“I’d give up a two-week stay at a Best Western. I’m not a fan.” That phrase was used by an anonymous executive giving his trade value on New York’s disgruntled quarterback. After being selected second overall by the New York Jets in 2021, Zach Wilson has had a tumultuous three seasons with Gang Green. It was clear for a while that Wilson’s days as a Jet were numbered and now it is just a matter of when a trade happens.
Today, let’s look at the top landing spots for Zach Wilson as he looks to get his young career back on track in another city.
Top Landing Spots For Zach Wilson
Kansas City Chiefs
For the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans, the least of their worries is the backup quarterback as they prepare to take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. However, this is a very intriguing landing spot for Wilson. Coming out of BYU, Wilson drew comparisons to Patrick Mahomes and even current Jets quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. These comparisons were made because of his eye-popping arm strength and athleticism, both of which Rodgers and Mahomes possess.
Of course, looking back on those comparisons three years later, to put it nicely, it’s ugly. Despite this, one thing Wilson has needed during his career is to sit back and watch. Even his soon-to-be former head coach Robert Saleh admitted to the mistake of making him play this year. This would be the perfect spot for Wilson to sit and learn behind two of the league’s best head coaches Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The best-case scenario for Wilson is that this would just be a pit stop to eventually landing him a starting gig. If he does join Kansas City, he can sit for at least two seasons and just absorb the best quarterback in the game. Wilson has all the physical traits he just needs to learn how to play quarterback and who wouldn’t want that learning to happen with Reid and Mahomes?
What a season it was for Broncos Country. Simply put, Sean Payton’s first year at the helm in Denver had many highs and lows ultimately ending with the benching of starting quarterback Russell Wilson. After striking a trade to bring the former Super Bowl-winning quarterback from Seattle to Denver in 2022, there have been more distractions than actual success on the field. Denver now enters the offseason with all signs pointing towards them moving on from Wilson despite the salary cap implications.
The Denver Broncos are expected to be at $24 million over the cap entering the 2024 offseason. The cap for Denver could change depending on the future of Russell Wilson in which it could drop to $15.4 million over the cap. All signs point towards Denver going through a complete rebuild and using a potential bridge quarterback in 2024. The cheap bridge quarterback could be Zach Wilson, an intriguing low-risk high-reward option for Denver.
From the Broncos’ perspective, they get a young quarterback whom veteran coach Sean Payton will be able to work with. The best-case scenario is they find something in Wilson and maybe he becomes their guy, worst-case scenario he struggles and they get a top pick for next April’s quarterback crop. From Wilson’s perspective, he gets an opportunity to be the starter or at least compete for a starting job this season.
Las Vegas Raiders
After a tumultuous start to the 2023 season under Josh McDaniels, the Las Vegas Raiders made a much-needed change at head coach. Antonio Pierce got the opportunity to become the interim for the remainder of the season which ultimately led to the interim tag being removed to start the 2024 offseason. The arrow is pointing up for the Raiders as players have shown a lot of belief in Pierce leading the way. However, questions remain at quarterback in 2024 which could have major trickle-down effects.
When the Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo all signs pointed towards him being the starter for many games, which changed fast in Vegas. Garoppolo got hurt and then was benched for rookie Aidan O’Connell who went on to appear in 12 games. While O’Connell showed some positive signs, it wasn’t all smooth for the 2023 fourth-round pick out of Purdue.
If the Raiders don’t plan on making a drastic change to the quarterback room, Zach Wilson could be an addition to compete with Aidan O’Connell. The benefits could help Wilson as he either wins the job or loses it but then gets the chance to sit back and learn which is something he could use to revive his career.
San Francisco 49ers
Similar to the Chiefs, the San Francisco 49ers’ least worries right now are who could be their second/third-string quarterback in 2024. The 49ers under John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan quickly became one of the most well-oiled machines in football. Since 2019, the 49ers have been to four conference championship games and this weekend will be their second Super Bowl appearance. However, one of their most impressive feats has been the development of Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy.
Crazy to think, that the Niners took two quarterbacks in back-to-years, one with the third pick and the other with the 262nd pick, and the latter was their guy. Purdy this season implemented himself as a finalist for league MVP. Shanahan deserves a lot of credit for Purdy’s ascension in the NFL and could potentially help Zach Wilson steer his career in the right direction.
If Wilson ends up in the Golden State, he will join who he was supposed to replace in New York, Sam Darnold as another backup in San Francisco. Similar to Darnold expect Wilson to sit and watch, gaining reps through Training Camp and Preseason. The possibility for Wilson to learn behind one of the league’s best offensive minds is intriguing, especially after what has happened with Brock Purdy.
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