Jets Trade of $13 Million Pass Rusher Opens Door for Future Breakout

Jacob Martin, Jets

Getty New York Jets defensive lineman Jacob Martin making a play during an NFL game.

The New York Jets pulled the trigger on a buzzer-beater deal ahead of the NFL’s November 1 trade deadline.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport shared that the Jets have shipped off defensive lineman Jacob Martin to the Denver Broncos.

As part of the trade, the Jets will be sending a 2024 fifth-round draft choice along with Martin in exchange for a 2024 fourth-rounder. In other words, the Jets are moving up a round in the 2024 NFL draft to move on from Martin.

Jacob Martin Trade Now Opens Door for Bryce Huff

It never looks good when you sign a free agent during the offseason to a multi-year deal and trade him within the same calendar year.

The Jets originally signed the 26-year-old pass-rushing specialist to a three-year deal for $13.5 million. He was expected to be a cog in their defensive line rotation for the foreseeable future but they didn’t get the results they were expecting.

In eight games Martin registered 1.5 sacks, four quarterback hits, and eight total tackles.

With Martin now out of the picture, that opens up some great opportunities for the remaining defensive linemen on the roster.

The one that would seem to benefit the most from this deal is talented youngster Bryce Huff.

Through the first three weeks of the season, the former Memphis product was cryogenically frozen on the bench. He was a healthy scratch in those games and it puzzled a lot of the fans.

Since Week 4 he has played in every game and has shown flashes of being a dominant pass rusher (per Pro Football Focus):

  • 80.9 pass-rush grade
  • 86.8 overall grade

Huff has produced some elite pass rush win rates in limited opportunities. He hasn’t played more than 29 percent of the defensive snaps in any particular game, so it is fair to say with more reps will come even more production.

Jacob Martin Trade Was a Smart Move by the Jets

Martin was a talented player and is coming off of a game where he had a nice strip sack versus the New England Patriots.

However after the trade deadline passed, general manager Joe Douglas explained why he made the move:

“Obviously tough to say goodbye to Jacob because he came in here, he’s a pro’s-pro, did everything the right way, a valued member of this team, [but] ultimately [we] felt it was good value for us with the depth we have in the defensive line room. It was an opportunity to add some flexibility moving forward with regards to a higher draft pick and getting some of these guys a few more reps in games moving forward.”

The Jets were able to turn a surplus into a valuable asset for the future and simultaneously open up more reps for other guys on the roster. That is what we like to call a win-win.

Obviously, it would have been great if Martin just balled out the way the Jets intended, but everything happens for a reason.

Now Jermaine Johnson and Huff can eat and that’s great news for the present and future of this organization.

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