Zach Wilson

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Zachary Kapono Wilson is an American football quarterback. He was considered a top quarterback prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft and was taken by the New York Jets in the first round. He was selected second overall and signed a four-year, $35.15 million full guaranteed deal, along with a $22.9 million signing bonus and a fifth-year option.

Two years into his contract, he was struggling, some predicting that the Jets were expected to dump Wilson in the off-season. Wilson also "indicated part of his offseason will be getting away from the field — something his head coach, Robert Saleh, suggested for his beleaguered quarterback . . . , saying, 'We want to make sure we reconnect with Zach and regain his confidence — regain his confidence in himself and us, and us and him, all of us.'”[1]

The Jets is the subject of the behind-the-scenes HBO show "Hard Knocks" and provides a look at the quarterback drama happening. Quarterback Aaron "Rodgers’ addition to the team means that Wilson — the former BYU signal caller who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft — has been relegated to the backup quarterback spot after struggling mightily in two seasons as the starter."[2]

“I’m very appreciative of him and how much he is willing to help me because he really doesn’t need to be that vocal. He honestly truly is an amazing friend, and obviously such an amazing quarterback, so I am learning a lot of football,” Wilson told reporters in June 2023.[3]

Rodgers was meant to be the team’s starter for the 2023-2034 season but was injured during the first game. Wilson was the team's starter until he was benched on November 19 during a game against the Buffalo Bills in favor of Tim Boyle, who went on to start the past two games, which were both losses. Wilson returned the the starting lineup on December 10.

Reported April 22, 2024, the New York Jets traded Wilson, their former No. 2 overall pick, to the Denver Broncos just three days before the 2024 NFL draft. “The deal includes a late-round pick swap (6th for a 7th) and (the Jets) will cover some of Wilson’s roughly $5.5 million salary,” Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported.[4] However, the Broncos will not pick up the fifth-year option on Wilson’s contract, which means he may become a free agent after the 2024 season.

Wilson was born in Draper, Utah, on August 3, 1999. He played for Brigham Young University. He was named the MVP of the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, BYU’s MVP in the 2019 Hawaii Bowl, and offensive MVP of the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl. He led the Cougars to a 11-1 record in 2020, with the Cougars finishing the season ranked No. 11 in the final Associated Press poll.

He is part Hawaiian on his father’s side—his middle name Kapono means “righteous” in the Hawaiian language. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although Wikipedia reports that he was not a churchgoer growing up.[5]