Zach Wilson, Jets in danger of entering Daniel Jones zone

The most important decision for any NFL team goes beyond simply drafting a potential franchise quarterback, but over the course of that player’s early seasons assessing whether he deserves a huge, long-term contract.

The Jets have already made it through the five-year valuation window for a once-highly drafted caller in the past few years, deciding to move up from 2018 No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold after three average seasons before the start. exchanged last year in Carolina. .

The Giants, of course, also declined to pick the $22.4 million 2023 fifth-year option for Daniel Jones, the sixth overall selection in 2019. Jones has missed games due to injury in each of his first three seasons in the NFL, including the last six last year due to a neck problem, essentially making the coming season his career-defining last chance to prove he’s worthy of being the long-term heir to a position held by his predecessor, Eli Manning, for nearly 16 years.

Which brings us to Zach Wilson in the other locker room at MetLife Stadium. Jets coach Robert Saleh was right on Sunday to lament the ‘bad timing’ and lost opportunity for the second-year QB, who will miss the rest of training camp and yet much longer after sustaining a bruise. bone and a torn meniscus during Friday’s preseason opener. .

Zach Wilson threw five assists in the Jets’ first preseason game before a knee injury ended his night earlier.

How much regular-season game action last year’s second draft pick will miss will become clearer after Wilson underwent arthroscopy Tuesday in California. He could, in theory, even be set to return for Week 1; if the meniscus tear is worse than expected, he could miss the whole season.

The Jets are trying to show optimism that Wilson will still have plenty of time to build on a rocky rookie year, although any time lost to injury takes away valuable evaluation time for Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas, especially as quarterback salaries continue to spiral out of control across the league.

Immediate stars in that position such as Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Joe Burrow of the Bengals evidently jump-started their professional careers, each reaching the Super Bowl in their second season as a starter.

Clearly, few expect such a dramatic jump this year for Wilson and the Jets, who finished the 2021 season with a 4-13 record in Saleh’s first year on the sidelines. But the front office improved the skill level surrounding Wilson in Year Two, adding two tight ends via free agency (CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin) while spending first- and second-round picks in the draft on the fast wide receiver Garrett Wilson (10th overall) and running back Breece Hall (36th).

Zach Wilson of the New York Jets looks for a pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday August 12, 2022 in Philadelphia.
The Jets improved this offseason at wide receiver, tight end and running back in hopes of giving Wilson a more competitive offense.

Like the rocky start to Jones’ career behind a patchwork offensive line, however, the likelihood that starting tackle Mekhi Becton will essentially miss an entire second season (knee) and the mid-camp shuffle to incorporate 36-year-old left tackle Duane Brown always could hinder Wilson’s progress.

In what could be a cautionary tale for the Jets, only a year ago the Giants learned the hard way about the importance of having a viable backup quarterback – losing the six games Jones missed to complete the season, mostly with outmatched veteran Mike. Glennon behind centre. Bringing in capable free agent Tyrod Taylor to serve as Jones’ backup was one of the strongest moves of the offseason for new general manager Joe Schoen and rookie coach Brian Daboll.

Post-football columnist Mark Cannizzaro argued that 37-year-old former Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco could give the Jets a better chance of winning games early in the season than Wilson, starting with the opener. the season on Sept. 11 at home against the Ravens. .

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8 throws a pass to New England Patriots defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale (95) during the first half of a preseason football game in the NFL on Thursday August 11, 2022 in Foxborough, Mass.
The Giants declined to pick the fifth-year option for Daniel Jones, who is now playing under his third different coach in four seasons while auditioning for a new contract.

But the Jets’ priority this season must be getting a broader view of Wilson’s valuation and giving him every chance to improve and succeed, something Darnold couldn’t grasp before. landing with the Panthers, who also imported former No. 1 overall Baker. Mayfield (after failing to secure a second contract with the Browns).

Today’s last page

The back page of the New York Post for August 16, 2022.
New York Post

Young people will not be served — for the time being

Buck Showalter carried a young prospect named Derek Jeter to the Yankees roster at the end of the 1995 season, and kept him through the playoffs to absorb that postseason atmosphere ahead of what would be a rookie campaign of the year in 1996 to launch a Hall of Fame career.

More than a quarter-century later, fans of both first-place New York teams — including the Showalter Mets — are clamoring for the announced youngsters to get a taste of the respective pennant races, perhaps to answer to short-term needs.

The Mets declined to promote either of two hard-hitting infielders — Brett Baty or Mark Vientos — from Triple-A Syracuse to replace injured utility man Luis Guillorme (groin) for Monday’s road trip opener at Atlanta, especially with switch-hitter Eduardo Escobar (left-sided tightness) unable to hit right-sided.

New York Mets Mark Vientos prepares for batting practice before a spring training game against the Miami Marlins, Monday, March 21, 2022, in Jupiter, Fla.
With a vacancy in the infield after Luis Guillorme went on the disabled list, the Mets opted against promoting infield prospect Mark Vientos.
Corey Sipkins

According to writer Mike Puma, Showalter indicated the Mets preferred someone who could also provide midfield cover to replace Guillorme’s versatility, and Deven Marrero came on just before the game before the unsightly 13- 1 of the Mets against the Braves.

Meanwhile, the Yankees extended their recent slide with a 4-0 home loss Monday night to the Rays. But with DJ LeMahieu out of the lineup as he nurses a toe problem – and the 4-9 spots in the lineup go a combined 3 for 19, including another rough night for Aaron Hicks – fans would obviously like take a look at 22-year-old field prospect Oswald Peraza for perhaps a much-needed spark.

Tennis, anyone?

Emma Raducanu, Serena Williams
US Open champion Emma Raducanu is set to meet Serena Williams on Tuesday night at a hard-court warm-up tournament in Cincinnati.
Getty Images (2)

No one knows how long Serena Williams will last at the US Open later this month amid her decision to ‘step away from tennis’, and the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion will face the winner of the Last year’s US Open, Emma Raducanu of England, on Tuesday night, in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters in what could be the penultimate match of Williams’ storied career.

This will be the first – and almost certainly the last – time Raducanu, 19, will face Williams, 40, in his career.

“It will be an exciting game, I can’t wait for it,” Raducanu told reporters. “It’ll probably be my last opportunity to play her unless I draw her in New York, but I think no matter what, it’ll just be a great memory that I’ll always have.”

New York Post

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