The New York Jets can’t keep all their top players and by the looks of this season, they should trade one of these top three athletes to prepare for the future.
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
There is a golden rule when it comes to any football team. You can’t keep them all and looking at how terrible the New York Jets have been this season, it’s apparent 2016 will be a year fans should forget about. Don’t let their Week 7 win over the Baltimore Ravens fool you in the grand scheme of things.
The Jets barely beat another team that had a plethora of injured starters out, a quarterback playing through a major shoulder injury and a brand new offensive coordinator.
Gang Green got lucky and there is even no guarantee they’ll be able to beat the upcoming Cleveland Browns in their Week 8 matchup on the road. The Browns have yet to win a game this season and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them beat the Jets to earn their first one.
The time is now to move some of their top players in order to land better ones at key positions or even stockpile draft picks for the future. The Jets have glaring issues at quarterback, defensive secondary, and of course, their aging offensive line.
If the Jets play their cards right, they can deal a premier player and add some missing pieces that can start getting acclimated to playing in the city that never sleeps. It won’t be easy but general manager Mike Maccagnan is great at what he does and should be able to pull off key moves for a brighter future. Without further ado, here are the top three players the Jets should trade before the 2016 NFL deadline which falls on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, with a deadline of 4 p.m. ET.
Next: 3. A wide receiver that could thrive elsewhere
Oct 23, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs for a touchdown after catching a pass from Geno Smith. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
3. Wide Receiver Quincy Enunwa
Make no mistake about it, wide receiver Quincy Enunwa has been a solid contributor on offense. He’s the true definition of being a utility player able to block out of the backfield, line up as an eligible receiver, and even on certain plays, be a tight end.
The problem is, the Jets have a lot of youth at the position that is ready to step up. It’s no secret that players like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall, and even Eric Decker might not be the same players come next season. They’re getting older, might retire, or are coming back from severe injuries that might inhibit their ability to execute.
Enunwa is expendable and has shown flashes he could be a quality No. 3, teetering close to a No. 2 wide receiver on another team. With players like Jalin Marshall, Devin Smith, Robby Anderson, and others on the practice squad, the Jets would be wise to start a youth movement in the future. The truth of the matter is, the guys like B. Marshall are getting up there in age and isn’t as consistent as he used to be. Decker could very well never be the same player again coming back from two major surgeries to his shoulder and hip. It’s best the Jets start developing younger talent now instead of depending on just those two veterans to be their main offensive weapons.
If everything goes according to play, there is a small glimmer of hope that quarterback Bryce Petty could be the franchise player the Jets have been waiting for going on decades now. It’s best to surround him with talented youth ready to keep up with any team coming their way. Enunwa could be traded for precious draft picks to address other areas of need on the team. The Jets are pretty loaded at wide receiver that will only get better as time progresses.
Next: 2. A defensive end about to reach his prime
2. Defensive End Sheldon Richardson
The Jets got one heck of a draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. In the first round, they were able to draft Leonard Williams, a premier defensive end out of USC. Not only has he been incredible so far in the NFL, he looks like he will be the real deal as he continues to get more experience. The Jets have a surplus of quality defensive line talent that they could get quite the return for trading defensive end Sheldon Richardson.
As Richardson is about to enter the prime years of his career, the Jets should consider trading him to land a quality player in return or even a plethora of draft picks. He could even get both considering his value is very high at this point in time. So far in his career, Richardson has totaled 129 tackles, 18.0 sacks, and four forced fumbles.
Williams is a more than suitable replacement for Richardson and is a better investment. While some teams might stay away from Richardson due to his off-the-field-issues in 2015, he’s been on the right path towards redemption ever since then. He’s kept his name outside of the bad spotlight and focused on his impact on the football field.
Considering the Jets also locked up defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson on a long-term contract, the Jets are pretty much set at defensive line. They have impact players at every position and all of which are so multi-talented, they can effectively play defensive end or even defensive tackle. The possibilities are endless, plus defensive tackle Steve McLendon has held his own since coming to the Jets this past offseason.
McLendon has done pretty well with the Jets and again, the coaching staff has been able to move Richardson to linebacker to help with their overall pass rush. Of course, he’s not great at it but it goes to show that the Jets have too many options to work with on their defensive line that it’s hard to get everyone in there at the same time. Richardson is easily a player that could be a cornerstone on another team’s defense for years to come.
Next: 1. A dual-threat running back
Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs the ball. The Steelers won, 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
1. Running Back Bilal Powell
The Jets decided to add running back Matt Forte into the mix via free agency this past offseason. While he’s done alright so far in his tenure with the Jets, he’s not as consistent as envisioned. Running back Bilal Powell, on the other hand, has been tremendously misused by the Jets so far this season.
In 2016, Powell has only totaled 137 rushing yards, 24 attempts, and has yet to score a touchdown. It’s surprising, to say the least since the Jets made it clear they planned to be a ground-and-pound offense. They preached about how it would help set the tone of games and let them really pound the football against opponents. Especially with what Forte and Powell would bring to the table as a two-headed beast.
Unfortunately, the offensive problems the Jets have had this season make it hard to even sit back and watch. Nothing has gone right for them this season and they haven’t even been able to capitalize in red-zone situations. That’s why, based on what teams know about Powell, it would make sense for them to trade him now.
He’s the only running back that is expendable and well, could get mostly a draft pick for his worth. Powell is a dual-threat option capable of keeping those chains moving either through the ground or the air. It’s hard to believe he hasn’t had a much bigger role on offense this season with the Jets. It’s not a knock on Powell’s solid skill-set, more on the offense struggling heavily. He would compliment any offense needed an impact player. The Jets could stick with Forte and
The Jets could stick with Forte and Troymaine Pope from here on out in their backfield. It’s not like they’re going to make the NFL Playoffs this season anyway. The Jets should be fine with what they currently have at running back if they decide to trade Powell.