Zach Wilson excited for ‘fresh start’ with Broncos after tumultuous Jets tenure

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The New York Jets moved on from quarterback Sam Darnold, the third overall draft pick in 2018, to select Zach Wilson with the second pick three years later.

Another three years have gone by, and Wilson is now with the Denver Broncos.

Wilson’s tenure with Gang Green was an utter failure, as he ranks near the bottom in just about every QB stat since the start of his NFL career.

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Denver Broncos quarterback Zach Wilson appears during organized team activities at Centura Health Training Center in Englewood, Colorado, on Thursday. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

After the Jets acquired Aaron Rodgers last year, Wilson was, of course, demoted to the backup role. But Rodgers tore his Achilles on the fourth play of the team’s first game of the season, putting Wilson right back in the starter’s role.

Wilson was benched, then returned, then got hurt — it was almost a carbon copy of 2022, when he was demoted for poor play and bad PR, then returned, and was benched again because playing in a meaningless game was more of a risk than a benefit (the Jets’ words).

Now, Wilson has a “fresh start,” and, although it remains to be seen who starts in Week 1, he is excited about the new opportunity.

Zach Wilson vs Raiders

Quarterback Zach Wilson of the New York Jets walks off the field after the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Nov. 12, 2023. (Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

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“Obviously, there’s bittersweet moments in everything,” Wilson said Thursday in his first comments since the trade. “I was grateful for my experiences there and the guys. I miss the guys out there and everything, too. But at the same time, a fresh start is good. I’m excited to attack a new challenge.”

“I feel like you learn the most when things don’t always go the best,” he added. “So you bank those reps, you learn from them and three years of things being challenging, you’re going to learn a lot of things. So hopefully, I can keep carrying those with me.”

In 34 games (33 starts), Wilson has a 57.0 completion percentage, 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions, while throwing for 6,293 yards and a 73.2 quarterback rating.

Zach Wilson vs Dolphins

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson looks on prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Dec. 17, 2023. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

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Wilson will be battling with Bo Nix, the No. 12 overall pick from Oregon, and Jarrett Stidham after Denver parted ways with Russell Wilson in the offseason.

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