Desperate times call for desperate measures.
The New York Jets are reeling after consecutive body blows over the last seven days that leaves them desperately searching for answers on defense.
First, it was Carl Lawson who was the promised prince back during free agency. He was supposed to make Jets fans forget about some guy named John Abraham but his ruptured Achilles had different plans.
Then to a lesser level, there was an expectation that Vinny Curry at the very least would help fill the massive void at EDGE rusher. That became impossible when the veteran was placed on the reserve/NFI list which ended his Jets’ career before it began.
Just a few weeks before the season opener, this leaves us asking, now what?
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A Connection From the Past Could Make Sense
Prior to this Curry injury, Adam Schefter of ESPN said the Jets are exploring a trade for a pass rusher ahead of Week 1.
On the Can’t-Wait podcast with Connor Hughes of The Athletic he shared a few interesting names to watch including a player from Jets general manager Joe Douglas’ past:
“The one that I would look at is Derek Barnett. Obviously, Douglas was there in Philly when he was drafted [back in 2017]. He also has a relationship with Howie Roseman and the Eagles could want a receiver. That’s a potential deal I could see. I wouldn’t be opposed to this trade because Barnett is ascending and in theory you have the money to extend him.”
The former first-rounder is entering the last year of his contract worth just over $10 million, per Spotrac.
This is a trade that makes a ton of sense.
Barnett is still only 25 years old and would be coming off his rookie contract once you extend him. In 2021 he could immediately step in as your top EDGE rusher and then in 2022 he could be the Robin to Carl Lawson’s Batman.
What Could a Trade Package Look Like?
Fans are wary of giving up too much compensation in any potential deal for a pass rusher. So is general manager Joe Douglas who has refused to pay the piper outside of trading up for Alijah Vera-Tucker in the 2021 NFL draft.
Although from what I’ve gathered from a few different people around the Philadelphia Eagles organization, the cost wouldn’t be exorbitant and they’d be open to a deal.
One person texted me about a potential deal and said “a third-rounder” could do it. Part of the rationale behind that offer was this from a source:
“Logic: if the Eagles think they can get a third-round comp pick for him in free agency, they won’t trade him for anything less than a fourth and even then it’s probably not worth it.”
If the Jets wanted to avoid giving up a day-two pick, there is another option that perhaps could work out for all sides: veteran wide receiver Jamison Crowder.
Earlier this offseason the 28-year old wideout renegotiated the final year of his deal and took a significant pay cut to stay on the team. It was a savvy move by Douglas who got some extra green in his pocket and opened up the door for a potential trade down the line.
Originally Crowder was owed over $10 million and no sane NFL team would’ve eaten that cap number in the middle of a season. Although his new deal, $5.5 million, is a much easier pill to swallow.
When I texted with a few sources and said what Jets player would the team be interested in? They kept coming back with Crowder “and maybe a late-round pick.”
The Jets would likely feel comfortable moving on from Crowder for a few reasons:
- He’s on the last year of his deal and they’re going to lose him this offseason anyway.
- They have ample replacements on the roster they feel confident in: Elijah Moore and Braxton Berrios can both play in the slot.
- In terms of this specific deal, they would avoid giving up premium draft assets which Douglas is always a fan of.