Zach Wilson

AFC East Rumors: Bills, Jets, Douglas, Jackson

On Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul made comments that all but guaranteed that an agreement for a new stadium for the Bills will be made soon, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports.

Highmark Stadium (previously Rich Stadium, Ralph Wilson Stadium, and New Era Field) has been the home of the Bills since 1973. The Bills’ current lease on Highmark expires in 2023 and the franchise has been pushing with many government entities to build them a shiny, new stadium. The team has used the very real looming threat that there are plenty of other markets in the country that can support an NFL franchise.

Hochul commented on that threat saying, “That’s why we’re negotiating very intently, to make sure we have the right outcome for this community.” The new stadium will partially be funded by the public to the tune of about $850MM. The Governor claims that a deal will be done by April 1, in time for the annual budget.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC East, starting with a couple of notes that keep us in the Empire State:

  • The Jets are planning to use this offseason to add some weapons to the roster for quarterback Zach Wilson. They currently have Corey Davis and Elijah Moore sitting atop the depth chart. They would love to bring back Braxton Berrios as a fourth-receiver/gadget player and they haven’t yet given up on Denzel Mims. Still, New York will have ample opportunity to add a potential No. 1 receiver to the roster, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. The free agent market is home to many household names like Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, Mike Williams, and, potentially, Amari Cooper. Players like Calvin Ridley and Cole Beasley have been rumored to be available via trade. The 2022 NFL Draft is also so rich in talented receivers that many believe some first round talent could fall to the second round where the Jets have two high picks, if they don’t choose to take a top prospect like Garrett Wilson or Drake London with the 10th overall pick.
  • That being said, Vacchiano also reports that, despite their vast spending ability, general manager Joe Douglas has been preaching the maintenance of financial flexibility. Though the Jets rank in the Top 5 in the NFL in salary cap space, Douglas rejected the notion that their $50-60MM in cap space will be dedicated to big spending in free agency. Douglas acknowledged free agency as just one of “a lot of different tools to improve your roster” and pointed to the Bengals as an example of responsible free agent spending. “I think Cincy did great in free agency last year,” he said. “They didn’t blow the doors off in terms of signing super high-priced guys. They brought in guys who fit exactly what they wanted to do.”
  • According to Mike Giardi of NFL Network, Patriots’ cornerback JC Jackson is likely headed for free agency with some lofty expectations. While Jackson still likes the Patriots, money is a big factor for the 26-year-old. Giardi claims that Jackson is strictly seeking compensation similar to Jalen Ramsey. New England won’t bring that money to the table and it sounds like they won’t be utilizing their franchise tag on Jackson, either. That information could lead to a tag and trade situation if other teams aren’t willing to shell out for Jackson in free agency.

Zach Wilson To Start Week 12

As expected, the Jets will have their No. 2 overall pick back under center when they take on the Texans on Sunday. As Alex Smith of writes, Zach Wilson will get the start for Gang Green.

Wilson suffered a PCL sprain in the team’s blowout loss at the hands of the Patriots in Week 7, and since then, the Jets have deployed Mike White, Josh Johnson, and Joe Flacco at quarterback. New York has gone 1-3 in that span, with its lone victory coming in a White-led upset of the Bengals in Week 8.

White’s performance in the Cincinnati game and in the first quarter of the ensuing matchup against the Colts — he left that contest early due to an injury of his own — gave the former fifth-rounder a chance to hang onto the starting job even when Wilson was healthy enough to return. But while the Jets still plan to tender White, an impending RFA, this offseason, his disastrous four-interception outing against the Bills in Week 10 scuttled that opportunity. He was benched in favor of the veteran Flacco for last week’s loss to the Dolphins.

Of course, even if the Jets were inclined to start one of White or Flacco over Wilson this week, they would be unable to. The team has placed both passers on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and they will be forced to miss Sunday’s game. Johnson will serve as Wilson’s backup.

Wilson has generally struggled in his rookie season. The BYU product has gone just 1-5 in his six starts and has mustered a meager 63.5 quarterback rating. He has completed just 57.5% of his passes and has tossed four touchdowns against nine interceptions. If he can show a marked improvement down the home stretch, the Jets’ offseason outlook will be considerably brighter.

Jets Plan To Tender QB Mike White

Mike White‘s feel-good 2021 season lasted about five quarters. The fourth-year quarterback led the Jets to an upset of the Bengals in relief of the injured Zach Wilson in Week 8 and then played well in the early stages of the club’s Week 9 loss to the Colts before being forced out with an injury. But his four-interception showing against the Bills last week forced HC Robert Saleh to turn the reins over to veteran Joe Flacco for today’s game against the Dolphins.

The move still qualified as something of a surprise, as New York is not competing for a playoff spot and arguably should have tried to see if White could rebound from his poor outing. The good news for White, as Rich Cimini of says, is that he is still in the Jets’ plans and that the team will tender him as a restricted free agent this offseason.

Cimini recently said that was the expectation, though after the disappointing Bills game and with Wilson slated to return soon — Cimini adds that Wilson has a good chance to suit up for next week’s bout with the Texans — the Jets’ potential last look at White in game action in 2021 might have put his future with the team in jeopardy. It does not sound like that is the case, however, and Cimini writes that the Jets expect White to draw interest from other clubs, which could prompt Gang Green to hand him the second-round tender worth $3.9MM (the original-round tender checks in at $2.4MM).

In related news, the Jets’ top decision-makers are not alarmed by the team’s seven losses in nine games, a number of which have been blowouts. Aside from his election to start Flacco over White, Saleh has adhered to the plan of getting as much playing time for young contributors as possible, and as Cimini observes, the Jets are on pace to give 9,000 snaps to their first- and second-year players. Of the 19 teams to hit that threshold from 2017-19, 13 realized an increase in their win total the following season (with an average of 3.8 more victories).

Of course, GM Joe Douglas will need to nail the 2022 draft — in which he is slated to have nine picks — but the organization expects to return to competitiveness no later than 2023.

Jets To Start Joe Flacco In Week 11

A third quarterback will take the reins for the Jets this season. Weeks after coming over from the Eagles in a trade, Joe Flacco will be given the nod against the Dolphins on Sunday, Rich Cimini of tweets.

Flacco went from being inactive to being Mike White‘s backup. After White’s four-interception day against the Bills, Robert Saleh will give Flacco a try. This will be Flacco’s fifth Jets start. He appeared in five games and started four in relief of Sam Darnold last season. This will be Flacco’s 176th career start. Among players never selected for a Pro Bowl, that is first all time.

Zach Wilson suffered a PCL injury Oct. 25 and initially faced a two- to four-week timetable. Although the rookie has returned to practice, the Jets do not view him as being 100%, Cimini adds. This, along with a Dolphins blitz-heavy defense that limited Lamar Jackson last week, will lead to Flacco. A 14th-year veteran, Flacco did not see any time for the Eagles this season.

Saleh previously said the Jets’ quarterback situation would sort itself out organically, with signs pointing to White having a legitimate chance to keep Wilson on the bench. Despite White’s 400-yard day that keyed a Jets upset of the Bengals, the fourth-year passer’s stock has undoubtedly dipped a bit after his outing against the Bills. White will be Flacco’s backup in Week 11, keeping Wilson out of action.

Flacco, 36, completed a career-low 55% of his passes for a woeful Jets team in 2020, averaging 6.4 yards per attempt. He signed with the Eagles on a one-year deal worth $3.5MM in March. Flacco’s playing-time increase would be good news for the Eagles, who could see their trade compensation rise from a 2022 sixth-round pick to a fifth. Flacco would need to play 50% of the Jets’ offensive snaps in at least four games for the pick to move into Round 5, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

Latest On Jets’ Quarterback Situation

Mike White is set to make his third start. The fourth-year quarterback, who left last week’s game with an injury, will retake the reins against the Bills. Joe Flacco will replace Josh Johnson as New York’s backup, Connor Hughes of The Athletic tweets.

While the White and Flacco dominoes are notable, Zach Wilson‘s status is the interest driver here. The No. 2 overall pick is running the Jets’ scout team this week and has not yet been deemed full-go from the PCL injury he sustained late last month. Initially given a two- to four-week timetable, Wilson will sit a third game. It is not certain he will regain his job upon returning to full strength, however.

Robert Saleh said Monday that Wilson would be back as the team’s starter once healthy, but the first-year HC has since walked that back. White, whom Saleh has said is giving the Jets a “clear blueprint of how this offense is supposed to run,” has a chance to keep the job and slot Wilson as the backup.

I think it’s going to happen organically. If Mike does phenomenal, like we think he’s going to do, that’s not weird, that’s awesome, to me, in the sense a quarterback is a precious commodity in this league and we feel we have four good ones,” Saleh said, via Hughes (subscription required). “I think it will all take care of itself. We have to let it play out.

[White] did wonderful during the [Bengals] game, did a wonderful job in the first quarter of that Indianapolis game. He is putting on good tape. There is an obligation, if he’s playing well and doing the things he needs to do, to give him the opportunity to continue on that.”

In producing the first Jets 400-yard passing game in 21 years, White inserted himself into this discussion beyond the emergency fill-in level. The Jets did not acquire a veteran quarterback this offseason, giving Wilson the job. The BYU product has struggled, ranking 32nd in QBR and starting his career with a 4-to-9 TD-INT ratio. The Jets now have two veterans on the active roster, with Flacco transported from the Eagles’ backup to the Jets’ QB2. Johnson is back on the team’s practice squad.

First-year Jets OC Mike LaFleur called Wilson’s injury-induced hiatus a “somewhat refreshing” break that will allow for a different perspective, via’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter). Should White retain the job once Wilson is healthy, that will mark an unusual demotion. First-round quarterbacks generally do not return to the bench as rookies after being given extended first-string run. In the previous 10 years, Paxton Lynch is the only first-round quarterback to make a start as a rookie and return to the bench without an injury factoring into the equation. (Though, Patrick Mahomes was given a Week 17 start as a rookie before reverting to backup status for Kansas City’s 2017 wild-card game.)

Wilson following suit could create a messy situation, Cimini writes, given his draft slot. For now, the Jets do not have to declare a full-time starter. But they will perhaps as soon as next week.

Injury Notes: 49ers, Jets, Rams

We learned earlier today that a torn quad will sideline 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey for the rest of the season, and the injury hits keep coming for San Francisco. Per head coach Kyle Shanahan, both wideout Mohamed Sanu and Tavon Wilson will likely miss some time (per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury on Twitter).

Sanu suffered a knee sprain during the third quarter of yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals, and Shanhan said the wideout will be out for a while. The veteran receiver had established himself as the third receiver this season, hauling in 15 catches for 177 yards through eight games. The likes of Jauan Jennings and Trent Sherfield could see increased reps while Sanu is out of the lineup.

Wilson suffered a foot injury that will likely require an IR trip. The veteran safety was already starting in place Jimmie Ward, so the team will have to rely on their depth while the two defensive backs are sidelined. Wilson has seen time in eight games this season, although Week 9 was the first time he got significant playing time on defense.

Some more injury notes from around the NFL:

  • The 49ers provided some additional context on defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw‘s recent knee operation (via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Twitter). Team doctors noted “that the ACL has chronic changes that would be best treated with ACL reconstruction.” The organization believes this alternative route will provide Kinlaw with the best chance to play during the 2022 season.
  • Both Zach Wilson and Mike White will both return to Jets practice this week, reports Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter). It remains to be seen who will be the starting quarterback against the Bills this weekend. It sounds like the team is likely to play it safe with Wilson, meaning White could get another chance to start.
  • Rams wideout Jacob Harris will miss the rest of the season following ACL and MCL injuries, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic (via Twitter). The fourth-round pick was a wideout in college but has been playing tight end since joining the NFL. He’s only played 15 offensive snaps this season, but he got into nine games as a special teamer.

Jets GM Addresses Quarterback Situation

On the heels of Mike White‘s 400-yard debut which keyed a Jets upset win over the Bengals, Robert Saleh did not shoot down the possibility of White pushing Zach Wilson for the starting job once the prized rookie returned from injury.

The first-year coach said postgame the team would go day to day regarding the team’s quarterback outlook and that “anything is possible” here. A day later, Saleh said (via the New York Post’s Mike Cannizzaro), “If everything goes according to plan and Zach comes back and he’s healthy, we’ll address it when we cross that bridge.” Third-year GM Joe Douglas addressed this topic Tuesday.

I’m in lockstep with the coach. I’m going to piggyback on everything coach said and we’re going to cross that bridge when we get to it,” Douglas said of the team’s QB depth chart (via Newsday’s Al Iannazzone).

Douglas, of course, used the No. 2 overall pick on Wilson this year. This move came shortly after the Jets concluded their previous would-be franchise QB’s run, when they traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers. Wilson has not played especially well thus far — joining a couple of his rookie-year brethren in struggling early. Wilson’s 25.9 Total QBR figure ranks 32nd, ahead of only Justin Fields, and the BYU product has thrown four touchdown passes compared to nine interceptions.

A former Cowboys fifth-rounder who has been with the Jets since 2019, White completed 37 passes — an NFL record for a first-time starter — and joined Cam Newton as the only first-start QBs to surpass 400 passing yards. White’s 405-yard day marked the first Jets 400-yard passing performance since Vinny Testaverde in 2000. Despite the Jets having traded for Joe Flacco, he of 175 career starts (including four with Gang Green last year), White is set for his second start Thursday. Flacco was not active for the Jets’ comeback win over the Bengals.

Any potential decision on a long-term change would not happen until Week 10. The Jets did not place Wilson on IR, hoping he can return from his PCL injury without being moved off the active roster for three games.

I feel like he was on his way to really taking off in that New England game prior to the injury,” Douglas said of Wilson. “He’s a tough-minded young man. He has great work ethic. I think you’re going to continue to see him just shoot up. His arrow is pointing straight up. He’s going to continue to get better every day once he gets back on the field.”

Jets QB Zach Wilson To Avoid IR Stint

The Jets are optimistic that Zach Wilson can be back on the field for the team’s November 14th game against the Bills. As a result, Wilson won’t be hitting the shelf. Per Connor Hughes of The Athletic (via Twitter), the Jets have decided to not place their rookie quarterback on injured reserve. An IR stint would have caused Wilson to miss the next three games.

[RELATED: Eagles Trade QB Joe Flacco To Jets]

Wilson suffered a knee injury during last weekend’s loss to the Patriots, and he’s expected to be sidelined for two to four weeks. The second-overall pick completed 6-of-10 passes for 51 yards before his second quarter exit against New England, and for the season, Wilson has completed 57.5% of his throws for four touchdowns against nine interceptions.

Mike White, who filled in for Wilson last Sunday, will get the first crack at the starting nod. The Jets will use Sunday’s game against the Bengals to help make a determination on next Thursday’s game against the Colts. White could end up starting both contests, but the team will be ready to pivot to Joe Flacco if necessary. The Jets acquired Flacco from the Eagles earlier this week.

The Jets are hoping that Wilson be able to return after those next two games.

Eagles Trade QB Joe Flacco To Jets

Joe Flacco is heading back to New York. The Jets have acquired the veteran quarterback from the Eagles, reports NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter).

Philly will acquire a conditional sixth-round pick that could improve to a fifth-round pick based on Flacco’s playing time (per ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter). The sixth-rounder being sent over in this deal originally belonged to the Buccaneers, Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan tweets.

[RELATED: Jets’ Zach Wilson To Miss 2-4 Weeks]

Despite the fact that the Jets pivoted to a rookie quarterback with the number-two pick, the organization decided against signing a veteran QB this past offseason. Now, with Zach Wilson expected to miss multiple weeks with a sprained MCL, the team was scrambling for depth at the position. We got a look at backup Mike White during yesterday’s blowout loss to the Patriots, and the former fifth-round pick threw a touchdown vs. two interceptions in his NFL debut. The Jets are also rostering Josh Johnson on their practice squad.

Flacco spent the 2020 campaign with the Jets and served as Sam Darnold‘s primary backup. The veteran ended up getting into five games (four starts) with New York, completing 55.2 percent of his passes for 864 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions. While Flacco struggled during his first stint in New York, he’ll still provide the struggling and inexperienced Jets offense with a veteran presence. Of course, Flacco hasn’t been a full-time starter since the 2017 season, and he didn’t see the field during his brief stay in Philly…so Jets fans should certainly temper expectations.

The 36-year-old somehow parlayed his underwhelming 2020 performance into a one-year, $3.5MM contract with the Eagles to be Jalen Hurts‘ primary backup. Considering Flacco’s lack of playing time in Philly, today’s move makes plenty of sense for the Eagles. The team will now move forward with Gardner Minshew as Hurts’ primary backup. The former Jaguars starter was acquired by the Eagles back in August for a conditional sixth-round pick (a pick they’ve recouped with today’s trade).

Jets’ Zach Wilson To Miss 2-4 Weeks

Some relatively good news for the Jets. Zach Wilson‘s knee injury will only cost him 2-4 weeks of action (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of

Wilson effectively diagnosed himself after Sunday’s game, telling reporters that his “loose” knee indicated a PCL injury. His Monday morning MRI backed that up, so he should be able to return sometime in November. Unfortunately, the Jets might not have much to play for at that point. They’re now 1-5 following yesterday’s drumming at the hands of the Patriots.

Wilson completed 6-of-10 passes for 51 yards before his second quarter exit. For the year, Wilson has completed 57.5% of his throws for four touchdowns against nine interceptions. Now, the Jets will turn to his understudy, Mike White. White went 20-of-32 for 202 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in his pro debut.

Yeah, I’m confident in myself,” White said after the game (via “I’m mostly confident in the guys we have in that locker room, the leaders we have. The coaching staff, too.”

The confident White will make his first start on Sunday when the Jets face the Bengals.