2. NY Jets trade a third and a fourth-round pick for Jessie Bates
If the Jets didn't want to part ways with a second-round pick that could realistically still be very high on Day 2 come next year's draft, they could look to package a couple of picks in a hypothetical trade.
This proposal is likely the most Jets-friendly on this list as the team doesn't have to send a top-64 pick to Cincinnati for a guy who instantly becomes arguably the best player on their roster.
It's impossible to say just how valuable this proposal is without knowing where the picks fall in each round, but if we assume the Jets pick in the top-10 of the second and third rounds, we can equate this package to the value of roughly a mid-second-round pick.
That's not bad value at all for Bates, at least from the Jets' perspective. For the Bengals, trading away their star safety without landing a draft pick in either the first or second round would feel like a massive loss for the franchise.
The issue here, aside from his pending contract situation, is that Bates has been rather inconsistent throughout his career. He was very good as a rookie, took a major step back in 2019, was arguably the best safety in football in 2020, and once again fell off a little this past season.
He's still only 25 years old and has proven that, at his best, he could be an elite cover free safety in this league, but his inconsistency is what's holding him back from that top tier.
The Jets know this and so too do other potential suitors. If the Bengals do actually trade Bates (which remains unlikely, of course), don't expect the return to be massive.