NY Jets: Steelers could be interested in trading for Avery Williamson, per report

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NY Jets’ linebacker Avery Williamson is a name to watch on the trade market in the coming days.

The NY Jets may insist that they won’t be undergoing a “fire sale” in the coming days and weeks, but it’s hard to take that notion seriously. And one additional player who could be on the market is linebacker Avery Williamson.

Following the release of running back Le’Veon Bell, the Jets sent veteran nose tackle and team leader Steve McLendon packing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for what was essentially nothing.

A 2022 sixth-round pick in exchange for McLendon and a 2023 seventh-round pick isn’t exactly a blockbuster deal, but it’s indicative that the Jets are looking to shop virtually anyone on the roster not named Mekhi Becton.

Even if the return package is hardly desirable.

Williamson could be the next name to go, at least that’s what’s being speculated around the league. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler theorized on Tuesday that the Pittsburgh Steelers are a team that could be interested in trading for Williamson.

The Steelers just lost starting inside linebacker Devin Bush for the season with a torn ACL and their depth behind him is less than stellar. Williamson would make sense as a starting-caliber replacement for their fallen starter.

Fowler also speculated that Denzel Perryman of the Los Angeles Chargers could be another name to keep an eye on. Perryman is buried on the Chargers’ depth chart but could welcome a change of scenery as Fowler insisted.

That said, Williamson is definitely the better player and has a smaller cap hit over the remainder of 2020 with just $4.75 million currently owed to him. He makes sense as a potential target for Pittsburgh.

What could the NY Jets receive in return for Avery Williamson?

However, what could the Jets realistically expect to get in return? The short answer is not very much.

Williamson is a quality player who is regaining his stride after returning from a torn ACL. But he would be a 28-year-old half-year rental at a position that isn’t always incredibly valued around the league.

The likes of Robert Spillane, Ulysees Gilbert, and Marcus Allen are expected to fill in for Bush in the starting lineup, and there’s no question that Williamson is significantly better than all three.

But would the Steelers be willing to part with anything of significant value to land a player like Williamson? Probably not.

Realistically, if the Jets do land 2021 draft capital, it will likely be no higher than a sixth or seventh-round pick. As for future picks, they may be able to swindle away a future fifth-rounder if the Steelers are desperate enough.

But after seeing what McLendon fetched, it’s hard to be super optimistic about Williamson’s trade value.

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Avery Williamson is a reliable starting-caliber linebacker and an excellent locker room presence. Keep an eye on his name over the coming days and weeks as the trade market heats up.

But don’t expect a significant haul in return.