Haason Reddick trade makes NY Jets look foolish for one specific reason

The likely downside of the Haason Reddick trade...
Haason Reddick
Haason Reddick / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

In a vacuum, the NY Jets' decision to trade for star pass rusher Haason Reddick is a savvy and brilliant move on the part of Joe Douglas.

The Jets acquired Reddick for a conditional third-round pick two years in the future, helping solidify one of the best rosters in the NFL, and firmly establishing the organization as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

The Jets are a significantly better team today than they were prior to the Reddick trade — that much is undeniable. In an all-in 2024 season, the Jets just traded one of the best pass rushers in the NFL at a very reasonable price.

As far as what the Jets could still do at this point, this is likely the best move the team could've made. Good. Great. Now that all of that has been said, the Reddick trade does highlight one very notable mistake this regime made in the past.

It's a mistake that doesn't necessarily negate the Reddick trade, but it does look considerably worse as a result of the move.

The Will McDonald pick looks like a major blunder by the NY Jets

The Jets' decision to use the 15th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Iowa State pass rusher Will McDonald was a puzzling one at the time. The Reddick trade just solidifies that notion.

McDonald was on the field for just 19 percent of the Jets' defensive snaps in 2023. He played the fewest snaps of any Jets first-round pick since Vernon Gholston. No first-round pick in the 2023 draft played fewer offensive or defensive snaps than McDonald as a rookie.

Most assumed that the departure of Bryce Huff would lead to an increased role for McDonald in 2024, but following the Reddick trade, that seems highly unlikely.

Huff played just 42 percent of the Jets' defensive snaps last season. Reddick was on the field for over 74 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps. Of course, it's fair to assume that number will decline with the Jets. Quinnen Williams was the only Jets defensive lineman to play over 65 percent of snaps in 2023.

That said, Reddick will still play significantly more than Huff. It's likely Reddick, if healthy, will play roughly 60-65 percent of defensive snaps for the Jets next season. That's around 20 percent more than Huff.

Even assuming the likes of John Franklin-Myers and Micheal Clemons play fewer snaps on the edge — which they likely will — they would need to play between 20 and 25 percent less to even equal the gap between Huff and Reddick.

That doesn't leave much, if any, room for McDonald to receive an uptick in playing time. If everyone is healthy, there is no obvious path for McDonald's snap count to significantly increase in 2024.

On top of that, the expectation is that the Jets will explore an extension for Reddick this offseason. If that happens, the Jets are essentially residing to the fact that McDonald will be a backup for the entire duration of his rookie contract.

Jermaine Johnson is a long-term core piece of the defense. Reddick, if extended (which is the expectation at the moment) would occupy that same role. That doesn't leave room for McDonald to become an important building block.

Of course, anything can happen. Maybe an injury occurs, McDonald excels if given the chance, and the Jets are forced to change their plans. The Jets still do believe in McDonald's contract.

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to justify using a top-15 pick on a player who will not only likely play fewer than 25 percent of snaps in each of his first two seasons but also doesn't have a clear path to playing time in the future.

It's made even worse when that player is already turning 25 years old in June and plays a position the Jets never needed to address. That's poor asset management.

The Haason Reddick trade is a fantastic move for the Jets in a vacuum. Fans should be very excited about the team's chances of competing for a Super Bowl in 2024. That, of course, is what's most important.

There's just no justifying the McDonald pick at this stage, unfortunately. The only good thing is that at least the Jets didn't let that previous draft mistake prevent them from missing out on the opportunity to add a star like Reddick.