NY Jets shockingly come away as huge winners in Zach Wilson trade

The Jets won the Zach Wilson trade
Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets finally put an end to the Zach Wilson era on Monday, sending the former No. 2 overall pick to the Denver Broncos in a swap of late Day 3 picks. And in all honesty, that's better than anyone could have expected.

Wilson was seen by many as a negative asset for the Jets. His salary was set to count over $11 million against the cap in 2024, and when combined with his abysmal play and lack of affordable team control, it was difficult to find any team willing to take him.

But the Jets did it. Despite rumors that the Jets would need to pay Wilson's entire salary, trade one of their own draft picks, or simply release him, the team found a way to unload him to another team and recoup assets in the process.

The Jets will receive the Broncos' highest sixth-round pick, No. 203 overall, and send the No. 256 overall pick (second to last pick in the draft) to Denver alongside Wilson. The team will also eat an undisclosed portion of Wilson's $5.5 million that he is owed from the acquiring team.

Still, the Jets managed to not only trade Wilson and a portion of his salary, but they did so while moving up over 50 spots in the draft. The bar was incredibly low, but the Jets still cleared it.

The Zach Wilson trade is actually great value for the NY Jets

Despite Jets owner Woody Johnson publicly declaring his team would not simply release Wilson, many believed that would be the Jets' only course of action unless they wanted to eat his entire salary of give up draft capital.

In the end, despite Wilson's salary being significantly higher, the Jets were able to receive just a little less than what the New England Patriots received for Mac Jones. That has to be seen as a win.

Of course, the entire Wilson era was a failure on the part of Joe Douglas and the Jets. The former No. 2 overall pick finishes his Jets career as one of the statistically worst quarterbacks in modern NFL history. The pick itself was an unmitigated disaster.

But we're treating Wilson as a dead asset here. The Jets were stuck with a player who had virtually no trade value, and thet still found a way to offload him to another team.

Wilson now joins an unproven quarterback room in Denver where he can compete for reps as a third-string or possibly even a backup. The Jets get to move on from an unnecessary distraction and focus on the 2024 NFL Draft.

This is a win-win trade for both parties. The Jets found a way to be winners in the inevitable Zach Wilson trade after all.