While the Jets have been active in free agency, addressing multiple deficiencies on both sides of the ball, New York is still dependent on Zach Wilson's development in 2022.
If Wilson is able to take a huge step forward, the Jets can truly accelerate their rebuild, striding closer to contention in conjunction with additions from free agency and the NFL draft.
Should Wilson settle into a sophomore slump, however, New York's activity this offseason might not be enough to propel this team forward.
Even with Wilson's struggles during his rookie year, the free agents that have signed with Gang Green this offseason are focused on the signal-caller's potential.
After all, Wilson is an unfinished product. The 22-year-old flashed his elite arm strength in 2021 along with his propensity to make off-script plays out of the pocket.
Tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin, as well as safety Jordan Whitehead, each commented on Wilson during their introductory press conferences this past week. Here's what they had to say.
New York Jets Free Agent Signings Are Excited to Work With QB Zach Wilson
We exchanged a little text here and there. I'm going to meet up with him ... He's a great talent, man. He was a rookie last year, he's going to make huge strides this year and I'm hoping I can be a crutch for him if he needs anything, if he wants anything. Hopefully I can be a security blanket for him on the field as well. I think he's an incredible talent and he's just going to grow.
I talked to Zach a little bit already and coming out of college, I really liked Zach. Coming into free agency, I think one of the big things I wanted was to be with a young quarterback. Especially him, with his arm talent and mobility, just all the things I've heard about him from players and coaches about how he approaches the game. It just seemed like a perfect fit. Excited to help him with whatever he needs to grow.
You could see he had that arm. He can throw the ball. Then, you gotta add in that he can run the ball. I just know it's harder for a defense to get ready for a quarterback who is mobile and has a great arm. When we played him ... that guy has a lot of arm accuracy, a lot of arm strength, just trusting his ability to squeeze that ball in there just shows what kind of quarterback he is.
Ultimately, the best way to foster Wilson's development is to surround him with more weapons on offense, while simultaneously bolstering the defense. Wilson can't be under pressure every snap, can't have nobody open and can't be playing from behind each Sunday if New York wants him to continue to evolve.
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