The protection around him will be paramount for Wilson to have a chance next season. While Gang Green has flirted with adding a few different options, perhaps the trade route could be the best way to go.
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A Deal That Makes a Ton of Sense
Former NFL scout and current contributor for Jets Country on Sports Illustrated, Daniel Kelly recently explained why the Jets should make a trade for Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Andre Dillard.
“Trading for a quality offensive tackle has got to be the number one priority for Jets’ General Manager Joe Douglas right now. It is time to sound the alarm and pick up the red phone and make a deal. Eagles’ OT Andre Dillard is said to be available, and he is exactly what the Jets need.”
The mammoth-sized (6-foot-5, 315 pounds) big man originally entered the NFL back in 2019 as the No. 22 overall pick in the first round.
Dillard has struggled to get on the field and has fallen out of favor with the Eagles. Tim McManus of ESPN said the veteran “could draw trade interest from tackle-needy teams” this offseason.
In three seasons the former Washington State product has only started in 9 out of 49 possible games. Dillard did play in 31 total games but missed the entire 2020 campaign due to a torn biceps injury.
In Kelly’s column, a possible trade price wasn’t discussed although it isn’t expected to be exorbitant based on what he has accomplished in his NFL career to date.
While he has had his fair share of struggles, no one knows him better than the Jets GM. Douglas, prior to accepting his job with the green and white, worked for the Philadelphia Eagles ahead of that NFL draft.
That past connection should provide plenty of insight for him to feel comfortable about pulling the trigger on this deal.
Whether by trade, free agency, waiver wire, or even making an exchange at your local grocery store at 3 am in the parking lot: the Jets need another body at offensive tackle.
Mekhi Becton and George Fant are really solid starters that have proven when healthy they can be dynamic. Although the problem is that the durability caveat of that equation is not something you can mess around with.
Neither Becton nor Fant have ever completed a full season so if you walk into camp with only those two capable players on the roster, you’re clearly playing with fire.
Kelly also made another really good point in his column about why the Jets should add another body at offensive tackle sooner rather than later:
“Making a trade for Dillard gives the Jets the kind of insurance they need, plus it would give Douglas leverage with Fant.”
Fant is in the middle of a contract negotiation with the Jets and has to be feeling pretty good. We mentioned that Becton has had some issues and they don’t have a capable backup, meaning Fant has strong leverage to ask for whatever he wants.
Regardless of what transpires with Fant this offseason, the Jets have to possess a hope for the best and expect the worst kind of strategy. It would be groovy if Becton and Fant stay healthy, but you have to prepare for the worst-case scenario and have guys ready to step up if need be.