The New York Jets have officially benched quarterback Zach Wilson after his dreadful performance against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Things can change quickly in the NFL and Zach Wilson has learned a crucial lesson the hard way. After a dumpster fire performance against New England on Sunday that saw Wilson decline to take responsibility for the poor performance of his offense, the New York Jets have benched him ahead of their Week 12 matchup with the Chicago Bears. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report the news.
The Jets appear to have seen enough from Wilson, who was also awful in New York’s first matchup with the Patriots back in Week 8. Head coach Robert Saleh defended Wilson after that game but pivoted after watching the film this week.
The Jets had no choice but to bench Zach Wilson
The final straw was clearly Wilson’s comments after Sunday’s loss, which threatened to fracture the team’s locker room if Saleh continued to let Wilson make mistakes without facing any consequences. Wilson has already been a target of frustration from wide receiver Elijah Moore, whose trade request was partially due to issues with the Jets’ quarterback, while fellow pass catchers Denzel Mims and Garrett Wilson demonstrated their frustration with Wilson on the field on Sunday.
The plan with Wilson appeared to be to let him have the year as a developmental prospect with the Jets expected to rebuild but New York’s roster has become a contender ahead of schedule. The defense is a championship-caliber unit and there are plenty of talented players on the offense, putting Saleh in an unenviable position of making this decision with Wilson not progressing as fast as his teammates.
Wilson has made 20 starts as a pro and has shown virtually no progress from Year 1 to Year 2, completing the same percentage of passes and failing to move the offense with any form of efficiency. New York has tried to hide their quarterback in recent weeks, relying more heavily on the running game, but that won’t work for a team trying to contend for a postseason spot.
Mike White is expected to start for the Jets on Sunday against the Bears. While the benching may not be the end of Wilson’s time with the Jets, this move by Saleh (while a necessary one to avoid losing the locker room) is a clear indication that the organization will be evaluating its options at the game’s most important position in the offseason.