NFL players are a lot like stocks. Teams invest in them and then hope that the players’ values exceed what they paid so they can reap rewards. However, much like the stock market, the value of an NFL player can also plummet due to poor performance.
In 2021, the New York Jets selected quarterback Zach Wilson with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. That is a big investment due to not just the contract that granted Wilson but because it meant the Jets were passing on all but one other player who was taken in that Draft, quarterback Trevor Lawrence who was taken first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In 2024, the Jets have seemingly come to terms with Wilson’s poor play and are ready to trade him. However, in that time, Wilson’s value has gone from very high (second overall pick) to very low due to his poor play and that is reflected in the rumored packages that Wilson could fetch in a trade.
League executives believe the New York Jets won't get anything more than a 6th or 7th round pick in exchange for Zack Wilson in a trade.— Sportskeeda Pro Football (@SKProFootball) February 6, 2024
(via @RichCimini)#NFL #SuperBowl #ZachWilson #Jets pic.twitter.com/KyRyMiZyck
As referenced in this tweet and further expanded on by Rich Cimini of ESPN in the referenced article, Wilson’s value is apparently very low. Specifically, Cimini wrote:
ESPN reached out to three personnel executives, one scout and two assistant coaches from other teams to gauge Wilson’s value. The consensus is Wilson could bring back a sixth- or seventh-round pick (or perhaps a swap of middle-round picks) from a team willing to take a chance on him as a backup due to his draft pedigree.
“Perhaps a team out there felt stronger about him pre-draft, and that could influence how they value him,” one personnel executive said.
“(Otherwise), maybe they could ask for something on Day 3 — a mid-Day 3” — meaning a pick in the fifth/sixth-round range. The scout said the Jets could get a seventh-round pick “if they’re lucky.” One of the assistant coaches said, “I’d give up a two-week stay at a Best Western. I’m not a fan.”
Another personnel executive suggested the Jets seek a 2025 conditional pick, based on playing time — i.e. a fourth rounder if Wilson plays 50% of the offensive snaps. This protects them if he gets on the field and produces next season. The Jets “will never get the value they want” in a straight-up trade, the executive said.
This bottoming out of Zach Wilson’s stock is obviously not what anyone had hoped way back in 2020. However, getting something is better than nothing, even if that something is a late draft pick in the 6th or 7th round or a middle round pick swap.