The New York Jets are trading a recent first-round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs, marking the first major move for the team after firing general manager Mike Maccagnan.
Linebacker Darron Lee is headed to the Kansas City Chiefs or a sixth-round draft pick, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 16, 2019
Despite staring 27 games over the past two seasons, rumors had been swirling throughout the offseason that Lee could be headed elsewhere before the 2019 season, and the Jets have finally found a trading partner.
A first-round pick out of Ohio State, Lee never lived up to the high expectations of being a top-20 selection. He ends his three-year stint in New York with 241 total tackles, four sacks, three interceptions, 11 pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
For the Chiefs, they get a still-promising talent with lower expectations, and only have to give up a late-round pick for his services. This is a low-risk move for Kansas City, which makes it a puzzling one for the Jets.
That said, the addition of high-priced free agent C.J. Mosley this offseason made Lee more expendable, and it’s understandable that the Jets got tired of waiting for him to realize the lofty potential that made him a first-round pick just three years ago.
Whoever ends up being the next general manager of the Jets will now have an extra Day 3 pick in the 2020 NFL draft to play with, but he may have preferred a young linebacker still waiting for a breakout season.