The Jets’ offseason program is still in its early stages, but head coach Robert Saleh has seen some differences in second-year quarterback Zach Wilson.
“Zach looks good,” Saleh said. “He’s definitely hit the weight room. He looks beefy, in a good way. He’s definitely filled out. He’s still got all his looseness in throwing the football and zip and all that stuff. He looks good.”
The Jets are in the second phase of the offseason program, which allows the coaches to have some light field work. They will spend another two weeks doing that before beginning OTAs, in which they can ramp things up.
Saleh said Wilson has made strides mentally as well as physically.
“He’s got a really good early command of the offense and he’s doing a really good job in regards to that,” Saleh said. “There’s little things that he’s doing where you’re seeing a little more security. He’s not a rookie, so he’s being a little more vocal. He looks good. He’s getting more comfortable, obviously grasping the offense. He’s never had trouble grasping the offense, but he was a rookie so he goes through it. He’s much further ahead at this point than he was a year ago, for sure.”
The Jets signed first-round pick Sauce Gardner to his four-year rookie contract on Saturday. The contract is projected to be for $33.5 million based on the rookie slotted salaries and Gardner going fourth overall. He received a signing bonus of $21.5 million. The contract has a standard fifth-round option because he was a first-round pick.
The Jets released guard Greg Van Roten on Friday. Saleh did not rule out a return by Van Roten, who started 23 games over the last two years for the Jets.
“GVR is a phenomenal man. I really appreciated the time with him,” Saleh said. “It’s not over. Talking with [general manager] Joe [Douglas], we’d love to have him back as the offseason goes. GVR has a place in this league. I think he has starting opportunities at a few places. Just talking with Joe, thought maybe give him that opportunity to see if he can get somewhere to compete for a starting job. At the same time, the door’s not closed here. We’d love to have Greg back.”
Saleh said rookie TE Jeremy Ruckert is still dealing with a foot injury he suffered during his draft preparation. He is not sure if Ruckert will be a participant in OTAs in two weeks.
“We’re hoping so,” Saleh said. “We’ll see where he’s at again next week. I know he’s working through it. He’s feeling good. It’s just a matter of continuing to rehab.”
Saleh on fourth-round pick DE Micheal Clemons: “He absolutely loves ball. When he puts a helmet on, he goes to a very dark place. It reflects in his play and the effort and the violence at which he does it. At the same time, he is a pleasure to be around.”