The New York Jets desperately need some help. Here are 3 trades that they should heavily consider consummating this season.
At 0-3, the New York Jets are in desperation mode. The analytics aren’t kind as it pertains to teams making a postseason rally from that sort of deficit to start the season.
As a matter of fact, only four teams since 1990 have been able to pull it off. If the Jets want to join that elite club, they’ll need some help.
Thanks to a rash of injuries at some key positions: quarterback, middle linebacker, and defensive line. Poor play: offensive line and cornerback. It’s time for the Jets to do something drastic with their roster.
With draft capital and a few assets (tradeable contracts) the team is in a unique position to be able to take a flier on a first-round pick that hasn’t worked out in his current location, an injured player with potential, or heck even a player holding out for a new contract.
Here are three trades the team should heavily consider pulling the trigger on this season to increase their chances of making the postseason and building for the future.
Next: Rare player-for-player swap
Typically a player-for-player swap is rare in the NFL, but in this case, it could be a perfect solution for both parties.
Both players are former No. 1 picks that have experienced disappointing professional careers to date.
Leonard Williams in five seasons has only racked up 17 sacks. This was a USC product that was considered the best player available on the board for the Jets. He was supposed to be a key cog in the pass-rushing department but it hasn’t really worked out.
While Solomon Thomas has been equally disappointing. In two and a half seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, he’s fallen down the depth chart and has only registered five sacks since being taken in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Why would the San Fransico 49ers do this?
The squad has a plethora of talent on the defensive side of the ball. San Francisco traded for former Pro Bowler Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs. They also drafted Nick Bosa with the second overall pick out of Ohio State in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Perhaps a change of scenery can help both players forget about their lackluster NFL past and spark a future with their new teams.
Remember a few years ago we saw one of these rare player-for-player swaps between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. Former first-round pick Calvin Pryor wasn’t really working out so the Jets sent him to Cleveland in exchange for former New York Jets linebacker Demario Davis.
Davis ended up having a career-year with the team and it worked out beautifully. Pryor was later released by the Browns. If Smith turns in half the year Demario did this would be a major win for the green and white.
Next: Take a chance on Super Bowl champion
It’s no secret that the New York Jets desperately need help at the cornerback spot. Their roster is littered with backups, disappointing free-agent acquisitions, and overall just poor performers.
While most fans want All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars, he’d be incredibly expensive. Not only would it cost a package featuring at least one first-round pick (if not more) you’d also have to cough up a big-time contract as part of the deal.
In this particular scenario, the Jets would only be giving up a future fifth-round draft choice for a proven commodity.
On top of the draft compensation given up, the team would also have to dole out a new contract extension for Jimmy Smith.
He’s a 31-year old cornerback who is in the last year of a four-year contract he signed back in 2016. After this season he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Over the past four seasons, he has missed 15 games due to injury and/or suspension.
Per The Athletic’s Jeff Zreibec, the Ravens would be willing to move Jimmy Smith for a “mid-to-late-round pick in return”.
Which means if the Jets are pushy they could even acquire him for less.
While there are a few red flags with this acquisition and possible long-term contract extension, it could immediately plug a hole at cornerback for now and the future.
When Jimmy is on the field, he makes plays. Smith has recorded 13 interceptions in his career and 299 tackles. Also, he would add incredible size to the position (6-foot-2, 210 pounds).
Something to keep an eye on: currently, Smith is battling some knee issues that have kept him out since Week 1.
Next: Fix the trenches
The No. 1 trade the New York Jets should consider is improving their offensive line by any means necessary.
The green and white have experienced a lot of issues so far this season, most of them can be sourced back to the offensive line.
Personally, a 2020 3rd round pick would be a steep price to pay for a player (Trent Williams) that has missed the entire season to date and all of training camp. What kind of shape is he in? How quickly could he come into the building and pick up the pieces?
The New York Jets have already experienced some of this with veteran center Ryan Kalil. Back in December, Ryan announced his retirement from the NFL. In August he announced he was getting off the couch to sign with the Jets on a one-year deal.
So far it’s been a bit of a process getting him back in football shape, imagine having that problem times two with Trent Williams? Now there’s one stark difference, Trent Williams hasn’t retired and has reportedly kept himself in shape for the season.
Williams has two years left on his current deal. He’s due over $9.1 million in 2019, but he’s lost some of that through his holdout in fines and penalties from the Washington Redskins to date.
In 2020 he’s due just over $12 million which equates to a $14.6 million cap hit, per Spotrac.
While some fans may feel uneasy about giving up a third-round pick for a 31-year old tackle, there are two things to consider here:
- Jachai Polite was your last third-round pick and he’s currently on his third NFL team.
- Can you really put a price on protecting your franchise investment? If acquiring Trent Williams will help Sam Darnold stay healthy, why wouldn’t you do everything in your power (within reason) to make that happen?
The Redskins are currently getting nothing from Williams and there’s no clear end in sight between these two parties. This would make a ton of sense for the Jets to acquire one of the best tackles in all of football to give their offensive line a major facelift.