NY Jets: Keelan Cole named potential trade target for NFC team

Keelan Cole, NY Jets
Keelan Cole, NY Jets / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

A rare bit of good news for the NY Jets: another NFL team is trending downward that's not them. Specifically, the Chicago Bears and Matt Nagy's questionable coaching decisions.

Amid the buzz surrounding potential trade targets for Chicago, New York's Keelan Cole has snuck in as a potential upgrade at wide receiver.

Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report recently listed Cole as a desirable target for the Bears given their lack of depth in the wide receiver room. Behind Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney, Chicago has very few quality receiving options.

At the very least, Cole would give the Bears decent support in the passing game, and the Jets could afford to trade him for some type of draft capital.

"If the New York Jets continue to struggle, a few of their veteran wide receivers might be available on the trade market...The production of the other Jets wideouts could make Cole an expendable piece who the AFC East side trades away for a third-day draft pick."

Joe Tansey

The chance that New York would actually trade Cole is slim, but not impossible. For one, second-year wideout Denzel Mims could take Cole's spot, giving the touted prospect much-deserved snaps on the field.

To the chagrin of many Jets fans, Mims has been kept on the bench in 2021, as he's still learning all three wide receiver positions to become the versatile receiver New York needs him to be, at least that's what the coaching staff says.

Yet Mims showed blistering flashes of his size and speed as a rookie in 2020 when he caught 23 passes for 357 yards in eight games, averaging 15.5 yards per catch.

NY Jets WR Keelan Cole may have a potential suitor in the Chicago Bears

In this rebuilding Zach Wilson-era, the Jets need to figure out how high the ceiling is for their more promising players, and the only way to assess Mims is to play him.

Trading away Cole would guarantee more snaps for Mims and fall right in line with the "player development" ethos in the Jets' camp this season.

Plus, with Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Braxton Berrios set as starters (until Jamison Crowder returns), the Jets wouldn't really miss Cole in their passing game. This season, the fifth-year pro has recorded just two catches for 30 yards in Week 3's loss to Denver.

In Chicago, Cole could go from expendable to semi-dependable, seeing a much larger share in targets as a potential WR2 or WR3. Who knows, he may even have a few of his respectable Jacksonville years still left in him.

The Jets could keep Cole around just for their own luxuriously padded wide receiver depth, but they also could use the draft pick.

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This potential trade deal feels like a low-stakes Sophie's choice situation, but to give our two cents: we're fonder of the idea of Mims receiving more playing time.

If the Bears really want Cole that badly, he's theirs.