NFL Draft: Rams benefit from Zach Wilson trade in this full Round 1 mock

New York Jets Zach Wilson
New York Jets Zach Wilson / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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2 things stood in the way of a Rams trade for QB Zach Wilson

The LA Rams are a bit financially fatigued when it comes to paying players who may not live up to the compensation on their contract. That was and is a huge hurdle, particularly in the context of taking the risk of attempting to resurrect the career of an NFL quarterback.

In both cases cited above, the team was able to mitigate the inherent risks via contractual language. In short, the Rams negotiated a team-friendly deal to ensure that if either Baker Mayfield or Carson Wentz were unable to deliver, the team would not be on the hook for an over-inflated contract. Unfortunately, with Zach Wilson under contract and with his $5.4 million guaranteed compensation in force, the Rams had no financial remedy:

But money matters were only the first hurdle. The second hurdle was more foreboding.

Zach Wilson cost Mike LaFleur his Jets' job

While we know that the LA Rams hired former New York Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur as offensive coordinator after the disappointing 2022 NFL season, how many know who LaFleur was fired as the Jets offensive coordinator in the first place? The problem for the Jets offense in 2022 was that the team lost rookie RB Breece Hall early in the season after a very promising start. That put a lot of pressure on Jets OC Mike LaFleur to compensate, a task that proved to be very difficult.

But Mike LaFleur could not get his young QB Zach Wilson on track. It was the inability to get Zach Wilson to show any signs of progress or development in two seasons with the Jets that forced the team to bench him in favor of QB Mike White. Ultimately, Wilson would fall to third in the Jets depth chart behind White and veteran Joe Flacco. After a second season in which Wilson regressed, the Jets decided that Mike LaFleur was at fault, and the team and LaFleur parted ways.