The NY Jets didn't opt to make any splash moves at the trade deadline this year, although they weren't completely inactive. The Jets sent reserve defensive end Jacob Martin to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a swap of 2024 NFL Draft picks.
The Jets traded Martin and a 2024 fifth-round pick to the Broncos in return for a 2024 fourth-round pick. The return might seem minimal, but this is a logical move for the Jets and one that helps the team out in multiple ways.
Martin was signed to a three-year, $15.5 million contract this offseason with the hope that he could play an important role in the Jets' pass-rush rotation. And while he had to this point, he was beginning to lose playing time to other, more productive players on the team.
This move frees up snaps for the likes of Jermaine Johnson, Micheal Clemons, and Bryce Huff while also saving a little money for the future. It's a win-win for both teams.
Why the NY Jets traded Jacob Martin
At just 26 years old, Martin is a valuable rotational pass rusher who should find an early role in Denver with Bradley Chubb now gone. This is a savvy move for the Broncos to acquire a young rotational edge rusher at a relatively affordable price.
But there's a reason the Jets made this trade. With Vinny Curry and Jermaine Johnson returning from injuries, there was a logjam at the defensive end position. Just this past week, Johnson was left inactive, partially due to that logjam, per head coach Robert Saleh.
Trading Martin, likely the least productive member of the rotation, frees up snaps for players like Curry, Johnson, Clemons, and even Huff. Martin became an expendable surplus and the Jets were able to turn him into a future asset.
While a future pick swap might not seem like much, moving up from the fifth to the fourth round is actually a sizable jump. Using Jimmy Johnson's trade value chart, we can estimate just how valuable that pick swap is.
Assuming both teams pick around the same spot in their respective rounds, this trade actually equates to the value of a mid-fifth-round pick for the Jets. Of course, if the fifth-rounder is at the top of the round and the fourth-rounder is near the bottom, it essentially becomes a wash.
It depends on where both picks end up, but this has a chance to be a pretty decent return for the Jets. That was never the biggest selling point, though.
The Jets cleared up future cap space by trading Martin, who had a $5 million cap hit in 2023 (they're still hit with a $2.3 million dead cap charge), and they can now give his snaps to other deserving players on the roster.
This is a good move for both teams and one that allows Martin to carve out a larger role in another excellent defense. Everyone wins.