To little surprise, QB Zach Wilson's poor play and lack of leadership didn't make him a favorite among his New York Jets teammates.
According to The Athletic's Zack Rosenblatt, players in the Jets locker room reportedly "rejoiced" when HC Robert Saleh announced journeyman Mike White would replace Wilson as the team's starting QB. The decision came following New York's Week 11 loss to New England, where the Patriots won a walk-off punt return TD.
Report: After a 10-3 loss to the #Patriots mid-season, the #Jets locker room "rejoiced" that the team decided to bench QB Zach Wilson in favor of journeyman Mike White.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 19, 2023
When Wilson replaced White weeks later, multiple teammates "openly grumbled" in meetings, per @ZackBlatt pic.twitter.com/C6uh6T4Bcm
Wilson's postgame news conference comments overshadowed the loss and might've clinched his benching. Although the offense scored three points and the defense gave up three, the 23-year-old quickly said his team's offense didn't let down its defense.
.@Connor_J_Hughes: "Do you feel like you let the defense down at all?"— Jets Videos (@snyjets) November 20, 2022
Zach Wilson: "No." pic.twitter.com/tiJiTSrFPE
Rosenblatt also notes that when New York re-inserted Wilson into the lineup after White suffered a rib injury in Week 14, multiple teammates "openly grumbled" in team meetings. His return to the starting lineup was short-lived. New York benched Wilson again in Week 16, this time for Chris Streveler, who went undrafted in 2018.
The former second overall pick Wilson threw for 1,688 yards, six touchdowns, and seven interceptions this season, posting a 5-4 record as New York's starter. Despite playing five fewer games, White had 1,192 passing yards, three touchdowns, and four interceptions but went 1-3 as the starter this season.
While Saleh claims the Jets aren't giving up on Wilson, Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reports that he expects them to move on from the BYU product.
It's believed that New York will bring in a veteran quarterback this offseason. If Wilson remains on the roster, he says he will "make that dude's life hell in practice every day."
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