The New York Jets still need help at wide receiver and since Martavis Bryant is on the trading block, would make a lot of sense to bring into the mix.
Widely agreed among fans and pundits coming into the 2017 season was that the New York Jets were hitting the reset button and collectively starting over. The organization and fans alike said goodbye to veterans that many grew attached to.
Although this approach may have been criticized at the time, it can be accepted as the most appropriate and timely thing to do at this stage of the franchise. One can infer that this was the right decision because the vast majority of the veterans let go by the team have not contributed much to their current teams or are still unemployed and looking for work midway through the season.
As weeks go by throughout this year, it becomes evident what needs the team has to fill moving forward (spoiler alert: more than most). Among other positions, it is increasingly obvious the Jets need to deal with deficiencies all around on the offensive side of the football.
While the Jets have these offensive woes staring them in the face, there is a disgruntled wide receiver the subject of trade talks a six-hour drive away. Martavis Bryant is having a lot of difficulty in Pittsburgh at the moment. So much, in fact, that it is said he has placed a request for a trade and the Steelers have rendered him inactive for Sunday’s Week 8 game.
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Sometimes, all these disgruntled players need in order for them to play up to their expectations is a recharge of their batteries and a change of scenery. This very well could be the case here. General manager Mike Maccagnan should place a call to his contemporaries in Pittsburgh (if he has not done so already) to gauge the asking price.
With players like Jermaine Kearse, Robby Anderson, the injured Quincy Enunwa, and rookies Chad Hansen and ArDarius Stewart, the Jets already have a young core at the wide receiver position. Provided Bryant is able to stay focused (as his drug/suspension history has to be a concern), he can certainly provide depth and become a dynamic playmaker in John Morton’s offense. If his concern is wanting a “larger role” then the Jets can certainly accommodate him.
Not only would Bryant have a focal role in the Jets offense, but his presence on the field will also open up opportunities for the other receivers as well as the running game. Additionally, in 2018 free agency, if they can sign someone on an expired deal like Davante Adams, Jarvis Landry, or Alshon Jeffery, then all the better.
What should the Jets give up for Bryant? That is certainly up for debate. Whether they do something such as trade Matt Forte to Baltimore for a draft pick and sending that pick to Pittsburgh for Bryant, trading one of their own picks, or go a different avenue, Bryant can certainly help the Jets going into 2018.
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If Maccagnan secures Bryant’s services, he will be rectifying an error from his predecessor. In the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bryant saw Jalen Saunders (pick #104 overall) and Shaq Evans (pick #114 overall) get selected before he did at pick #118. Although Bryant is just coming off of a one-year suspension, he has been a much better investment than Saunders or Evans, neither of whom are with the Jets anymore.
From a financial standpoint, Bryant is still on his rookie deal and as such, the Jets would not be burdened with any major commitment as it pertains to a long-term deal. That won’t be until it comes time for Bryant to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2018.