The NY Jets have a surplus of linebackers on the squad. Here are three potential trade packages the team could consider to move Avery Williamson.
Early in the offseason, there was a lot of speculation that the NY Jets would move on from linebacker Avery Williamson. The team entered free agency with over $50 million in projected cap space but had the ability to create another $30 more million or so with some roster finagling.
That potential move has only picked up steam since the new league year kicked off a few weeks ago. On the open market, the NY Jets were able to retain two key cogs in the linebacker room from last season in James Burgess and Neville Hewitt.
The team currently boasts five players that have varying levels of starting experience in this league at linebacker. Since you can only have so many linebackers on the field at any given time, it would behoove the Jets and general manager Joe Douglas to flip one of their extra backers for future draft compensation or a player that can help at a different position.
Williamson has one year left on his contract for a cap hit of $8.5 million and the team would eat $2 million in dead money if they moved on from him via trade or by releasing him. While there are many fans who would like to see Avery and Mosley on the field together at the same time in 2020, it just doesn’t seem meant to be.
So we explored three potential trade packages that the NY Jets should consider if they want to move linebacker Avery Williamson. Here’s what we came up with.
Next: 3. A valuable draft pick
The #Jets Zone w/ @BoyGreen25 feat. @nyjets Team Reporter @EGreenbergJets:– Answered your #TakeFlight fan mail on 2020 #NFLDraft, #FreeAgency. – How has #coronavirus affected day-to-day operations for #NYJ?– Top takeaways from Joe Douglas presser.https://t.co/IxdeM6hogq
— The Jets Zone (@TheJets_Zone) April 2, 2020
This first trade is the most simplistic. Flip Avery Williamson to the Cleveland Browns for a fourth-round pick in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft.
This would provide the NY Jets with nine selections in April’s draft including a whopping six in the first four rounds of the draft.
The Cleveland Browns lost a key cog in their linebacker room when Joe Schobert signed a massive free agency deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason.
Clearly there’s a need for the Browns and the Jets have an overwhelming surplus at the position.
While on one hand, it would make sense for the green and white to hold on to their depth at linebacker especially considering what happened last year, logic says that the linebacker injury bug was an anomaly.
If the team moves on from Avery Williamson this offseason they’ll still have four players on the roster with starting experience that have been there and done that. Another reason you should feel confident as a NY Jets fan is that Gregg Williams is still at the helm.
Last year he proved he can make chicken salad out of chicken s***. He doesn’t need the best players to run his system, he can do more with less. Why not maximize the value of a player that you can afford to lose.
NY Jets fans don’t want to hear this because Avery Williamson is a nice guy and a fan-favorite, but he’s expendable. The team did just fine without him last year at linebacker and they can survive if they lose him permanently.
Next: 2. Go back to the NYG wishing well
Hey the NY Jets made one trade with the NY Giants in history, why not make another?
Last season Gang Green popped the trade cherry of Big Blue and put their New York rivalry aside. Leonard Williams received the franchise tag and the Giants seem to be happy with their decision. While conversely the green and white landed a top-70 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and a future fifth-round pick in 2021.
Now the Giants are still looking for help on the defensive side of the ball after allowing 451 points (third-most in the league), allowing over 377 yards of offense per game (eighth-most in the league), and allowing over 28 points per game (third-most in the league only behind the Carolina Panthers and the Miami Dolphins), per NFL Stats and Information.
Avery Williamson is only 28-years old and was coming off a career year with the NY Jets in 2018 prior to his ACL tear during the preseason last season. The Giants need all the help they can get on that side of the ball and they lack a true impact player at the linebacker position.
In this trade Gang Green would receive two future picks not in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, but the 2021 NFL Draft. NY Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is firmly on the hot seat heading into 2020 and he has to do whatever it takes to save his job.
Since he’s clearly in “win now” mode, he’s going to be a lot more open to shipping off future assets. Think about it this way, if Big Blue doesn’t win in 2020, Dave Gettleman isn’t going to be here in 2021 anyway, so why would he care if he flips a couple of future assets they may not even affect him?
This would provide the NY Jets with nine picks in the 2021 draft including three selections from the NY Giants (two from this potential deal involving Avery Williamson and another pick via the Leonard Williams trade).
On top of that, the Jets own all of its own picks outside of the sixth round which they traded to the New England Patriots in the Demaryius Thomas deal.
Next: 1. Time to get creative
Joe Douglas’ connections to the Baltimore Ravens organization are well documented at this point. He spent 14 years with the Ravens as a scout winning two Super Bowls from 2000 through 2014. Douglas still has a ton of ties over there and it would make sense to give them a call.
Ironically before Joe arrived on 1 Jets Drive, his predecessor Mike Maccagnan reeled in a big free-agent fish in CJ Mosley from Baltimore. The Ravens have been searching for an answer at linebacker ever since.
Now Douglas can channel his inner-Jerry Maguire with a “help me, help you” attitude. Per our friends over at the Draft Network, linebacker is the top need for the Baltimore Ravens heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.
Since the team owns the 28th overall in the first round of the draft, there’s a lot that can happen from the start of the draft till when the Ravens are on the clock. Instead of playing a weird waiting game, Baltimore can get a starting linebacker right now ahead of time.
While the NY Jets would love to add more premium picks to their draft capital, something equally important is adding a reliable backup quarterback. Fortunately, the Ravens have one available in veteran passer Robert Griffin III.
He’s got one year left on his contract for only $2 million. Right now the only quarterbacks on the Jets roster are Sam Darnold, Mike White, and David Fales. The team needs someone who can step in a pinch and Griffin has rebuilt his image and would be a massive upgrade to the team’s backup quarterback situation.
In this potential trade, the Jets turn a surplus at linebacker into a future seventh-round pick and a quality backup quarterback. That’s a major win-win in my book.