LOCALS IN THE NFL
What Aaron Rodgers To New York Jets Means For Zach Wilson
SALT LAKE CITY – Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said that he intends to play for the New York Jets, who currently have former BYU QB Zach Wilson on the roster.
Rodgers said that he intends to play for New York on the Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, March 15.
According to multiple reports, Rodgers had been in contact with the Jets for weeks to discuss the possibility of playing in New York. Green Bay reportedly granted Rodgers permission to speak with the Jets, who flew out to California to visit the veteran quarterback in early March.
Zach Wilson With The Jets
In 2021, the Jets selected former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft. After a standout career at Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah, Wilson attended BYU and became a star player for the Cougars. During his three seasons in Provo, Wilson threw for 7,652 yards, 56 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions.
Wilson’s rookie campaign was a rollercoaster-like season filled with ups and downs. The first-year player threw for 2,334 yards and nine touchdowns. However, Wilson also tossed 11 interceptions and missed about a month of the season due to a knee injury.
Entering 2022, Wilson was expected to take his game up a level after helping the Jets to a four-win season as a rookie. During the preseason, Wilson suffered another knee injury, one that kept him from starting the regular season. In October 2022, the signal-caller played for the first time and helped New York to its first of four consecutive victories. After a pair of losses to the New England Patriots, the Jets benched Wilson for nearly a month. In mid-December, New York was forced to start Wilson due to injuries in its quarterback room. The Jets, who were in the middle of fighting for a playoff spot, lost two straight games with Wilson as QB1 and he was benched again, this time for the remainder of the season, New York failed to qualify for the postseason.
In Wilson’s third start of 2022, the Jets defeated Rodgers and the Packers. The victory was a sweet one for Wilson. Rodgers was one of Wilson’s idols growing up.
RELATED: Aaron Rodgers Responds To Swag Critique From BYU QB Zach Wilson
“Dreams do come true! I can’t tell you how many times @ZachWilson and I have watched Rogers on tv or studied his every movement on YouTube,” the quarterback’s father, Mike Wilson, wrote on Twitter. “Today he gets a chance to play against him. Parents if your child has a dream, embrace it. Sometimes dreams do come true.”
.@ZachWilson to Tyler Kroft… again. 💪💪#LocalsInTheNFL #NFL #TakeFlight #BYU #GoCougs #BYUFOOTBALL @kslsports pic.twitter.com/gL2AEreYYg
— Kyle Ireland (@kyleireland) August 21, 2021
Although the game was the first time Wilson and Rodgers had played against each other, it wasn’t their first meeting.
During the 2021 preseason, Wilson and the Jets met up with the Packers for a couple of days of joint practices. Wilson had a “fanboy” moment meeting and practicing with Rodgers.
RELATED: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Says He’s Excited For Jets Rookie Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson and Aaron Rodgers, Potential Future Teammates
“It’s like I want to do what he’s doing, but when you’ve got 16 years of experience, and the checks and the calls he’s making on the field. If I could spend more time with him and keep asking questions I would,” Wilson said of practicing with Rodgers in 2021. “I’m a big fanboy too. We all have to kind of pretend like we’ve been there before. We’re enjoying just being out here and being able to talk to him. We’re all technically at the same level now — we’re all in the NFL — but we’re all still kind of like, ‘You know what? That’s Aaron Rodgers. That’s kind of crazy.’”
How will Zach Wilson react if the Jets sign a veteran quarterback?
"I'm going to make that dude's life hell in practice every day" pic.twitter.com/hy1IMJNB2a
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) January 9, 2023
“Zach’s a good kid,” Rodgers said after practicing with Wilson in 2021 “It’s fun to see him.”
The Jets may have already decided that Wilson isn’t their QB1 of the future after a rocky start to his tenure in New York. However, now that Rodgers have decided to join the Jets, what better player to help the former BYU star revive his NFL career than his idol?
New York could look to deal Wilson in a trade this offseason but the Jets’ front office and coaching staff have continued to state publically that Wilson is a part of the future plans.
“Zach has got all the talent in the world and we have all the confidence in the world in him,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said in January. “It’s just like I’ve said from this ‘reset,’ we’re going to grind with him, we are.”
Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).
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