Flushing out (il)logic behind Zach Wilson to Rams rumors. Does scenario hold water?

New York Jets, Zach Wilson
New York Jets, Zach Wilson / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Why won't the Rams consider this trade?

The fundamental challenges with young quarterback Zach Wilson in the LA Rams offense are simple but direct. In the case of former veteran quarterbacks who flourished on the Rams offense - QB Baker Mayfield, QB Carson Wentz, and even QB Matthew Stafford, they had all established themselves as dependable starters on other NFL teams prior to falling out of grace and losing value in the NFL Free Agency market. Jets quarterback Zach Wilson had never established himself as a solid NFL starter. In short, he is still a 'project quarterback,' but one that comes with a rather expensive price tag.

Even in a trade scenario, Zach Wilson will come with a $5.5 million price tag. That's a pretty penny for a quarterback with a huge 'will he even work out?' question mark hanging over his head. Making matters worse, Wilson is under contract with the Jets. That means that the LA Rams are compelled to offer enough value to the Jets to pry Wilson from their roster. Don't expect the typical Rams trades of swapping a future sixth-round pick for a seventh-round pick in the distant future. When the Rams trade for players from other teams, they typically offer multiple picks of value.

Quite frankly, unless Wilson flourishes in the Rams offense, he is just not worth it. In fact, I would stand firm on an offer of a 2025 seventh round draft pick, if at all. With so many quality free agent quarterbacks hitting the market this year, followed by a multitude of rookie quarterback prospects, I simply do not see the value in trying to reclaim Wilson.

Perhaps the Coup De Grace is the fact that I cannot see Rams OC Mike LaFleur signing off on adding the quarterback who cost him his job with the New York Jets onto the Rams roster. Nothing has changed, and you have to believe that the guy who worked with him for two seasons will have meaningful input into the decision to trade for him or not.

Why will the Rams consider this trade?

The only was his scenario holds any water to me is if the following conditions are met:

  • Condition I - The Jets initiate trade talks, and make it quite clear in that initial conversation that the objective to trade Zach Wilson is more about getting him off their books and freeing up a roster spot than trying to get the most valuable trade package for a player who has become dispensable before their rookie contract has expired.
  • Condition II - Any compensation due from the LA Rams is conditional on player performance. That is, the Rams compensation to the Jets is conditional on the number of snaps, yards thrown, completion percentage, or TD/INT ratio. In other words, the Rams are only paying for a player who has some value for the team.
  • Condition III - The team will only enter negotiations for Wilson after it becomes obvious that extending QB Carson Wentz or all other better options from the NFL Free Agency market or NFL Draft have been exhausted.

Some fans have expressed earnest interest in Wilson in forums and the comments section. But as hard as I try, I simply do not recognize the value in Wilson right now. There were even rumors that Zach Wilson did not want to start for the Jets after he was benched, but those rumors were denied by Wilson himself. Still, the matter of where there is smoke there is fire cannot be overlooked too swiftly. After all, what would he say? "Yes, I am reluctant to start after being benched."? Of course not.

Restoring a veteran quarterback to prime form is certainly difficult enough. But leading a young quarterback to levels that they have never performed at before is an entirely different matter altogether. With Wilson, the Rams have just one year to get him up to speed before they either elect a very expensive fifth-year option, or allow him to test his value in the free agency market.

Final Verdict: Hard pass

I love what the Rams have done with veterans in the past. I simply cannot see enough reward to warrant the inherent risks. Let us know your thoughts. And as always, thanks for reading.