Jets GM Joe Douglas regrets Zach Wilson, Zach Wilson on ‘low points’ of Aaron Rodgers trade

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York Jets general manager Joe Douglas (left) quarterback Aaron Rodgers (center) and head coach Robert Saleh (right) speak to the media during an introductory press conference. / Tom Horak-USA Sports

joe douglas Turns out there were some “low points” getting Aaron Rodgers did business, but during months of negotiations with the Green Bay Packers, jet The GM never felt like they were walking away from the table.

“There were a number of points, I would say weak points, about the course leading up to the combine,” Douglas said in an interview on Thursday. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk,

“I can never say that there was a point where we felt like we were just going to turn our backs and walk away. I felt like the conversation [Packers GM] Brian [Gutekunst] And I was positive. And, of course, there were some sticking points here and there, but ultimately we were able to get on the same page,” he said. “But through this process, we had decisions that we had to make, in terms of what we were going to pursue. And so ultimately we decided to go ahead and follow through with our number one choice, see it.

Douglas stated that the trade process began after the season when the team was “looking at a number of different avenues to move forward at the quarterback position, including a veteran quarterback.”

“As we went through our process as we were putting our levels together in that situation just happens to get the call from Green Bay,” he said. “At that point, they were still discovering the direction they were going to go in, but it was just a simple question of ‘Hey, if we make a trade, if we were to trade Aaron, would you guys? Would you be interested?'”

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Although it was clear that Rodgers was a priority and had mutual interests with the Packers, there would still be obstacles along the way. But Douglas never believed that Green Bay would keep Rodgers on the roster and pay him to sit on the bench.

Douglas said, “Certainly it was a scenario they could follow.” “Whether we thought it was real or not, our focus was always, ‘Let's get this player in the building.' And we know there were some things they could have done, they knew there were a few different avenues we could possibly go down. But ultimately, I think we're both working in good faith to get this deal done. Were.

Currently on the money side of things for the Jets, Douglas revealed that the team is “still working on the restructuring aspects.” [Rodgers'] Behave like we speak, but we feel like we're in a really good place.

The two sides coming together late in the deal was a key point that would trigger a 2024 second-round pick to become a first-round pick. As SNY's Connor Hughes reported earlier this week, Douglas and Gutekunst had a 45-minute conversation on the phone. The convention was that the Packers wanted Triggers to be only about playing time and the Jets wanted it to be about results.

“At the end of the day,” Douglas told Florio on Thursday, “Green Bay was very determined that they wanted to make it just about playing time. And so I felt like, once we got down to the weeds that Whatever the play-time percentage might be, we got to a point where we felt comfortable pulling the trigger on the deal.

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December 22, 2022;  East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA;  New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) watches from the sideline after being pulled from the game during the second half at MetLife Stadium against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Mandatory credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
December 22, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) watches from the sideline after being pulled from the game during the second half at MetLife Stadium against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mandatory : Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports / © Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

But zach wilson and regrets

Rogers and Wilson have already done the work, Douglas explained.

Douglas said, “It's great to see those two guys working together.” “And watching Zach sort of a shadow for Aaron and pick up on certain things, how he communicates with teammates, his cadence, every little thing. You see all these guys picking up on it over the last two weeks. have been

Florio asked about Wilson's benching during the 2022 season and how it was seen as a reset for the young quarterback and whether it could represent a season-long reset with the possibility that he could still be the starter. is when Rodgers departs.

“When the change was made at the end of the second half of last year, Zach intended to reset and get back to basics and that has carried through so far this off-season,” Douglas said. “Zach has an incredible ceiling and Zach is wired right in terms of his love for the game, his work ethic, his attention to detail. And so, it makes him one of the best passers ever.” is a great opportunity to shadow a Aaron Rodgers And every day take all that he can from him.

“I know he is attacking this off-season like no one else. His energy level is unbelievable, with a big smile on his face and really working every day to get better.

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When asked what he wished he had done differently, Gang Green's GM said that with the abbreviated schedule of deciding on a young QB's first three seasons, being a veteran before Wilson's rookie year will gain help in.

“I think in today's NFL whenever you take a quarterback in the first round, you take a quarterback high, against you a lot of times and you need to look at what you have so that you can make a difference in that three-year window.” make decisions,” Douglas said. “Going back would have been great for a veteran quarterback Joe Flacco In that first season. But ultimately we decided to head off with our youth movement.”

While he believed that throwing several young players into the mix and taking some of those “growing pains” as the team grew together and “I think we saw some of the benefits last year.”

“But sometimes you don't take into account the impact of playing a young quarterback early in your career,” Douglas said. “And so if I had to do everything over again, I would probably have that veteran presence in the room for Zack.”