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Jets Players, Fans and Media Campaigning for Every Available QB is the Most Jets Thing Ever

Gregory Shamus. Getty Images.

It's hard to believe it's already been five years since the Jets used the No. 2 pick in the draft to take Zach Wilson to be their franchise quarterback. 

Oh. Wait. I'm … I'm getting word now that it's been two years. Yes. I can confirm now that it has been two seasons for Wilson in New York. And I'm being told that he has 22 career starts, as well as a record of 8-14. Which appears to be enough for the team to conclude that he is, in fact, not their franchise quarterback. Back to you in the studio. 

So we are just around 21 months since ESPN's recap of the 2021 draft said:

Hoping to end years of losing and quarterback instability, the New York Jets selected BYU's Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night, making him the franchise's highest-drafted quarterback since Joe Namath in 1965.

After the Jacksonville Jaguars took QB Trevor Lawrence with the top pick, the Jets opted for Wilson over the three other highly rated quarterbacks in the draft class: Ohio State's Justin Fields, North Dakota State's Trey Lance and Alabama's Mac Jones. …

"I feel like the ball club improved," general manager Joe Douglas said at the end of the night. …

In addition to Wilson's physical talent, the Jets were impressed by their video conference interviews with him.

"Love the confidence, love the energy, love the passion," Douglas said. "One of the things that really stood out was just his intensity. He sat on the edge of his seat. He was close to the camera. You could tell how intense and focused he was. The mental horsepower … was just really impressive."

Coach Robert Saleh said Wilson "checked every box" with regard to arm strength, accuracy and ability to make off-schedule plays. He called him "fearless in the pocket."

Look, it happens to everybody. And were this any other franchise, we'd all be in agreement that he's still only 23. There'd be reminders that, due to Covid and geography, his college schedule was greatly reduced and he didn't face the stiffest competition. And calls for patience, given the near-unanimous positive reports on him from virtually every scout and pundit in the draft business. 

But his is not another franchise. This is the Jets. And what everyone is focused on isn't fixing the kid they handed the keys to the car to two seasons ago. It's all about replacing him with somebody else. Anybody else. They already want to cut their losses. The enormous draft capital they invested on Wilson be damned:

Source - While Jets fans have visions of Aaron Rodgers wearing Joe Namath’s old No. 12 dancing in their heads, there are still many hurdles to clear before a trade for Rodgers becomes even close to a reality. 

The Nathaniel Hackett offensive coordinator hire has sent the Rodgers speculation into overdrive. …

In the meantime, the Jets decision-makers must evaluate what else is available in the quarterback market, and there are two names that rise above the rest in terms of availability and ability — Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Then there's calls for the guy who is virtually double Wilson's age:

But the consensus that the Jets have already decided Wilson is beyond fixing and that No. 2 pick should be written off as a sunk cost isn't limited to the fans or press. His own teammates sound like they've already moved on and are not shy about talking about available QBs:

I guess in a way, you have to admire the organization. They're getting better at this. Refining the process of chucking a promising franchise quarterback overboard like excess cargo. They've reduced their turnaround time on the process in a way that would make an efficiency consultant proud:

--It took them three years of starting Sam Darnold before they came to grips with the terrible mistake they'd made grabbing him with the third overall pick. 

--Before him, Geno Smith made it to the end of his rookie deal, but only the first two seasons as a starter before they benched him. And he came relatively cheap with the 39th pick. 

--Prior to them, Mark Sanchez basked in the glory of two straight trips to the AFC championship game for two whole seasons before the team was able to admit he was not, in fact, the Sanchize they thought he was when the pulled the trigger on the No. 5 overall pick. 

With Wilson, they've streamlined the process to the point they're willing to make him a two-and-done. And being able to admit your failures that quickly is admirable. No matter how cripplingly expensive in terms of draft value and money that mistake was. 

Anyway, it's going to be fun to see which available veteran they bring in to stop the bleeding from this latest self-inflicted wound. And whether Rodgers, Carr, Garoppolo or Brady will last longer than their other desperate stopgap measures like Brett Favre (2008) or Ryan Fitzpatrick (2015-16). Regardless, it'll be even more fun to find out which promising, can't-miss college prospect they'll ruin next.