The NY Jets Monday Mailbag returns this week after a two-week absence and we have our usual set of questions.
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What’s the most the NY Jets should give up for Deshaun Watson?
“What’s the most you’d give up for Watson?” via @mtpallas on Twitter
No team is better equipped to offer the Houston Texans an exuberant package for Deshaun Watson than the Jets are. Combine their draft capital with their financial flexibility and it’s hard to see any team matching their offer.
But that also requires them to be aggressive and be willing to part ways with the necessary assets.
It’s going to take a pretty penny to land Watson in a trade — that is if the Texans actually decide to trade him. The starting point should be three first-round picks, the Jets have the advantage of having the No. 2 overall pick.
How much higher should/could the Jets go? That depends.
I’m not willing to part ways with all four first-round picks over the next two years, but additional draft capital could be included. I’d be willing to send them three-first round picks plus a future second and a 2021 third-round pick.
That’s probably as far as I’d go with draft capital — the value of that No. 2 overall pick as compared to any other selection should not be understated.
As for other assets, I think you have to consider Quinnen Williams as a possible trade chip. Ideally, you do everything possible to avoid including him in a possible trade, but he’s not untouchable. Perhaps the only untouchable player is Mekhi Becton.
That said, I’m not sending three firsts and Williams to Houston for Watson. If Williams is included, the most I’d be willing to part with is two firsts (ideally the No. 2 pick and a 2022 first), Williams, and maybe an additional mid-round pick.
That’s a lot, but this is Deshaun Watson we’re talking about. He’s a 25-year-old franchise quarterback. You pay what you need to, within reason.
Under-the-radar free agent targets for the NY Jets?
“Under the radar free agent targets?” – via @dcaufield12 on Twitter
We all know the Joe Thuney’s and Allen Robinson’s of this free-agent class. But what about the under-the-radar guys?
As far as high-end under-the-radar free agents go, players like Carl Lawson, Romeo Okwara, and Curtis Samuel make a ton of sense. It’s hard to call them “under-the-radar” exactly, but they certainly haven’t received the love that they should be getting.
But if you’re looking for truly unheralded players, keep an eye on second-tier wide receiver options like Josh Reynolds or Keelan Cole. A pair of restricted free agents that make sense as well are Tim Patrick and Zach Pascal.
On defense, someone like Kerry Hyder makes sense given the Robert Saleh connection. And he’ll likely come cheaper than Trey Hendrickson or even Lawson.
If the Jets move on from Brian Poole, a couple of nickel cornerbacks that make sense are New Jersey native K’Waun Williams or Mike Hilton. Williams has the Saleh connection as well, but Hilton should be cheaper.
If the Jets can’t land someone like Joe Thuney or Brandon Scherff, don’t rule out Pittsburgh Steelers guard Matt Feiler. Feiler has experience playing both guard and tackle and has graded out well with Pro Football Focus over the last few years.
Expect the Jets to be more aggressive in free agency than they were a year ago, but don’t be surprised if they target a few value signings as well.
Hometown players the NY Jets could draft?
“Why can’t we draft hometown guys that want to play in their hometown instead of out of state players that want to play in their hometown?” via Chris Palazzolo on Facebook
It took me a few reads to figure out what this question was asking. But I’m just going to take this as ‘what local players could the Jets draft?’
One player who could have been a great mid-round pick-up is Ohio State tight end Jeremy Ruckert. Ruckert is a Long Island native who provides upside as both a blocker and receiver.
However, Ruckert opted to return to college for his senior season so he won’t be an option this year. Fun fact though, I actually played against Ruckert and his school when I was a senior in high school.
He was a sophomore and probably about 6-foot-4 already. Needless to say, he was double-covered on every play. But hey, we actually managed to beat him and his school in the Suffolk County Championship en route to a Long Island Championship victory.
Longwood pride, baby.
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Personal anecdote aside, other local products the Jets could target are Syracuse cornerbacks Ifeatu Melifonwu and Trill Williams. Williams is a New York native born in Yonkers and could be an intriguing mid-round pick.
Buffalo has a pair of mid-round prospects as well in running back Jaret Patterson and edge rusher Malcolm Koonce. Koonce is from Peekskill which is only about 45 minutes north of Yonkers where Williams grew up.
There’s also Boston College linebacker Isaiah McDuffie who is from Buffalo and star Penn State pass-rusher Jayson Oweh who is from Blairstown, New Jersey.
Two more Jersey products are Iowa wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette from Newark and Arizona State wide receiver Frank Darby from Jersey City.
I’m not sure if that’s the question you were asking, but I had fun doing that research so I’m okay with the outcome.