The pre-draft trade buzz is going to be growing to a deafening roar over the next week, and the latest chatter revolves around one of the Arizona Cardinals' star wide receivers.
Anquan Boldin has been vocal about his unhappiness with his contract situation in Arizona and has previously demanded a trade.
Unable to reach any kind of agreement, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters that Boldin could be traded before the NFL Draft next weekend.
"Boldin certainly seems like a Rex Ryan-type of guy," said Williamson. "[He's] tough as nails, low-risk, a glorified possession receiver, great after-the-catch skills. With a really suspect quarterback situation, he could quickly become your quarterback's best friend."
And he's right; the quarterback situation is very suspect. Finding a proven wide receiver to support whoever the starting QB will be is critical for the Jets.
In fact, it's why an argument was made for Chad Ocho Cinco to the Jets. Ultimately, Boldin is younger than Ocho Cinco and could give New York a few more years as well.
There are, however, three significant hindrances for the Jets when it comes to acquiring a player of Boldin's caliber.
The first is the compensation Arizona will surely demand before parting with the three-time Pro Bowl selection. Williamson told Graham that the Jets "might have to part with their 17th overall draft choice" to complete a trade for Boldin.
The transaction would come at a high cost, but it's not a significant price to pay if the Jets were already planning to use their 17th pick on an unproven wide receiver.
Any receiver they can select with the 17th pick would need to develop over the next few seasons, whereas Boldin could contribute immediately.
But the argument is only relevant if the Jets were convinced on selecting the best available WR at 17. The team's plans could move away from WR when they're on the clock on April 25.
Selecting defensive linemen, a quarterback, tight end, and a running back are all hot button issues leading up the draft.
The second issue is the new contract Boldin would certainly demand upon his arrival.
The root of his unhappiness in Arizona revolves around his belief that he's underpaid. Boldin will certainly want a deal comparable to that of Larry Fitzgerald's four-year, $40 million contract extension from 2007.
With a new contract for Leon Washington being an immediate concern, can the Jets reasonably afford to pay Boldin a contract that averages upwards of $10 million per year?
Finally, it's the skill set which Boldin possesses that creates the most significant conflict of interest.
As a possession receiver—known for accumulating tough yardage after the catch—will Boldin bring something to the offense that Jerricho Cotchery does not?
Boldin will be an older version of Cotchery, fresh off a 12-game season after a devastating head injury delivered by Eric Smith. Even if Boldin is fully recovered, the things he does best are not consistent with what the Jets require at the moment.
To make the offense more multi-faceted, the Jets need a receiver who can split through a defense and create a deep option for the quarterback.
Boldin can command a double team, but can he complicate defensive coverage schemes enough to, one, be open for deep strikes, and two, free up the middle of the field for Cotchery and Dustin Keller?
In an offseason where everyone seems obsessed with the Jets' lack of "marquee names," acquiring Anquan Boldin would only satisfy those longing for the Jets to bring in a "sexy" name.
From a pure football standpoint, this seems like an opportunity the Jets should pass on.
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