New York Jets Should Explore These 5 NFL Trades
Take one glance at the New York Jets' roster and its obvious: they don't have many tradable assets. Despite this, there are a few players they could move this offseason which would improve their team.
The name that's been thrown around all offeseason in trade discussions is Darrelle Revis. While the rumors of a possible Revis trade continue to mount, the New York Jets would be wise to explore the trade options of their other over-valued assets.
While, quite frankly, it would be tough to convince another team that the following individuals are "assets," the Jets should nonetheless inquire about the level of interest around the league of these players.
Here are 5 hypothetical trades the Jets would be wise to explore this offseason.
Mark Sanchez and a Fourth-Round Pick for Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) | Mark Sanchez (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
Why not come out of the gates roaring?
Would it be possible to deal the two straight up? Surprisingly, possibly! It may work out given the contract situations of both, but I doubt it because Sanchez's value has dropped so much.
Rivers has three years left on his contract and is due nearly $42 million, while Sanchez is due roughly $40 million over 4 years. The problem is the salary cap hit. Rivers has a $17.5 million cap hit this year compared to Sanchez's $12.8 million hit. The Jets already are in a dire cap situation. Unless something was to be worked out then the two teams may not be able to handle the almost $5 million difference.
Either way, in principle, the trade works. Both quarterbacks have had their fanbases turn on them and both are in need of a change of scenery. Rivers has shown he can be a top quarterback, and despite his turnovers he would be a upgrade over Sanchez.
Sanchez, meanwhile, is the one player most Jet fans don't want to see in 2013. A trade to San Diego would mean he would be back in his home state, where he starred in high school and college. He would also be able to get away from the national media presence that has suffocated him in New York. It is a big question of whether San Diego would be willing to trade for four years of Sanchez, but all indications have them fed up with Rivers.
Even if San Diego demands a fourth-round pick it remains a good deal for the Jets. Heck, I'd even throw in a fourth- and fifth-rounder if it takes that. I wouldn't give up a third though. Rivers carry too much risk.
Rivers and Sanchez have been disappointing, have huge contracts and need a change of scenery. Why not swap them?
Darrelle Revis for LaMichael James, a First-, Second- and Third-Round Pick
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Three picks and LaMichael James for Revis? Sign me up.
Darrelle Revis won't be a Jet after next season, so rather than letting him walk for nothing, the Jets should bite the bullet and get something in return.
Squeezing three picks out of the 49ers may be tough, but settling for their first- and second-round picks would be good enough to finalize this deal. I've detailed why I think the Jets should trade Revis away, and if they could get a haul such as this in return it would be well worth it.
The Jets will likely let Shonn Greene find another place to be useless next year, and have an unproven commodity in Bilal Powell. While Powell has shown he is somewhat capable of shouldering the load, James would give the Jets a big-play threat in the backfield they haven't had in years.
He is in no way an every-down back, but he showed in San Francisco that he has a burst and is capable of catching the ball out of the backfield. He could wind up being a Darren Sproles-type back in the NFL down the road.
Getting two, or hopefully three, picks in addition to James would be the deal-sealer. The Jets have so many holes. Getting cheap talent in the top half of the draft would be an ideal situation for them, making these picks even more valuable.
If they were to get the 49ers' 31st and 34th picks in the draft, the Jets would have four selections in the top 40. Additionally, the Jets would be saving money, as James is due $750,000 against the salary cap while Revis is a $9 million hit.
Jet fans certainly won't like giving up Revis, but going forward this would be the correct move.
Antonio Cromartie for Miles Austin
Via Suzy Allman for The New York Times
If the Jets decide to keep Darrelle Revis then they must move Antonio Cromartie. They wouldn't be able to handle the massive contracts of the two cornerbacks, which would equal about $25 million if Revis gets the type of contract he seeks.
In a vacuum the obvious answer is Revis, but add in the contract and salary-cap issues and the answer becomes more complicated.
If the Jets would rather have Revis, Cromartie is a tradable asset despite his rather large contract. He played at a Pro Bowl level last year after Revis went down, and has the size, speed and ball skills to match up with opposing team's No.1 wide receivers.
The Cowboys have been trying for years to fill gaps in the secondary. By trading for Cromartie, they would be one step closer. Miles Austin, while a solid No. 2 threat, is expendable now that Dez Bryant has seemed to turn the corner to becoming a superstar. Losing Austin would significantly reduce their depth at wideout, but a tandem of Cromartie and Morris Claiborne at corner would be one of the best in the league.
Austin would give the Jets a much more consistent wideout than what they have now in Santonio Holmes. While Austin's had a checkered injury history, when he's been on the field he's been one of the more productive receivers. His ability to catch the ball in traffic and work underneath would be a perfect fit in the West Coast offense the Jets deploy.
Santonio Holmes for Jon Beason
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Let's get this out of the way early. Santonio Holmes' contract was a disaster to begin with. The Jets should never have signed him to a long-term deal. Unloading him to the Panthers would be a possibility because of Jon Beason's similarly expensive contract.
Beason is only 28 but is expendable now that Luke Kuechly has solidified himself in the middle of the Panthers defense. Beason has played in only five games over the past two years due to injuries, but he previously was one of the best middle linebackers in the game.
With the Jets cutting Bart Scott, they now have a hole in the middle that Beason can fill. It is a question whether he would be able to make the transition from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4. The Jets will have to answer this before moving forward, but it is worth the risk to get rid of Holmes.
Over the next three years Beason is due $32 million and Holmes is due $32.5 million. Beason has an extra year on his deal, but if he fails to perform the Jets would be able to get him off the books because only a small portion of his sixth year is guaranteed.
To the Jets, Santonio Holmes is replaceable because he is simply a league-average No. 2 receiver. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Jets should have re-signed Braylon Edwards instead of Holmes two years ago. Critics will point to the fact that Braylon has done nothing over that time span, but he was in bad situations. He liked playing for the Jets and re-signing him would have been a lot cheaper than giving Holmes $45 million over five years.
With Edwards back in the mix, the Jets can re-sign him for a discount this year and would have a solid 1-2-3 of Edwards, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. Getting rid of Holmes would net them a buy-low candidate in Beason and would fill a hole in the middle of their defense at the same time.
It comes with risk trading for a player who has barely seen the field in two years, but Holmes is also coming off a significant injury. The Panthers need another playmaker for Cam Newton. It works out for both parties.
Kyle Wilson for Robert Ayers
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It may seem like I'm trading away the whole secondary, but, honestly, the Jets don't have any other tradable players.
I juggled the idea of selling out and putting a Tim Tebow trade here, but it's unlikely anyone will trade more than a sixth- or seventh-round pick for him. David Harris is untradable because of his huge contract. Sione Pouha is 34 years old, making it tough to move him. Trading anyone on the offensive line would be tough due to their contract sizes and the Jets' lack of depth there. And the remaining players from last year's roster are either free agents or too valuable for the future of the franchise.
So I ended up with this: one first-round bust for another.
Ayers hasn't lived up to his first-round grade, racking up only 6.5 sacks in four years. Wilson, too, has been a major disappointment, failing to even be a league-average nickel cornerback. The Jets could buy low on Ayers, hoping he puts it all together in his fifth season, while the Broncos could hope for the best with Wilson.
The Broncos may lose Tracy Porter to free agency this offseason and Champ Bailey is nearing the end of his career. A trade for Wilson would give Denver more depth in the secondary while giving up a player at a position of strength.
Taking a flyer on Ayers would fill a need for the Jets also, as they still need a pass rusher on the edge. Ayers has the physical tools, but he hasn't been able to put it all together yet. The chances are highly unlikely the Jets trade both Revis and Cromartie, so secondary depth shouldn't be too big of an issue if they swap these guys. Plus, what Jet fan would actually want to see Kyle Wilson on the field next year?