Three Zach Wilson Trade Destinations

Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson / Steve Marcus/GettyImages

Zach Wilson's 2023 season was officially over earlier this week once the New York Jets announced he would not exit concussion protocol in time for Sunday's finale against the New England Patriots. Trevor Siemian got the start in his place and while nobody said it at the time it was not only the end of Wilson's season but also his Jets career. There was no universe in which the former No. 2 overall pick would be able to return to the building this offseason as Aaron Rodgers' backup after everything that's happened over the last four months, from his maddeningly inconsistent play to conflicting reports from sources inside the building regarding his willingness to play.

Ahead of the team's final game, his fate was effectively sealed. Ian Rapoport reported the Jets would look to trade Wilson once the offseason kicks off, and Dianna Russini confirmed that with a few more details.

Now, obviously Wilson is going to be anything but a hot commodity on the trade market. His failures have played out on an incredibly public stage and he has an unusual propensity for truly catastrophic mistakes that kill his team's chances of winning anything. He has a great arm and showed a lot of progress this season utilizing his legs to move the chains and punish defenses, but to say there's a long way to go before he can be an effective starting quarterback is an understatement.

But in the NFL there are always teams who think they can fix a player like Wilson, and in fairness to him the environment he has been trying to develop in has been... subpar. The Jets never really fixed their offensive line problems and the spotlight was constantly centered on Wilson because he was playing for a New York team. If he stunk it up this bad for the Titans or something then he'd barely be on the radar for most NFL fans outside of being a bust at No. 2 overall.

All that is to say that, in Wilson's case, there may be some credence to the idea of a change in scenery helping him. Perhaps helping him a lot. The Jets have to be happy to get pretty much anything for him at this point so the possibilities are numerous in regards to who might go after Wilson. It could be a team that does not have a clear answer at QB right now and figure there's little harm in kicking the tires, or it could be a team that has an established starter but wants to see what's there.

When the offseason starts and the phones start ringing, who could call the Jets to trade for Wilson?

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders are right in that sweet spot of not having any future at the quarterback position (with all due respect to Aidan O'Connell, who tried his best) and not having a good enough draft pick to land a blue-chipper. Obviously Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix will still be around after the first five picks but they aren't viewed with nearly the same level of confidence as Caleb Williams and Drake Maye so teams who can't get the latter two guys have to consider all their options. Trading for Wilson is exactly the sort of thing Vegas should be doing-- turning over every stone as they search for the future of their franchise. A strong candidate regardless of how things shake out otherwise for the Raiders.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams already have one reclamation project hanging around the facilities with Carson Wentz but he's a little old to stick around for another season in hopes Matthew Stafford will hang them up soon. He'll probably hit free agency with the idea that someone will buy into his immediate bounceback like the Steelers did with Mitchell Trubisky. Which means Sean McVay would be well-off having another guy to mold in the likely scenario Stafford is done in the near future/gets hurt. He's certainly used to having to gameplan around a quarterback's weaknesses after a few seasons with Jared Goff and if things work out Wilson would likely be happy to sign another deal after next season for cheap. Living in LA and working under McVay is about as good as it can get for a backup quarterback from where we're sitting.

Minnesota Vikings

This could end up the best spot for Wilson. The Vikings are lacking vision at the quarterback position as none of the three they've cycled through in recent weeks have any answers. Kirk Cousins is coming off a torn Achilles and is effectively a free agent once the new league year starts. They're going to draft somewhere in the late teens or early 20s. Kevin O'Connell is a proven offensive mastermind. All these factors line up for Wilson to come in with a legit chance at a starting gig and learn under a good coach. Who knows if it would work out but it would be in both side's best interests to give it a shot.