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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Report reveals why Zach Wilson did not want job back after being benched

Zach Wilson holds up a ball

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson throws during warmups before an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson faced a great deal of criticism after he reportedly expressed reluctance to play late in the season, but he may have had a good reason for being angry with the team.

Zack Rosenblatt and Dianna Russini of The Athletic published a story on Wednesday detailing the way the Jets’ 2023 season fell apart after Aaron Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles in Week 1. The reporters touched on what happened with Wilson after the former No. 2 overall pick was benched for Tim Boyle in Week 12.

When informing Wilson that he had lost his starting job, Jets head coach Robert Saleh reportedly told the quarterback that the plan was to make him inactive for the remainder of the season and then trade him. Saleh then reversed course almost immediately after Boyle struggled in a 34-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Saleh told Wilson before New York’s Week 13 game against the Atlanta Falcons that the former BYU star should starting practicing again as if he was going to play. The Jets started Boyle against Atlanta and lost 13-8. When Wilson was approached about starting in Week 14, he expressed reluctance both because of his previous conversation with Saleh and concerns he would get hurt behind the Jets’ struggling offensive line.

Saleh then asked Rodgers to try to convince Wilson to accept the assignment. That made no difference to Wilson, whose opinion of Rodgers had “soured,” according to The Athletic. Wilson was reportedly told he would have a direct line to Rodgers even after the former MVP suffered a torn Achilles, but Wilson did not feel that wound up being the case.

Eventually, Wilson agreed to play again. The negative publicity he received from his initial refusal was probably the biggest factor in his decision.

Rodgers should be fully healthy for the start of the 2024 season. He recently offered some telling remarks about Wilson’s future with the Jets.


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