4. The NY Jets could trade for Xavien Howard
However unlikely it may seem that a trade for a front-line player between division rivals, like the Jets and Dolphins, could happen. It's not unprecedented.
Joe Douglas and the Jets need to be open-minded to all possibilities. And what's abundantly clear is that the Dolphins will be open to trading cornerback Xavien Howard this offseason.
The relationship between Howard and Miami is on shaky ground. The 28-year-old multiple-time Pro Bowler wants out, and the Dolphins came ever so close to making that accommodation during this past season, nearly sending Howard to Baltimore before the trade deadline.
Howard requested a trade out of Miami last offseason but was sated by the compromise of a contract restructuring. Howard also "received assurances" that Miami would negotiate a new deal in the spring. However, the Dolphins may be inclined to move him, and his $14 million cap hit instead.
The Jets have one of the NFL's emerging young star cornerbacks in Bryce Hall, and the rookie duo of Michael Carter III and Brandin Echols showed plenty of promise as long-term fixtures in the secondary.
But the bottom line is that the Jets had the 32nd ranked defense in the NFL. And sure, New York figures to be players for a shutdown cornerback in free agency and the draft, but the Jets have so many holes that it's almost impossible to address all of them using just those two avenues.
At the end of the day, perhaps the Jets don't pull off a deal with Miami for the services of an elite player like Howard. Partly because the Dolphins, who have San Francisco's first-round pick in 2022, could be looking to recoup the first-rounder they traded away to the Philadelphia Eagles. As a result, their asking price could be too high.
But there's no doubt that the Jets should be in the market for a Xavien Howard-type. These types of players in their prime, at a premium position, usually don't become available. Except, in this case, Howard will be.