1. NY Jets trade target: Dre Greenlaw, LB, San Francisco 49ers
Heading into the 2021 season, Dre Greenlaw looked like one of the San Francisco 49ers' core young players on defense after a breakout 2020 season. Many 49ers fans were likely envisioning a linebacker duo of Greenlaw and Fred Warner for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, Greenlaw was injured in the team's Week 1 opener and was forced to undergo groin surgery sidelining him for a number of months. He returned in Week 12 playing just 13 snaps before reinjuring his groin and landing right back on the injury report.
But the 49ers haven't exactly missed Greenlaw all that much. That's because, in his place, former undrafted free agent Azeez Al-Shaair has shined and emerged as one of the stars of the team's defense.
Suddenly, the 24-year-old Al-Shaair looks like a potential long-term starter leaving the 49ers with a surplus of talented young linebackers. Even when (if) Greenlaw returns healthy this season, there's no guarantee he'll reclaim his starting role.
That's where the Jets could come into play.
Greenlaw, of course, has experience with head coach Robert Saleh and much of the Jets' current coaching staff. And you'd better believe that Saleh would be salivating at the chance to add a young, athletic linebacker like Greenlaw to the Jets' defense.
The 24-year-old is tailor-made for a Robert Saleh defense which is part of the reason the 49ers drafted him back in 2019. Now, he could have the opportunity to reunite with his former coach.
Of course, there hasn't been any indication that the 49ers are open to trading Greenlaw — a player who most saw as pretty untouchable going into the year. But things change quickly in the NFL, and you never know what might happen.
This one is fueled more out of desire than it is rumors, but Dre Greenlaw would be an ideal trade target for the Jets this offseason if the 49ers are open to dealing him.