QB Draft Bust Seeks Career Revival After Jets Tenure Ends

Former Jets QB Zach Wilson starts anew with Broncos.

by Faizan Chaudhary
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QB Draft Bust Seeks Career Revival After Jets Tenure Ends
© Rich Storry/Getty Images

After three tumultuous years with the New York Jets, quarterback Zach Wilson's tenure has reached an end, with the 24-year-old set to join the Denver Broncos just days before the 2024 NFL Draft. The trade occurs shortly before the third anniversary of the Jets drafting Wilson second overall from BYU in 2021, signaling a fresh start for both the player and his former team.

Wilson joins a Broncos squad that already includes quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci. Denver, under the leadership of Head Coach Sean Payton, holds the 12th overall pick in the draft but will not pick again until the third round.

This scenario sets the stage for a competitive atmosphere in Denver, where no clear favorite for the starting quarterback position has emerged—unless the Broncos make a significant move in the draft.

Wilson's Denver Redemption

The move to Denver offers Wilson a chance at redemption after a challenging period in New York.

His time with the Jets was marred by injuries and inconsistent play. Wilson began his NFL career as the Jets' starting quarterback in 2021 but missed four games due to a knee injury. The following year, he suffered a meniscus tear that sidelined him at the season's start.

Although he reclaimed his starting position, his performance led to a demotion by season's end. The Jets' acquisition of veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers in April 2023 further complicated Wilson's position, relegating him to a backup role.

An opportunity for redemption presented itself after Rodgers sustained an injury early in the season, thrusting Wilson back into the starting lineup. Despite showing flashes of potential and earning AFC Offensive Player of the Week in Week 14, his overall performance remained inconsistent.

In 11 starts last season, Wilson led the Jets to a 4-7 record. He achieved a career-high 60.1% completion rate, throwing for 2,271 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions, culminating in a 77.2 passer rating. As Wilson embarks on this new chapter with the Denver Broncos, both he and the Jets hope that this change of scenery will invigorate his career and allow him to fulfill the promise once seen in him as a high draft pick.

This trade not only marks the end of a significant chapter for Wilson but also represents a crucial opportunity for him to reestablish himself in the competitive arena of the NFL.

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