We can all agree that New York Jets GM Joe Douglas has had a terrible track record in free agency. He’s also relied on his draft picks too often, which has yielded an inexperienced roster that has gotten exposed at times.
His drafting has had its ups and downs too — iffy in year one but superb in 2021 so far — but one undisputable positive has been his savvy maneuvering via trade. Again and again, Douglas has outsmarted NFL GMs around the league, winning deal after deal.
On September 20, the Jets head honcho added another notch on his belt.
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Chiefs Waive Daniel Brown Weeks After ‘LDT’ Trade
The Jets were expected to sell at the trade deadline but in the end, Douglas’ only moves were buys for veterans Joe Flacco and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. The latter is a former Super Bowl champion right guard that started in five consecutive seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Many fans and media members expect ‘LDT’ to eventually take over for current right guard Greg Van Roten, who’s proven to be a liability for this Jets offensive line. The former Chiefs stalwart just has to learn the playbook first.
No matter what happens with Duvernay-Tardif though, this trade is already a resounding win for Douglas who has officially fleeced yet another NFL GM. This time, Chiefs’ Brett Veach fell victim as the franchise parted ways with tight end Daniel Brown weeks after acquiring him as the sole return for LDT.
Kansas City announced the news yesterday in a corresponding move that freed up a roster spot for starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Brown was inactive both of the two weeks he spent on the Chiefs roster.
This was truly a salary dump for Veach and KC, but it’s amazing that they weren’t even able to get back a conditional draft pick for a starting-caliber guard. Instead, Douglas ended up with Duvernay-Tardif free of charge.
It’s not the first time the Jets GM has embarrassed one of his peers. The trade wizard has a phenomenal portfolio of deals that ranges from flipping depth edge rusher Jordan Willis for a pick that eventually acquired starting DE Shaq Lawson, to receiving three draft picks for Sam Darnold.
The Jets’ first-round bust quarterbacked the Carolina Panthers to a 4-5 start before landing on the long-term injured reserve. They have since brought back ex-MVP Cam Newton and some believe Darnold may never play in Carolina again.
Of course, Douglas’ most famous trade was probably the Jamal Adams move that produced two future first-round draft picks plus an additional third-rounder. The Jets used the 2021 portion of the haul to jump up and grab the highly touted Alijah-Vera Tucker, who looks like a “perennial Pro Bowler” already. The second first-rounder is currently a top 10 pick in 2022.
Don’t forget the Vikings’ fourth-round pick gained from Chris Herndon — who rides the bench for Minnesota — and fifth and sixth-round pick swaps for older defenders like Avery Williamson and Steve McLendon.
It’s time to turn all these unquestioned winners into a successful football team.
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When Will We See LDT in Action?
Head coach Robert Saleh told reporters that Duvernay-Tardif is “moving along good” during a press conference on November 19. The guard played three special teams snaps in Week 10 but has yet to see any time with the offense.
“He’s been getting some valuable reps out there and he’s learning the offense and trying to pick things up,” Saleh replied, “we’re excited about him and again, he’s continuing to learn the offense.”
Based on the conservative quote from the Jets HC, it didn’t sound like LDT would start in Week 11 as the franchise eases him in. Keep in mind, Duvernay-Tardif took the season off in 2020 to volunteer as a healthcare professional during the pandemic. Kansas City replaced him in the draft with rookie Trey Smith, so last week was technically the veteran’s first regular-season appearance since 2019.
Sunday morning, breaking news from The Athletic’s Connor Hughes told a different story. LDT will replace ‘GVR’ as the starter against the Miami Dolphins.
Coach Saleh also gave an update on another offensive lineman that was seriously injured in training camp — 2020 fourth-rounder Cameron Clark.
“The health part [is] coming along fine,” the Jets HC explained when asked about Clark’s recovery after a neck injury hospitalized the young man this summer. “He’s got a little road to travel but he’s coming along good,” Saleh added.
He would not comment on whether or not Clark will return to the game of football after his recovery, stating that he’s “not going to speak for him in that regard.”