Do latest AFC East trades hurt or help the Jets?
By Kyle Hirshkind
The AFC East has been shaken up a bit and the New York Jets made a move but nowhere near as big as their division rivals. Are the Jets on the outside looking in?
It has been quite a hectic NFL Trade Deadline as teams made blockbuster deals, much of which has come at the hands of the AFC East. Unfortunately for the New York Jets, they didn’t make any huge moves that pushed their team to be contenders.
The Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, and Miami Dolphins have all made transactions recently by shipping out some big-name players:
- Bills traded Marcell Dareus to Jacksonville in exchange for a conditional 6th round pick in 2018.
- Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco in exchange for a second-round pick in 2018.
- Dolphins traded Jay Ajayi to Philadelphia in exchange for a fourth-round pick.
The Jets made a move but it wasn’t as big as their AFC East neighbors. They made a trade with the San Francisco 49ers where they sent them a fifth-round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft for cornerback Rashard Robinson.
But the Jets have to be looking at the division with a different perspective now right? Each of their rivals has let go of an impact player, but has also added potential firepower in terms of draft picks, so how does this all affect the Jets? Well, let’s examine each trade for what it’s worth to Gang Green.
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The Bills moving Marcell Dareus was an easy way for them to free up some cap space. While Dareus is a standout player, he has not had a ton of success against the Jets, racking up only one sack and 18 tackles. In that sense, the Jets should be content with the move.
But the Bills are looking at the future in the same way as the Jets, despite their positive record. While a 6th round pick in exchange for Dareus isn’t all that grand, it is also the freeing up of cap space that will allow Buffalo to add some extra pieces to their somewhat talented squad. A big free agent signing could be detrimental to the Jets ever seeing the top of the division, especially alongside LeSean McCoy and improved quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
The Patriots have now moved their two backup quarterbacks, with Jacoby Brissett now in Indianapolis, and Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco. The only quarterback left on the Patriots roster, good ol’ Tom Brady.
While this likely means that the Patriots see Brady sticking it out for a few more years, it also could mean that they believe they can get their next star via the draft. A second-round pick for Garoppolo could mean a whole lot come draft day, and the Patriots have excelled at making their draft picks worthwhile over the years. It would be quite a heartbreak if they were to find their next franchise quarterback in this year’s draft, especially since that has been the Jets mission for a while now.
But on the other hand, the Jets can take a sigh of relief now that Garoppolo is no longer in the division. In the times he has taken the field, he has looked decent, and it was a looming thought that once Brady’s time was up, Garoppolo would transition into the spotlight with ease. But now, the Jets shift their focus to the Tom Brady hourglass. If the Patriots cannot find the right guy to take his place either via free agency, trade, or the draft, the division will likely become a lot more interesting.
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Lastly, the threatening Jay Ajayi is no longer a part of the AFC East after being shipped out to Philadelphia. Similarly to Dareus, Ajayi has not found success against Gang Green very often in his career. In five total games against the Jets, he has one touchdown and 235 yards, which are less than stellar numbers, to say the least.
The Dolphins were only able to acquire a fourth-round pick for Ajayi, who last year, was a Pro Bowl running back. While draft picks can always be flipped and maneuvered as the day comes closer, the Dolphins look as though they are imploding. A 4-3 record for them at this point in the season may be a bit deceiving, and things are not looking any better in terms of their schedule. All in all, it’s hard to see how this trade would hurt the Jets in any sense unless the Dolphins happen to grab a stud with their newly acquired pick, which is surely possible.