Jets OK QB Zach Wilson to seek trade, won't tag DE Bryce Huff

The New York Jets have granted Zach Wilson's agent permission to speak with other teams about a potential trade, general manager Joe Douglas told reporters Wednesday at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

While Wilson's days with the team appear numbered, the Jets are trying to re-sign highly regarded pass-rusher Bryce Huff before he becomes a free agent, but they won't use the franchise tag, Douglas said.

Wilson's fate was sealed at the end of the season, when the Jets made it clear they would be in the market for a veteran backup to play behind Aaron Rodgers. That sentiment was reinforced recently by owner Woody Johnson, who said, "We need a backup quarterback. We didn't have one last year."

Douglas said he has had conversations with Wilson's agent, Brian Ayrault. Douglas didn't say whether Wilson -- drafted No. 2 overall in 2021 -- requested a trade, although it's no secret that he's looking for a change of scenery. The team told him during the season that it would be willing to accommodate him, sources said.

"I'm going to circle back with Brian at some point this week or next week just to see how those conversations go," Douglas said. "But other than that, there's nothing else to report."

League sources told ESPN recently that Wilson, who has the league's second-lowest Total QBR over the past three seasons, would fetch only a late-round draft pick in a trade. The Jets could seek a conditional pick, based on playing time.

After two disappointing seasons as the starter, Wilson was replaced by Rodgers, with the organization hoping that he'd be groomed by the future Hall of Famer. The plan went awry when Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon on the fourth play of the season, forcing Wilson into action.

The offense struggled mightily, as Wilson won only four of 11 starts with eight touchdown passes and seven interceptions. He was benched in favor of journeyman Tim Boyle, then returned to the lineup before suffering a season-ending concussion in Week 15.

Wilson is counting $11.2 million on the cap and due to make $5.5 million in guaranteed money this season. His fifth-year option for 2025 would have to be exercised by May 2, but there's no chance of that happening.

Douglas sounded confident about landing a quality backup.

"We're still really early in the offseason, especially when it comes to the veteran backup landscape and market," he said. "We've had good meetings and good evaluations with the guys that are available, and I think we're ready to take the next step and see where the market is exactly with these backup quarterbacks."

As for Huff, who led the Jets with 10 sacks, the team expects to meet with his agent at the combine. They've already held discussions about a new contract, and Douglas said he expects to have productive conversations in the coming days. Not utilizing the franchise tag isn't a surprise because the amount for a defensive end is a steep $21.3 million.