National Football League
Zach Wilson: If Jets sign QB, 'I'm going to make that dude's life hell'
National Football League

Zach Wilson: If Jets sign QB, 'I'm going to make that dude's life hell'

Updated Jan. 11, 2023 12:01 p.m. ET

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas, head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur have publicly committed to continuing to help Zach Wilson develop as a quarterback.

Whether or not Wilson starts under center for the Jets in 2023, however, is an entirely different story.

It was a rough sophomore season for the former No. 2 overall pick, one in which he was benched twice for backups Mike White and Joe Flacco. Still, Saleh stated that he was not ready to cut bait on Wilson just yet.

"It’s about having faith in the person that you evaluated, the person you spoke to, the person that you’ve invested in has the ability to get to where you think he’s capable of getting," Saleh said before the Jets' Week 18 loss to the Miami Dolphins. "The easy answer is, ‘Well I’ll just get rid of him, go get somebody new.’ The hard part is to stay true to your conviction and continue to develop a young man who you know can be capable of doing anything, but again, that comes with time."


However, neither Saleh nor Douglas would commit to Wilson as the team's starting quarterback next season amid speculation that the team could bring in a veteran quarterback to compete with Wilson for a starting role. Saleh only affirmed that Wilson will have "a chance to compete" for the starting job, while Douglas said that he and his front office will "explore every avenue that we have to upgrade this team."

Wilson himself was much more confident in his chances to regain his role as the Jets' No. 1 quarterback. If he does have to battle with a seasoned veteran for the position, Wilson vowed that he is up for the challenge.

"I'm gonna make that dude's life hell in practice every day," Wilson said. "I'm gonna go out there and do my best to show the coaches that I deserve to be there. It's not in a negative way, it's in a positive way. It's making everybody else better, hopefully."

The Jets should have multiple options in the veteran quarterback market this offseason. The Raiders benched Derek Carr before Week 17 and appear poised to either release or trade the nine-year starter. Aaron Rodgers was noncommittal about returning to Green Bay after the Packers' elimination from the playoffs Sunday night.

[NFL Odds: Lines on Derek Carr's next team, including Colts, Jets, Patriots]

Jimmy Garoppolo — who Saleh and LeFleur are familiar with from their time with the San Francisco 49ers — will probably be looking for a new home as well. Lamar Jackson is still at an impasse in contract talks with the Baltimore Ravens.

However, Saleh is still publicly optimistic that Wilson's best days in the NFL are ahead of him.

Craig's Crystal Ball: Jets will keep Zach Wilson for 2023

"I do expect him to take a jump going into his third year and understanding how to handle everything," Saleh said. "I think he's going to have a tremendous amount of growth."

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