Andrew Luck's bad shoulder in 2017.
“Really happy about where he’s at. He started throwing, he’s on a rehab program,” Ballard said. “Anthony made some statements that it’s important to be ahead of schedule — we’re here to pull the reins to make sure we don’t get too far ahead of schedule and we’re staying with whatever the doctors are telling us. But he’s in good shape.”
Ballard also told local reporters something else that should make Richardson happy — receiver Michael Pittman Jr. will be on the Colts roster for the season opener. Pittman could become a free agent March 13 and while Ballard's preference would be re-signing Pittman he did not rule out using the franchise tag.


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