Jets fans should brace themselves for a possible Zach Wilson holdout

Having made their decision on their quarterback of the future and determined he's the best possible fit for their offense, the Jets clearly have a plan in place for his development. It should all be plain-sailing from here, right?

Unfortunately, there may be one other key hurdle to overcome because Wilson is apparently represented by the same team that brought you such holdouts as those involving Roquan Smith, Aaron Donald and Joey Bosa.

Don't think this was lost on Wilson and his family either. It would likely have been a selling point that these representatives used in order to secure his signature. Wilson, whose uncle is a billionaire entrepreneur, may have chosen this representation above all others because of their reputation for getting their clients a better deal, even on rookie contracts which have almost no room for negotiation.

Rookie holdouts were supposed to be a thing of the past when the rookie contract scale was upgraded several years ago. Rookie deals for first rounders now must be four year deals with a fifth-year option and the dollar amount set in stone by their draft slot and the level of that season's salary cap, with no renegotiation allowed until after the third season.

So, what is there even to negotiate? Recent holdouts have been over things like offset language, the timing of payments or the language surrounding the situations in which guaranteed money has to be returned. The Smith holdout, for example, was because there was a concern that he could be fined for a helmet-to-helmet hit and that this would cause him to lose guarantees.

From a fan's perspective, it can be a frustrating and tense time, with anger to be directed at the player, his representatives and the team in equal measures. The message to the front office should be clear though:

The fans want Zach Wilson in camp on time.
The fans don't care about offset language.
The fans don't care about non-guaranteed guarantees.
The fans don't care about the timing of payments.
Neither should you.
Get him signed.

You've made the commitment to Wilson by using the second pick on him, now sign him to a contract to get him into camp on time so this doesn't hang over the offseason like a Sword of Damocles.

The Jets gave us a positive sign of their intent when they became the first NFL team to sign ANY 2021 rookie to a contract by inking Jamien Sherwood to a four-year deal on Wednesday and then following that up by signing their other five defensive draft picks on the first day of mini-camp. Hopefully, they take a similar no-nonsense get-it-done approach to Wilson's deal once the time comes to sign that.

It's hard to know whether Sam Darnold's holdout, which only caused him to miss a day or two of camp, played any part in slowing his development, but the likes of Smith, Bosa and Donald's holdouts lasted deep into August. With preseason affected, could Wilson end up not being ready to start from the beginning of the 2021 season?

While we shouldn't be so alarmist as to suggest that the backup quarterback position is a higher priority given the possibility of a training camp holdout, it should not be forgotten that this is a spot that still needs to be filled, in case Wilson has a setback for this or any other reason.

Ultimately, if the Jets do get Wilson's deal done, this is perhaps cause for celebration - even more so than previous first round picks given the situation.

However, let's not forget, of course, if the rookie deal is done without too much fuss, then the Jets could still end up in a tough negotiation in three years time if Wilson develops as well as hoped (or, worse, if he falls just short of expectations but is still looking for an extension).