At a surprising 3-3 entering their bye week, the NY Jets should absolutely be buyers at the NFL trade deadline, which arrives on Halloween.
Jets general manager Joe Douglas has already struck a deal on the trade market, sending offseason signee Mecole Hardman back to Kansas City for a late-round pick swap in 2025. New York is subtracting from their receiver room — the next step should be to add to it.
The 2023 Jets season, which started off as a cruel trick from the football gods when Aaron Rodgers went down after four plays, has become a treat after the Jets surpassed expectations, beating top teams like Buffalo and Philadelphia while standing toe toe-to-toe with the defending NFL champion Chiefs in their first six games.
As a result, the Jets are in the mix as a legitimate playoff contender in the AFC. New York is currently on the bubble, a half-game out of the playoff picture with 11 games left to play.
To make the postseason in an ultra-competitive AFC, the Jets are likely going to need to go no worse than 6-5 in their last 11 games. Preferably 7-4 to finish at 10-7.
Now more than ever, it's time for general manager Joe Douglas to strike while the iron is hot and deliver a deal or two that will help propel the Jets into the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons.
Furthermore, the timing of the Jets' bye week is perfect. The team's brain trust can sit back, reset, and reassess its roster, and then hopefully work the phones to plant seeds during the off-week to strike a deal or two to strengthen the team.
Even though it's easier said than done, considering that the Jets have an entanglement of draft capital, where the team can't deal away a first-round or even second-round pick next season due to the conditional trade terms of Aaron Rodgers playing time in 2023 (a 2024 conditional second-round pick that becomes a first-round pick if Rodgers plays 60% of the snaps this season).
The silver lining in Rodgers' ill-fated Achilles injury is that the Jets won't lose their first next year, even if he defies reason and logic in a late-season return.
Nevertheless, even without top draft picks next year at their immediate trade disposal, there are still workarounds utilizing draft capital in 2024 and 2025 if necessary because any deal the Jets make is with the intention of not only strengthening the team during a potential run to the postseason but for the following season as well, when, presumably, Aaron Rodgers plays a full season in green and white.
In the post-Rodgers world, the team has proven, with an excellent defense, special teams, and two key difference-making players on offense in Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall, that it can compete at a high level.
The problem is that having Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall on offense might not be enough. The truth is that even with them, the team is barely getting by on that side of the ball — and it's more than just a Zach Wilson thing.