The 2022 season was not kind to Zach Wilson. From a preseason injury to being shutout against the New England Patriots to being benched not once but twice, Wilson’s season was tough for all involved. To make matters worse, the Jets invested a great deal into Wilson when they selected him 2nd overall in the 2021 draft, passing on other players (including potential quarterbacks) or any trade packages. Beyond that, because Wilson was taken so high, his salary is not as cheap as the typical rookie deal with Wilson’s effective compensation in 2022 coming in at nearly nine million dollars.
Recently, ESPN released an article detailing the degree to which each quarterback outperformed their contract value. This report is detailed here and is summarized as follows:
Because value is such an important concept in the NFL — at quarterback specifically — we wanted to take a look at the signal-callers who delivered the most value in 2022. This isn’t necessarily a list or ranking of the best quarterbacks, but rather of those who delivered the most value relative to what their teams paid them. Some are young, cheap players. Some are highly paid stars who played like it. And many are in-between.
How we rank: Quarterbacks are divided into four categories: established starters not on rookie deals, journeyman starters, starters on rookie deals and rookie-deal starters on fifth-year options. Within those subsets, quarterbacks were ranked by their total production in 2022 over what was expected based on their compensation. Total production is measured by clutch-weighted EPA (CWEPA), a stat that is the backbone of QBR. Expected production is an estimate based on compensation — players paid the most are expected to produce the most.
Within this analysis, Zach Wilson does not fare particularly well. Specifically, he is the only QB on a rookie contract who was unable to provide surplus value over his effective compensation in 2022.
zach wilson being the only quarterback not to provide surplus value this season on a rookie deal shows how hard it is to not get positive value out of a rookie contract quarterbackhttps://t.co/iilPyJiOih pic.twitter.com/RGa7CJAhvl— Tej Seth (@tejfbanalytics) February 6, 2023
Usually I wrap my articles up by asking what you think. In this case, I’ll just summarize this report on Zach Wilson in 2022 in 1 word: “Woe.”