Mac Jones trade is bad news for NY Jets and Zach Wilson market

The Jets will have trouble trading Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The NY Jets are expected to do everything in their power to find a trade partner for quarterback Zach Wilson this offseason. The Jets have given Wilson permission to seek a trade, and the hope is that he could find a landing spot in the coming days.

Unfortunately, that might prove to be quite difficult.

Teams have reportedly been reluctant to give up assets to acquire Wilson and his salary, and after seeing division rival Mac Jones shipped to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a measly sixth-round pick on Sunday, it's hard to have any optimism about Wilson's trade value.

Jones is a more proven player with a better track record and a lower salary. If a sixth-round pick is all the Patriots were able to get for him, what could the Jets possibly get for their former No. 2 overall pick?

What can the NY Jets get in a Zach Wilson trade?

Wilson's trade value is almost nonexistent at this stage. It's not even just a matter of talent, either, as Wilson does still have some upside for a team in search of a developmental QB3. His contract is the real kicker.

Wilson is under contract for over $11 million next season. The Jets would be on the hook for that entire salary if they were unable to find a trade partner. A trade would help the Jets out a lot, saving roughly $5.4 million in cap space.

That's because any team trading for Wilson would be forced to take on $5.45 million in cap space. It's hard to imagine many or any teams are willing to pay that much for Wilson, who will likely be entering the final year of his contract as well.

Essentially, a team would be trading for an expensive project of a QB3 with one year remaining on his contract. That's why Wilson has little to no value.

The Jets might be forced to either eat some of Wilson's salary or even include a draft pick to facilitate a trade. It's not an ideal situation, but it might be a better alternative to the Jets taking on over $11 million in dead cap.

At the very least, Wilson isn't going to fetch more than Jones in a trade. That limits the absolute ceiling of a return package to a sixth-round pick.

Maybe the Jets can find a way to swindle a conditional seventh-round pick. Maybe they can even land a late-Day-3 pick swap. At this point, it should be considered a win if the Jets don't have to include a draft pick or eat a portion of his salary.