Jets Urged to Pursue Young AFC Ball-Hawking ‘Star’

Juan Thornhill, Chiefs

Getty Kansas City Chiefs defensive back making a play on the ball during an NFL contest.

The New York Jets have one talented safety they feel really good about in Jordan Whitehead.

The other ones on the roster all have major question marks whether age, injury history, or are totally unproven. That has led a variety of media analysts to pontificate on how they could remedy the situation.

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An Interesting Possibility

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Ryan Moran of Jets X-Factor recently explored some cut and trade candidates the Jets could target this offseason at the safety position.

One of the most interesting names listed was Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Juan Thornhill.

He originally entered the league back in 2019 as the No. 63 overall pick in the second round. The former Virginia product has been a stalwart for the Chiefs’ defense playing in every single game over the last three years (49-for-49).

While he hasn’t necessarily started every game (only 36 of those to his name), Thornhill has been a key cog:

  • 11 pass deflections
  • Five interceptions
  • Over 163 total tackles

A natural response to all of this might be, why the heck would the Chiefs ditch a guy that has been this important to the cause?

Well, that answer is two-fold.

First off the Chiefs added Justin Reid in free agency on a sizeable $31.5 million contract over the next three years. Additionally, they doubled down in the 2022 NFL draft by selecting Bryan Cook with the No. 62 overall pick in the second round.

That double-dip investment at the safety position doesn’t say great things about Thornhill’s future with the franchise. Moran makes note of that stark reality in his column and that could lead to the possibility of a trade this offseason.

The 26-year-old is entering the final year of his rookie contract for $3.1 million and will be due a new deal whether as part of a trade or next offseason.

For all of those reasons, it could make a lot of sense for the Jets to consider acquiring this talented defensive back if the price is right.

Is History Repeating Itself

VideoVideo related to jets urged to pursue young afc ball-hawking ‘star’2022-06-13T17:30:41-04:00

Last year media and fans begged the Jets to add some experience to their cornerback group during the offseason.

The team ignored all that noise and played their youngsters.

While the overall numbers weren’t great, they showed a lot more chutzpah than anyone outside of the coaching staff gave them credit for in 2021.

Could history be repeating itself in 2022?

A similar song and dance are happening but this time at the safety position. We have no idea who that other starting safety will be and candidly the team probably doesn’t either.

It is the verbatim definition of an open competition and there are several intriguing candidates in the running for this gig in-house.

However, none of them, at least at this point, make you feel super confident that they’ll be the obvious solution. Although as was the case last year, no one felt good outside the building about the corners and it ended up working out.

It is more likely than not that the team stays pat with who they have on the roster, but if they decide to get creative, the Chiefs are a team they should call.

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