Jets, Zach Wilson issues include cash flow, offsets


For rookie contracts, the dollars and cents are tied to draft position. From that perspective, there’s nothing to negotiate. The higher the player selected, however, the more issues to discuss.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Jets and quarterback Zach Wilson have struck multiple roadblocks on the path to a contract for the second overall pick in the draft. Issues include (but aren’t limited to) cash flow and offset language.

As to cash flow, the Jets want to defer millions in signing bonus money earned by Wilson when he executes the contract to 2022. The recent precedent for players taken in the top two include all signing bonus money paid promptly. (Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the last two No. 1 overall picks, got theirs within 15 days of signing. The last two second overall picks, 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa and Washington defensive end Chase Young, received their signing bonus within 30 days of signing.)

The Jets paid out the full signing bonus received by quarterback Sam Darnold, the third overall pick in the draft, in 2018, the year he was drafted. The Jets hope to break from precedent and push money into 2022 based on the “new boss” argument, pointing to the change in G.M. from Mike Maccagnan to Joe Douglas. That hasn’t gotten Wilson to blink, and there’s no reason to think it will.

As to offset, it’s always a simple matter of whether a guarantee is a true guarantee. If the Jets can protect themselves by forcing someone else to pay the balance of the four-year contract if Wilson busts, it’s not a true and full guarantee. Players want the offset language removed (few actually get that term) in order to receive a true and full guarantee.

Meanwhile, the Jets will move forward with training camp without Wilson — and with James Morgan and Mike White as the only two quarterbacks in camp.

Let’s mention that again. Without Wilson, the only options at quarterback are James Morgan and Mike White.

In other words, Wilson has a bit of leverage here.

39 responses to “Jets, Zach Wilson issues include cash flow, offsets

  1. Dysfunctional teams do dysfunctional things.
    Remember when San Diego and the Spanos’ tried the same offset song and dance with Joey Bosa? How’d that work out for them?

  2. He needs his money now, not next season. I guess he’s got stuff to buy. I wonder how many advertising deals he is already making money from in New York.

  3. Didn’t they mess around with Sam Darnold the same way?
    I guess they don’t really believe these guys are “franchise QB’s” because as soon as it comes time to pay them, they’re acting like they know they’re going to bust.

  4. Why this organization has sucked for years….should have just traded the pick to a functional team!

  5. I typically side with teams in disputes but this one is pretty clear cut. Not a good way for the Jets to start this relationship. Sheesh, this is a really bad look for the team.

  6. As to offset, it’s always a simple matter of whether a guarantee is a true guarantee. If the Jets can protect themselves by forcing someone else to pay the balance of the four-year contract if Wilson busts, it’s not a true and full guarantee.


    I’ve never understood the line of thinking that it is not a full guarantee. Zach will get X number of dollars in year 4 if he busts or not, in that sense (and in my mind the only relevant sense) it is a guarantee. What Zach’s camp wants is if he busts to be able to earn MORE money in year 4 than what the Jets were going to pay him. In each situation he will at a minimum get what he signed for from the Jets. He just wants the opportunity to make more money if he plays bad.

    Jet’s should pay the cash and Zach’s camp should give up on the offeset and let’s get to camp.

  7. Thank God for the Jets front office to make the Bengals not look so terrible lol

  8. When you’re dealing with a team as thirsty as the Jets you can pretty much call your own shots. Don’t blame him a bit. If your franchise is going to ruin my career and prime years you better pay me.

  9. Offset language doesn’t have anything to do with being less than “guaranteed”. The money is, quite literally, guaranteed, period, end of story. The purpose of offset language is to avoid setting the player up for double dipping, by getting cut, collecting his guaranteed money from his old team, AND getting paid in full by his new team. It’s basically a concession that IF a player is bad enough to get cut despite still being owed guaranteed money, AND yet still gets paid at least the minimum by someone else, let the new team pick up that tab and save the old team that small bit of money. The player still gets the full guaranteed money; it just changes who is paying it. Truth be told, it’s pretty darn reasonable, because if a team has already suffered a high draft pick not working out saving it a little bit of cash and cap space while the player is helping someone else win games is a tiny silver lining that, again, costs the play nothing except the double dip opportunity.

  10. Jets being the Jets. First they make a bad pick, then they want to haggle over money timing

  11. “Cash flow”? lol

    No wondet they weren’t major players in FA like the Colts and others. The market is only going to spike badly in 2022.

    I wonder if his mommy is on Twitter trying to negotiate for him? bawhaha

  12. The arguments over offset language are embarrassing for both sides.

    Team: We want protection in case our personnel department is so inept that we drafted a bust with the No. 2 pick.

    Player: I want protection in case I don’t even make the roster by year 4.

  13. Should’ve pulled an Eli Manning going into the draft and told the Jets not to draft him. Nobody would’ve blamed him.

  14. Bad teams do this all the time. It’s not even worth haggling about, especially with a top pick that you’re expecting to lead your franchise. You’re already starting the relationship off on the wrong foot for the right to not pay all of their salary if you cut them early. What kind of sense does that even make in any universe? You shouldn’t even have the mindset that that’s going to happen, but bad teams do this and do it often.

  15. Jets blew the off season. Hired a DC as their new HC then totally restarted the O with a new QB. A good team would have taken Sewell to protect Darnold and be done w it. Now they’re setting the new HC for failure by completely re-setting the O.

  16. Are they trying to F it up? I mean, you’re going to draft your Joe Montana, and then try to piss him off and make him want out of town before he ever gets there. For a rookie QB that’s probably chomping at the bit to come in and get to work, it would take a lot of hard feelings to keep him away. The Jets sure know how to put out a fire. But this kid has the kind of fire burning that you don’t want to put out.

  17. It it was me as the QB I’m holding out. What are they going to do? Oh and when next contract negotiations come (hopefully I play well) I’d go for the throat. I want 4 years 250 million all guaranteed, if not, I’ll sign with Miami, or Bills/NE

  18. The season is flushed already, unless this is fixed real soon. They just had their QB guru die a week ago. This is a fiasco.

  19. He should definitely hold out. No player should have offsets since players are paid by the team, not the the league. Teams shouldn’t get any discount for making a bad pick. Unfortunately, only the top picks can negotiate that and that is where the market is judging by comparable picks.

  20. As most folks above have more or less stated, I thought the slotted nature of rookie contracts made signing a rook a foregone conclusion. Looks like they might wanna hammer out less ambiguous and clearer language for this scenario in the next owners / NFLPA agreement. Make all those suits earn their checks! Lol

  21. I cant believe teams to this day drag out rookie contracts, especialy for QBs, when camp time and practice reps are so limited. Time on task is valuable, you cant afford to lose it negotiating over these details. Coaches must be pulling their hair behind closed doors.

  22. Buckle down and stick to your guns Zack. Get all the money you can up front with no offsets period. The Jets went all in to have you be a rookie starter from day one. Protect yourself and maximize your potential earnings.

  23. You draft a guy #2, and then you’re haggling over what is a small sum of money?

    This guy needs to be in camp from day 1, as he’s your anointed starter, the only one being hurt by this, is the team if he’s not prepared.

  24. Guaranteed money is only relevant if the player is NOT worth what the contract says. If he is, then he’ll be on the team and make that money, so no need for the guarantee.

    Basically, any squabble over guarantees comes down to the player demanding to be paid money he won’t be earning via his play.

  25. This makes the Jets look so bad and they wonder why they can’t win but hey I don’t care I’m not a Jets fan

  26. Last time the Jets won it all, they spent the bundle on their new QB, Joe Namath. But if the Jets want to continue being the Jets and not win anything, they are on the right path.

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