Predicting 9 NY Jets moves in free agency including big WR trade

What will the Jets do in free agency this week?

Diontae Johnson
Diontae Johnson / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 5
Next

2. The NY Jets sign WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Not every prediction is an ideal move, and this certainly qualifies. The Jets should not sign Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but given his close ties to Aaron Rodgers and the team's quest for an X receiver, it just seems likely to happen.

Valdes-Scantling is coming off a disappointing 2023 season with the Kansas City Chiefs, in which he finished with just 21 catches for 315 yards despite playing 58 percent of his team's offensive snaps.

ESPN has an overall receiver score that takes into account open rating, catch rating, and YAC rating. Valdes-Scantling ranked 149th out of 153 qualified wide receivers in 2023 (Allen Lazard ranked dead last, for what it's worth).

The former Packers wide receiver doesn't consistently separate, struggles with drops, and was the worst-qualified YAC receiver in football last season. Nonetheless, the Jets will likely be interested.

1. The NY Jets trade for WR Diontae Johnson

Perhaps this one is more wishful thinking than anything, but if the Jets are going to make a big wide receiver addition in the coming days, it feels much more likely they do so via the trade market.

Calvin Ridley is likely going to price himself out of a Jets stint. The same might be true for Marquise Brown, who could command as much as $15-16 million in free agency. The cheaper alternative might just be to trade for someone like Diontae Johnson, who has been given permission to seek a trade.

The Steelers wide receiver has amassed nearly 400 catches and over 4,300 yards in five years in Pittsburgh. He's entering the final year of his contract and would essentially serve as a one-year, $10 million rental for the Jets.

Johnson is better than almost every free-agent wide receiver on the open market, and as long as the asking price is reasonable, his inexpensive contract makes him a very appealing option.

Courtland Sutton is another name to consider here — and he probably is a better fit — but I'm not convinced he gets moved. Keep an eye on Mike Williams if (and likely when) he's released by the Los Angeles Chargers.

manual