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Jets GM Joe Douglas says team has given Zach Wilson permission to seek trade

INDIANAPOLIS -- Zach Wilson's tumultuous tenure with the New York Jets is on the verge of closing after three seasons.

Gang Green general manager Joe Douglas said on Wednesday that the club permitted Wilson's agent to seek a trade.

"Well, I've had good conversations with his agent, Brian Ayrault," Douglas during news conference at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. "Where we are exactly, we've given them permission to talk to other teams about a trade. I'm going to circle back with Brian at some point, this week or next week, just to see how those conversations go. Other than that, there's nothing else to report."

The No. 2 overall pick in 2021 started 33 games over three seasons with the Jets, including 11 in 2023. After brief flashes as a rookie, Wilson never progressed as a passer or in reading defenses. He struggled mightily this season after taking over for an injured Aaron Rodgers in what was supposed to be a backup year during which Wilson learned behind the MVP. Wilson was benched multiple times as the Jets never found stability under center in what amounted to a lost season.

It became clear that Wilson's future would be outside New York.

Wilson's agent can attempt to find a match for the signal-caller, but a trade would seem unlikely, barring the quarterback adjusting his contract. The QB is due $5.45 million guaranteed, a figure clubs looking for a young developmental backup would likely balk at. It's possible Wilson could take a pay cut to facilitate a trade, but most teams interested in the QB would likely be willing to wait until the Jets inevitably cut him.

With Wilson's days in New York appearing numbered, the Jets are in the market for a veteran backup. Rodgers is on course to return to the starting role, but after this past season's debacle, the club knows it must have a better answer at backup for the 40-year-old QB.

"That's part of the discussions that we've had," Douglas said on Wednesday about his backup spot. "It's an area that we're going to be addressing moving forward, so again, we're still really early in the offseason, especially when it comes to the veteran backup landscape and market. We've had good meetings, good evaluations of the guys that are available. I think we're ready to take the next step and see where the market is exactly with these backup quarterbacks."

The market will include several backup options with starting experience. Given Rodgers' injury history and age, if one of those veterans strikes out in a quest to compete for a starting gig, New York could be a desirable backup location.

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