4 players the NY Jets should've traded for at the deadline

The Jets didn't make any trades, but they should've
NY Jets, Ezra Cleveland
NY Jets, Ezra Cleveland / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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1. The NY Jets should've traded for Ezra Cleveland

Ezra Cleveland is the only player on this list who was actually traded prior to the deadline, which makes him easily the biggest miss for Joe Douglas. There's no way around it — the Jets missed out.

At just 25 years old, Cleveland is (at worst) an average starting left guard. His 73.8 Pro Football Focus grade this season ranks eighth among all qualified offensive guards — the second season in a row he's on pace to finish as a top-eight guard, per PFF.

He's allowed just one sack this season on 372 offensive snaps and looked to be a long-term starting piece for the Minnesota Vikings. That's what made it so shocking that the Vikings decided to send Cleveland to Jacksonville in exchange for the measly price of a sixth-round pick.

Yes, Cleveland's contract is set to expire in the offseason. Yes, he's battled through some injuries this season. But it's hard to make sense of this move for Minnesota.

As for the Jets, they could have traded for a player who would have instantly been their best healthy offensive lineman for a sixth-round pick. Cleveland could have instantly started at right guard, and it's likely he could've stuck around past this season as well.

Whether the plan was to keep Alijah Vera-Tucker at guard or move on from Laken Tomlinson, Cleveland could have easily had a role on the offense in 2024. But the Jets didn't bite.

Instead, they signed potentially washed-up veteran guard Rodger Saffold to their practice squad moments before the deadline passed. That's it. That was their big offensive line move.

Given how few healthy bodies the Jets have on their interior offensive line at the moment, one would think the front office would've been aggressive to land a young, average/above-average starting guard for a late Day 3 draft pick. Nope. That clearly wasn't their plan.

The Jets missed out on a great value trade for a young player at a position of need. This one's a miss for Joe Douglas.