Aaron Rodgers wants to make Zach Wilson’s life ‘heaven off the field’ as he joins the New York Jets

Joe Douglas says Wilson still has a future in New York, even as the No. 2 overall pick transitions to a backup role.

(Adam Hunger | AP) New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) laughs with quarterbacks Joe Flacco (19) and Chris Streveler during a break in drills at the NFL football team's practice facility in Florham Park, N.J., last Thursday.

Zach Wilson grew up watching Aaron Rodgers, trying to model his game after him. Now, that will be Wilson’s full-time job.

Wilson officially became Rodgers’ backup this week after the Jets finalized a trade to bring in the four-time MVP from Green Bay. Wilson, the former BYU quarterback, will lose his starting spot just two years after being drafted No. 2 overall by New York.

But, according to Jets general manager Joe Douglas, the franchise isn’t giving up on Wilson. Instead, they will be treating these next few years like a redshirt season for their quarterback.

“I feel like this is going to be a great thing for Zach,” Douglas said on Tuesday after the trade. “Zach’s ceiling is unlimited. No one works harder. No one loves ball more than Zach Wilson. Him having the opportunity to really shadow and be with a first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback every day, every hour he’s in the building, that’s a great opportunity and a great experience.”

Wilson knew last season that the Jets could add a veteran quarterback this offseason. The young quarterback went viral when said he would welcome the addition but would “make that dude’s life hell in practice every day.”

On Wednesday, Rodgers smirked as he responded to Wilson’s remark.

“He’s gonna make my life hell in practice, and I’m gonna make his life heaven off the field,” Rodgers told reporters in New York. “Part of my goal here is to help him get his confidence back.”

Jets leadership has been consistent in their messaging on Wilson since his struggles last year. Head coach Robert Saleh publicly backed Wilson as the future of the franchise multiple times.

Still, both Saleh and Douglas made it clear that even if Wilson might be the starter down the line, he is not good enough right now. Douglas was honest that he felt this current Jets roster is in win-now mode and the missing piece was at quarterback. He also said that Wilson’s struggles last year, when he was benched multiple times, weren’t because of a lack of weapons around him.

“There are quite a few young, talented players on this roster,” Douglas noted. “With the way we jumped out last year, a lot of the young guys proved they were ready to answer the call.”

It is why he feels Rodgers instantly makes the Jets a playoff team and a trendy Super Bowl contender.

“We feel like, with the people we have in place, Rodgers can get comfortable quickly,” the general manager said.

After the trade, multiple Jets starters immediately changed their Twitter picture to an old shot of Rodgers at Cal, underscoring the excitement in New York to get a new quarterback. Douglas said there were some, “high-fives and hugs” in the front office as well.

The reaction only increased the feeling that Wilson had lost the locker room last year, especially after a Thursday Night Football performance where he had a QBR of 5.2 and was benched.

Rodgers has three years left on his contract. Wilson is under contract for two more seasons, with a team option for the third. Rodgers could retire before his contract is up. He turns 40 years old this year. But either way, Wilson will likely be the backup for the next 24 months.

“It’s going be an exciting journey, just to be a part of it is amazing,” Rodgers told New York media on Wednesday. “To be a part of getting this team back to where it deserves would be legendary. That’s what I think what we all want to be about, is legendary things.”