LOCALS IN THE NFL

New York Jets Owner Rips Zach Wilson

Feb 9, 2024, 1:02 PM

Woody-Johnson-New-York-Jets-NFL-Honors...

(L-R) New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, Suzanne Johnson and family members attend the 13th annual NFL Honors at Resorts World Theatre on February 08, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITYNew York Jets owner Woody Johnson publicly criticized his team’s offense and former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson during an interview at the 2024 NFL Honors.

The league’s awards show was held in Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday, February 8.

Before the NFL Honors, Johnson was interviewed by ESPN’s Jeff Darlington.

While discussing his team’s disappointing performance in 2023, Johnson specifically called out Wilson.

“You need a backup quarterback,” Johnson told Darlington. “We didn’t have one last year.”

After starting for the majority of his first two seasons in the league, Wilson entered the 2023 season as the backup to four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.

However, Rodgers went down with a season-ending Achilles injury only four plays into the team’s opener.

After that, Wilson was thrust back into the starting role that he wasn’t intended to have again for at least a year or two.

During the ESPN interview, Johnson described the moment that Rodgers went out and Wilson became New York’s QB1 again.

“What does it feel like having your arm chopped off? That’s about it,” the Jets owner said.

Johnson also criticized the team’s head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas.

“The discussions I’ve had in the last couple of months, they’ve seen me about as mad as I can be with what was going on, with the offense particularly,” Johnson reportedly said of his coach and GM. “We have all this talent, and we have to deploy talent properly. So I think they all got the message. This is it. This is the time to go. We’ve got to produce this year.”

Johnson also said that the Jets “have to do a lot better” than the seven victories they produced in 2023.

“He’s going to concentrate on offense,” Johnson said of Saleh. “It’s offense, offense, offense.”

Since Johnson hired Douglas in 2019, the Jets have posted a 27-60 record, including 18-33 under Saleh’s coaching.

Johnson purchased the Jets in 2000. Since taking over as the franchise’s owner, the Jets have only made the postseason six times and are currently in a 13-year drought. Johnson has had seven general managers and seven head coaches during his ownership tenure.

More than 20 quarterbacks have started for the Jets since Johnson took over two dozen years ago.

Zach Wilson in 2023

Wilson recently completed his third season in the NFL.

This season, Wilson threw for 2,271 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions with a completion percentage of 60.1. He also ran for 211 yards.

The former BYU star missed New York’s final three games and the Jets finished with a 7-10 record.

During his three years in the league, the former BYU star has thrown for 6,293 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions with a 57.0 percent completion rate. He’s added 498 yards and five touchdowns with his legs.

After a rocky start to his professional career, the Jets are reportedly expected to trade or release Wilson this offseason.

RELATED: Potential NFL Landing Spots For Jets QB Zach Wilson In 2024 

NFL free agency officially begins on March 13.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. Listen to Ireland on Yards After College: An NFL Podcast. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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