Per a report from Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News, the New York Jets have shown interest in trading for Cleveland Browns tight end Darren Fells.
The New York Jets will be scouring the free agent market looking for ways to improve their roster in 2019, but don’t count out the trade market as a possible route to improvement either.
A recent report from Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News has indicated that the Jets could be interested in acquiring tight end Darren Fells currently of the Cleveland Browns. With the Jets currently in the market for a blocking tight end to replace the lackluster Eric Tomlinson, this is a move that could make some sense.
Fells has had quite an interesting professional career to this point. The brother of former NFL tight end Daniel Fells, Darren played college basketball at UC Irvine and eventually went pro playing a few years overseas. Despite not playing football since high school, the Seattle Seahawks decided to give him a tryout in 2013 and eventually wound up giving him an actual contract.
After being released by Seattle in the preseason, Fells bounced around for a few years with the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions before finally ending up with Cleveland in 2018.
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Standing at 6-foot-7 and weighing in at a hefty 270 pounds, Fells has been able to carve out a niche career for himself as a reliable blocking tight end. The Jets will be searching for a viable blocking tight end to compliment young phenom Chris Herndon and this could be an approach they take.
Fells’ 65.9 Pro Football Focus rating ranked him as the No. 31 tight end in football, much better than Tomlinson who ranked 68th. On top of that, Fells’ pass blocking ranked 12th out of all eligible tight ends while Tomlinson graded out as a lowly 46th.
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It’s clear he would be an instant improvement, however, this move comes as a bit of a surprise given Fells’ age and cap hit. Fells will be 33-years-old at the start of the 2019 season and is due to make $7 million total over the next two seasons. Now, the Browns could opt to cut Fells after just one season but it would cost them $1.4 million in dead cap.
If the Jets were to trade for Fells, the hope would be that they don’t give up anything of too much value. It would be surprising to see the team give up anything more than their seventh-round pick, especially considering that they don’t currently have a sixth-round selection.
Perhaps they could even throw a conditional label on the pick or opt to deal a future draft pick to get the deal done. Either way, they must avoid overpaying for a role that could be filled in free agency where it wouldn’t cost the team some precious draft capital, of which they have very little to speak of.
Regardless, Fells would come as a welcome improvement for the Jets if the trade price was right.