The NY Jets have reportedly traded linebacker Avery Williamson to the Steelers.
The Jets will be sending Williamson and a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Steelers in exchange for Pittsburgh’s 2022 fifth-round pick.
Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News was the first to report that the Jets were “working towards” a trade that would send Williamson to the Steelers.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport then came out and confirmed the report stating that the Steelers had “landed a new linebacker” indicating that the trade had been completed.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise and the idea of Williamson going to Pittsburgh has been thrown around in the past. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler speculated on the possibility a couple of weeks ago and we even mentioned it a few days ago as well.
We ranked Williamson as the most likely Jets’ player to be traded and listed Pittsburgh as the obvious landing spot. Evidently, that prediction has come to fruition.
With Devin Bush sidelined for the season, the Steelers needed a veteran linebacker to fill the void he left on defense. Williamson is a perfect fit and someone who can help bolster an already-strong defense.
The NY Jets trading Avery Williamson certainly doesn’t come as a surprise.
As for the Jets, the writing has been on the wall for Williamson’s departure for quite some time now. After an impressive 2018 season, the former Tennessee Titans linebacker tore his ACL in August of 2019 and would miss the entire season.
He returned in 2020 but was initially relegated to a backup role behind the likes of Blake Cashman and Alec Ogletree of all players. Following an injury to Cashman and the release of Ogletree, Williamson re-assumed his every-down starter status.
But it’s clear that he wasn’t a part of the team’s future plans.
Williamson was in the final year of his contract and Gregg Williams’ hesitation to play him was an obvious indication that the Jets weren’t exactly as high on him anymore.
The organization would like to see more of 2019 fifth-round pick Blake Cashman if he can stay healthy and free-agent signing Patrick Onwuasor is set to return soon after being designated to return from injured reserve.
Throw in Neville Hewitt and the Jets didn’t see the need to keep Williamson around any longer. This move hardly comes as a surprise.
For the fan-favorite Williamson, this will give him an opportunity to play for a contender while also returning some draft capital to his former team. A true win-win.
From winless to unbeaten, there is perhaps no bigger winner of this trade than Avery Williamson. And for the Jets, the fire sale continues.