Jets give rookie QB Zach Wilson 4-year, $35.15 million deal

Jul 28, 2021, 10:32 PM | Updated: Jul 29, 2021, 1:28 pm

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Breathe easy, Jets fans. Zach Wilson is officially signed and ready to throw.

After missing the first two practices of training camp, the rookie quarterback arrived at the team’s facility Thursday afternoon and inked his fully guaranteed four-year, $35.15 million rookie contract.

The deal for Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft in April, includes a signing bonus of $22.9 million, and has a fifth-year team option.

New York posted a picture on Twitter of a smiling Wilson signing his deal, with the words “Let the fun begin” accompanying it. Wilson also sent a video message to fans — who’ll be in attendance at practice Saturday — through the Jets’ Twitter page.

“What’s up, guys?” Wilson said. “I’m excited to get to work. I’m excited to see you guys out on Saturday. We’re going to have a good time. We’re going to get after it and we’re just going to keep getting better every single day.”

Offset language in the contract was among the issues that caused a hang-up. That practice, shared by most NFL teams, provides clubs with financial protection if they release the player before the end of a contract. The payout timing of Wilson’s signing bonus was another sticking point.

NFL Network and ESPN reported the sides compromised with Wilson receiving his entire signing bonus within 15 days — instead of after this season — and the team keeping its offset language in the contract.

Wilson was the last of this year’s first-rounders to get his deal after San Francisco signed quarterback Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick, on Wednesday.

New York coach Robert Saleh didn’t seem overly concerned about Wilson’s deal still not being done two practices into training camp.

“You’re not going to see me panic,” he said after practice Thursday. “Like I’ve said, there are 89 guys that are counting on us to prepare them the best way we know how. And right now, they’ve got our full attention.

“Zach’s going to sign. And when it happens is when it happens. I don’t try to worry about things I have no control over. So when it gets done, it’ll be awesome to get him back.”

About 30 minutes later, the agreement was hammered out. So Wilson should be on the field for New York’s next practice Friday.

Fans who were starting to fret about the quarterback not yet signing took to social media to express relief. Even offensive lineman Greg Van Roten tweeted a gif of WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan doing his familiar “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chant.

Wilson is expected to start the season opener at Carolina on Sept. 12 for the Jets, who moved on from Sam Darnold in the offseason by trading him to Carolina a few weeks before the draft. Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas zeroed in on Wilson after being thoroughly impressed by the former BYU star at his pro day.

Wilson became the Jets’ highest-drafted quarterback since Joe Namath went No. 1 overall in the 1965 AFL draft. New York has been looking for a consistently successful franchise quarterback since Namath’s last game for the Jets in 1976, and the team is hoping Wilson can be that player.

Wilson made some terrific plays during offseason workouts, organized team activities and minicamp, but was also shaky at times — as expected for a quarterback getting a crash course in life as an NFL rookie. He also quickly gained a reputation for wanting to fully understand offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s playbook, often putting in extra work at the facility during the offseason and watching lots of film.

“I look back in college, you’re running the same offense for three years, so you know it like the back of your hand,” Wilson said last month. “Out here, you’re always just a step slow at first. It’s just how fast can I get through my progressions to where I don’t even have to think about it? If something’s covered, I instantly know how to move on. I think that’s the key and that’s what I’ve gotten better with.”

Saleh said he last spoke to Wilson earlier this week, but added that LaFleur has regularly been texting with the quarterback about the playbook and installation of plays.

“We’ll be excited when he gets here,” Saleh said before smiling. “And it’ll be good to not have to answer questions about it.”

More AP NFL coverage: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - A partial view of the Stadium 974 prior to the start of the World Cup group G soccer match b...
Associated Press

Built to disappear: World Cup stadium 974

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Of the seven stadiums Qatar built for the World Cup, one will disappear after the tournament. That’s what the games’ organizers have said about Stadium 974 in Doha — a port-side structure with more than 40,000 seats partially built from recycled shipping containers and steel. Qatar says the stadium will be […]
1 day ago
France's Kylian Mbappe plays during the World Cup group D soccer match between Tunisia and France a...
Associated Press

Messi, Mbappé and co: The AP’s World Cup team of group stage

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Writers covering the World Cup for The Associated Press have chosen their standout players at the tournament so far to form a best team of the group stage. Spoiler alert: Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé are in there, along with surprise names who have helped to cause some of the many […]
1 day ago
Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) changes direction while defended by Chicago Bulls forw...
Associated Press

Poole scores 30 points with seven 3s off bench, Warriors win

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Draymond Green is healthy and back to his elite level of doing a bit of everything on both ends, even leading the offense with the second unit. He just missed his first triple-double of the season. Green is regularly knocking down 3-pointers, too. Jordan Poole also found his groove from beyond […]
1 day ago
Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard, left, guards against Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) dur...
Associated Press

Markkanen, Kessler help Jazz overwhelm Pacers 139-119

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen had 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a 139-119 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. Rookie center Walker Kessler scored a career-high 20 points on 7-of-7 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds for Utah. Jordan Clarkson had 19 points and Collin Sexton […]
1 day ago
San Diego State forward Jaedon LeDee (13) shoots over Occidental forward Bernard Cassidy (34) durin...
Associated Press

Seiko, No. 24 San Diego St beat Division III Occidental

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Adam Seiko scored 20 points, including six 3s, to lead No. 24 San Diego State over Division III Occidental 95-57 on Friday night. The Aztecs (6-2) hit 19 of 37 shots from 3-point range. They won their second in a row after consecutive defeats to Arizona and Arkansas at the Maui […]
1 day ago
Utah running back Ja'Quinden Jackson (3) falls into the end zone for a touchdown, next to Southern ...
Associated Press

No. 4 USC falls to Utah in Pac-12, all but ending CFP hope

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Caleb Williams once again was starring in his own highlight video, breaking four tackles and finding himself in the open field for a 59-yard gain. No. 4 Southern California looked as if it would do whatever it wanted against No. 12 Utah and coast into the College Football Playoff. But, Williams […]
1 day ago
Jets give rookie QB Zach Wilson 4-year, $35.15 million deal