KSL UNRIVALED

Unrivaled Bold, Stupid Predictions: Zach Wilson Done With Jets, NHL To Salt Lake

Feb 4, 2023, 2:32 PM | Updated: 2:35 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Unrivaled from time to time likes to do bold and stupid predictions in the sports world. With 2023 in full swing it is time to visit a few of these, which include the NFL and a new pro sports team in Salt Lake City.

One of the big predictions is that former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson has played his last game for the New York Jets. Wilson has struggled in his first years in the NFL either due to being banged up or inconsistent play. That led to him getting benched over former fifth-round pick Mike White.

Mitchell does wish Wilson success but he knows from experience by being a 12-year NFL quarterback that things can change in a hurry. It just might not be at this time with the Jets.

RELATED: Zach Wilson Plays Against, Beats Childhood Idol In Week 6

“Zach Wilson will never play for the New York Jets again…I don’t think he will [be a full-time starter again],” Mitchell boldly proclaims. “Maybe he is a Geno Smith kind of guy. I don’t know. I think too much pressure and not enough development. The way it all started was an absolute disaster.

“I personally think it’s on the Jets for how they did this,” he added. “I am not making any excuses for Zach Wilson. You got to read the room and know if this guy is ready to go on the field and is he ready to be out there. To just throw a guy out there in the NFL is ferocious and it is tough.”

Mitchell does wish for Wilson to succeed in the league but quarterbacks don’t get many chances to be a starter in the league. However, being the No. 2 pick overall pick will have teams thinking they can fix that guy and take a chance on him.

Wilson’s future with the Jets is muddled with the team as there are league sources via Pro Football Network saying that players in New York don’t think he is the guy. PFN is also reporting that the Jets could go after a veteran like Derek Carr, Jimmy Garappolo, or Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers is intriguing since the organization brought in Nathaniel Hackett who was the offensive coordinator in Green Bay from 2019-21. During that stretch, he coached Rodgers to two MVP awards.

A veteran coming into New York could do a few good things for Wilson and help him learn. Plus Rodgers and Wilson have a fairly chummy relationship, which could help the former BYU QB in the long term.

NHL To Salt Lake?

Another bold prediction is that the NHL will announce by the end of 2023 that a franchise will be coming to Utah. This is a bold timeline but the long-term bet of another pro franchise coming into Salt Lake City is a good one to wager on.

Jazz owner Ryan Smith has said on more than one occasion that he wants another pro sports team. That is evident by his actions with Arctos and the goal of a third major sports team in Utah.

“When we started SEG we made the decision that we were going into sports and if we are going in, we are going in,” Smith told DJ and PK during an exclusive interview on KSL Sports Zone. “We just brought in Arctos and this is … what they do. They own pieces of about five or six teams in every league,” Smith said. “They are in every conversation in sports.”

Smith doesn’t do things just because. It seems like he fully believes that another pro team is viable. Smith is looking at a long-term goal.

“SEG and Arctos are bullish on the Utah sports and entertainment market and are aligned in their commitment to the State of Utah, which includes a focus on SEG’s expansion plans.

“Its intention to bring a third professional sports franchise to the state, and its goal to build Utah as a premier sports and entertainment center,” according to a release regarding the purchase.

All of this adds up to Mitchell saying that his boldest prediction is that Utah will get a National Hockey League franchise sooner than later.

“The Utah Jazz organization will bring NHL hockey to Salt Lake City this year,” Mitchell said. 

The Salt Lake City area has the population size to support a pro sports team. The NHL has tested this market with preseason games over the past few years with large crowds. Hosting 41 home games over a one-time event is a big difference. Mitchell feels it can be done which is a fairly bold prediction but it would be great to happen.

The wheels are in motion for another pro sports team but by the end of 2023 to have an announcement to be made seems ambitious and bold.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m. on 1280 AM and 97.5 FM, or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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Unrivaled Bold, Stupid Predictions: Zach Wilson Done With Jets, NHL To Salt Lake