The Jets solved their quarterback conundrum this offseason, bringing in their signal-caller of the future in No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson. And yet, as training camp kicks off on Tuesday, the following names were the only two quarterbacks to report to the team's facility.
James Morgan and Mike White.
Wilson was absent on Tuesday as head coach Robert Saleh addressed the media for the first time. The rookie remains unsigned, the final member of New York's 2021 draft class that has yet to agree to a deal this offseason.
"With regards to Zack, Joe [Douglas is] working on it here this morning. And hopefully that gets done," Saleh told reporters.
Saleh made it clear that he isn't particularly worried about Wilson's status, assuring that Douglas—New York's general manager—has a "great handle" on the situation. In the meantime, however, Wilson's absence opens the door for those other two quarterbacks to get plenty of reps early on.
"As it is with every player on this roster, when one person misses. another person has to take over those reps," Saleh explained. "So it's a challenge just in terms of trying to maintain the wear and tear on all these individual players. But for the individual, that's where the challenge becomes in terms of making up those reps and everybody knows how important it is to me and our team with regards to reps and practice and process and every moment you miss that process."
Wilson won't be the only one that isn't suiting up as training camp gets underway. Four players (including Quinnen Williams) will begin this stage of the offseason on the PUP list while three more (like Marcus Maye) are on the NFI list.
Wilson appears to be training on his own in California in the meantime. The QB posted a photo to his Instagram story on Monday, getting some work in while his agent and the Jets work through contract negotiations.
Even if he's staying in shape and working to improve ahead of his rookie season, it's unclear if Wilson will be present for New York's first practice on Wednesday. Since the team chose not to sign a veteran this offseason, that leaves Morgan and White as the only two quarterbacks under contract.
It's a similar situation to 2018 when first-rounder Sam Darnold missed three days of training camp practices as both sides haggled over his rookie contract.
As much as Saleh emphasized the challenges of missing time at this point in the season, the head coach trusts that his rookie quarterback will persevere once he does arrive.
"I've got a lot of faith in Zach," Saleh said."He's incredibly intelligent. He's got a tremendous drive. So when he does get here, I know that somehow, someway he'll make up for it."
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