Expectations were so high surrounding the New York Jets entering this season, and with good reason. A young and talented team that was still in the playoff mix a season ago, despite uneven play at the quarterback position, traded for four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers in the offseason. Adding Rodgers to that roster had Jets fans dreaming of a Super Bowl run.
Those dreams turned to nightmares just four plays into the season as Rodgers was lost for the year with an Achilles injury, forcing the Jets to turn back to Zach Wilson. Their former first-round pick, who was a large part of their quarterback struggles a season ago, now had the weight of those expectations on his shoulders.
After two-straight losses — including a three-interception performance against the Dallas Cowboys and a narrow loss to the hated New England Patriots at home — some of the biggest names in the fanbase have seen enough.
One such name? Fireman Ed. The long-time Jets fan who has become a national figure recorded this video following the loss to New England, imploring the organization to make a change at quarterback:
Fireman Ed was not the only one making such declarations. As the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl with the Jets, Joe Namath’s opinion carries some weight around New York.
The former quarterback joined The Michael Kay Show and did not hold back, arguing for Wilson to be sent to Kansas City where maybe he could “learn something” from Patrick Mahomes:
"Send him to Kansas City to back up against somebody like Mahomes, maybe he'd learn something. I wouldn't keep him. I've seen enough of Zach Wilson." - Joe Namath pic.twitter.com/FQ5GL7tTA7— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 25, 2023
Then there is perhaps the most well-known Jets fan there is, ESPN’s Mike Greenberg. Speaking on Monday after the loss to the Patriots, Greenberg made the case for Tim Boyle to start against the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend, saying “nothing is a worse option” than Wilson.
He added “[t]hey have to get that kid off the field:”
"They have to get that kid off the field."@Espngreeny has seen enough of Zach Wilson as the @nyjets QB, and fears the locker room could be lost soon. #Greeny #TakeFlight @ESPNNY98_7FM | @PaulHembo | @ESPNNFL pic.twitter.com/XfiFZ1nSXf— ESPN Radio (@ESPNRadio) September 25, 2023
The problem for these Jets fans? It does not seem, at least at the moment, that their cries for change will be granted. It goes beyond head coach Robert Salah continuing to declare Wilson the starter, but it goes to their options, or better yet, the lack thereof. When Rodgers went down Jerry Jones was asked if the Dallas Cowboys would entertain a trade with the Jets, given the presence of both Cooper Rush and Trey Lance behind Dak Prescott, and the Dallas owner brushed aside the notion, pointing out that the Rodgers injury makes it clear the need for another option (or two) behind your starter.
This is something Jones would know, given how the transition from Tony Romo to Prescott unfolded in the first place.
Teams that have good options behind their starter do not want to move that option, given that you are just one play away from needing them in the huddle.
That leads us to reports like the one from Jay Glazer from FOX Sports on Sunday, where the insider pointed out that both Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz have reached out to the Jets about playing for them. One quarterback would come out of the announcing booth — and retirement — and the other is a QB that three teams have already moved on from.
Yet it seems, at least in the minds of many in Jetsland, they would still be better options than the one they have.