NFL New York Jets: With Shaun Ellis Out, Trading for Osi Umenyiora Is Crucial

Joseph Kuchie@@jkuchieCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2011

Osi Umenyiora may be switching New York teams this off-season
Osi Umenyiora may be switching New York teams this off-seasonNick Laham/Getty Images

The crazy offseason for the New York Jets took another shocking turn today, as long time defensive end Shaun Ellis signed a deal with the New England Patriots.

Ellis, 34, has spent his entire 11-year career with the Jets since being drafted by the team in 2000. He is third on the Jets all-time sacks list with 72 1/2.

But with his shocking signing with the rival Patriots, Ellis leaves a hole in the Jets defensive line as the preseason approaches. Nose tackle Kris Jenkins retired last month, leaving Sione Pouha and Mike Devito as the only veterans on the line. Rookies Muhammed Wilkerson and Kendrick Ellis, who the Jets weren't expecting to rush into the starting lineup, will now have to step up for the defense to succeed.

However, there is another option. Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora recently asked for a trade, and his presence in camp has been nothing more then a distraction for Big Blue. The Giants recently closed the trade window after two days of unsuccessful negotiations, but New York was asking for at least a first-round pick for their defensive captain.

The Jets pass rush was considered to be one of the worst in the NFL last season, only racking up 40 sacks as a team in 2010. New York lost a combined 16.5 of those sacks to free agency this off season, with Ellis (4.5), Jason Taylor (5), Drew Coleman (4), and James Ihedigbo (3) leaving for other teams.

Umenyiora has recorded sixty sacks in the first seven years of his career, which is more then the current Jets defensive line combined. Placing him on the right side of the defensive line would not only upgrade the Jets struggling pass rush, but allow Rex Ryan to groom his young defensive linemen for another season. Rushing them into the starting lineup may not allow them to reach their full potential (Vernon Gholston anyone?)

The only question here is whether or not Umenyiora is worth giving up a high draft pick for. A first-round pick is out of the question for a 29-year-old defensive end, but a second or third-round pick may be enough to get the former Pro Bowler. With the Giants struggling to sign players, the Jets may have to throw in a position player to sweeten the deal, but Osi will probably be the better option then anyone the Jets send to the other New York team.