The New York Jets have made it through the early stages of NFL free agency and the 2022 offseason.
In today’s mailbag column, our expert writers Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden Jr and Michael Obermuller will tackle this week’s hottest NYJ questions like the latest on the trade front at WR, their least favorite free-agent move of 2022, and the potential of a trade down from No. 4.
First, here are links to some of our previous Monday morning discussions.
- Week 32: How to fix the last-ranked defense, key impending FAs & the Super Bowl.
- Week 33: Bold offseason predictions, first free-agent signings & potential reunions.
- Week 34: Debating Kyle Hamilton, poaching AFC East rivals & trading up in the draft.
- Week 35: McGovern rumors/answer at RG, Jets-related combine winners & losers.
- Week 36: Jets Free Agency Primer — rumors, targets & strategy.
- Week 37: Free agency reactions/needs, passing on Amari Cooper & Robert Woods.
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Judging Joe Douglas During a Wild Week 2
1. Last week, we discussed favorite free-agent additions in 2022, but do you have a least favorite at this time?
I’m not sure if this one counts, but I’ll roll with veteran running back Tevin Coleman. He was brought back on a one-year deal for inconsequential money, however, the potential reason why I would hate it or it would be my least favorite would be the ripple effects from this maneuver.
The thing I fear is the Jets will say to themselves — ‘Coleman is good enough, we can just run it back in 2022’ — instead of addressing an underrated need in the backfield.
I like that answer, and mine similarly is based on the ripple effects that it might have. On March 26, Douglas signed Greg Zuerlein to add competition at kicker.
I don’t mind bringing in competition for Eddy Pineiro — which head coach Robert Saleh practically guaranteed earlier in the offseason — my issue is the low-upside choice. Zuerlein is 34 years old and coming off some of his worst seasons in the league. Why not trade down once in the draft and select a top prospect with a low-round pick?
The combination of Pineiro, Zuerlein and Matt Ammendola feels like Douglas is once again shopping at the bargain counter at kicker. My favorite of the three is Pineiro, who was perfect in 2021 and at least has upside as a former top prospect before his injuries.
Why do I get this nervous feeling that this will be an issue again in 2022?
2. Do you believe Douglas should have gone “all-in” — the No. 10 overall pick and enough money per year — to secure Tyreek Hill after the Miami Dolphins entered the equation? Or do you believe he was wise to withhold the first-round pick?
Absolutely not. As it was reported, the Kansas City Chiefs accepted the Jets’ trade offer of 35, 38, and 69. As a matter of fact, Drew Rosenhaus said that the Chiefs-Jets trade was “almost a done deal” but he shopped the offer to other teams which eventually got the Miami Dolphins involved.
Douglas didn’t need to include the first-rounder to get the trade done, it ultimately came down to Hill and he picked Miami.
Although thinking about an alternate reality where the Jets have Hill and a pair of top-10 picks is insane. However, JD was incredibly smart to be aggressive, but to a point.
I disagree on this one and I’ll probably be arguing this till the day I die. My unique perspective is that I’ve reported on this topic from various angles since I also work with Heavy on Chiefs. ESPN beat reporter Rich Cimini wrote: “Sure, [the Jets] could’ve increased their offer, but they didn’t want to be reckless.” Others implied this as well and to me, this somewhat unspoken fact is obvious in negotiations.
The Dolphins swooped in late with a similar offer, which allowed the Chiefs to grant Hill the right to choose. The keyword is allowed because Hill did not have a no-trade clause. At this point, you don’t think KC general manager Brett Veach asked Douglas if he would increase his offer?
Veach is as calculated as they come and that’s just bad business practice if you don’t ask — especially if you had previously accepted the Jets package as Paul noted. I THINK they hit a snag in extension negotiations, at which point Rosenhaus reached out to other franchises to get involved.
Miami then came in and stole Hill, as we know. If I were Douglas, I would have done whatever it takes to secure the superstar, even if that meant getting “reckless.” The AFC isn’t getting any easier and a unique talent like Hill would have transformed the Jets into a contender overnight.
3. If DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown or Deebo Samuel become available, what is the most you’d be willing to offer via trade?
The difference between these players and Hill is age, and on the flip side, a proven track record.
All of these wide receivers are entering the last year of their rookie contracts and are younger, which is a plus, but they don’t have the same resume as Hill. The most I’d be willing to offer for these guys is a very similar package to the one for the Chiefs star.
A combination of day two picks and maybe a future 2023 pick that is incentive-laden. I think Metcalf is the most likely to be dealt of the three, but if I’m Joe D I’m going to continue to monitor this situation all the way up until draft day.
I honestly cannot believe that I seem to be in the minority on this but I would offer the No. 10 overall pick in a heartbeat.
I would have offered it for Hill and I would offer it now. Maybe it’s because I don’t love this receiver class, which some have rumored is weaker at the top, but I’ll take a sure thing any day over a prospect that could take two to three years to develop — and may never reach the same level as the three above.
Also, remember how we acquired this pick in the first place: Jamal Adams. Imagine not flipping Adams for Alijah Vera-Tucker and Metcalf or Brown/Samuel. I know that’s not how it works, but adding that perspective makes it hard to draw the line at a day two selection.
If any of these three become available, the only thing ‘off the table’ should be the No. 4 overall pick.
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Planning for the Draft
4. How would you solve the run-stuffer void created by Foley Fatukasi’s departure in free agency?
I would attack this with a multi-faceted approach. There are still quality interior defensive linemen available in free agency that could come in on a very affordable deal and provide depth heading into the draft.
Speaking of April’s draft, they should add some juice late on day two and through day three. Their primary focus in the draft should be at EDGE, WR, OL, CB, and a DT mixed in.
If they do decide to go defensive tackle a little earlier than expected, that player better have some pass rush on his resume.
Boy Green could not have said it better this time. As enticing as Jordan Davis might be at No. 10, defensive tackles are not premier positions.
Solve this problem right now — today even — and set yourself up with one less need on draft night. Then if a prospect you like drops to you, later on, take him for additional depth on the interior.
That couldn’t hurt, and perhaps he beats out a lackluster reserve like Nathan Shepherd in training camp. To reiterate though, I would solve this deficiency with a veteran right now.
5. A recent mock draft suggested that the Jets could trade the No. 4 overall pick for two lower first-round selections in 2022. Would you accept that offer? Let’s say the compensation deferred the third first-rounder to 2023, then would you still accept?
Talking about this specific uSTADIUM offer, yes I’d be open to shifting back to the mid-teens with both picks as part of the potential trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.
It all depends on who is still on the board at four though because I really want that top EDGE prospect like Kayvon Thibodeaux. In terms of deferring to 2023, only if it was the right team.
General manager Joe Douglas shouldn’t have the luxury to kick can down the road because the time is now to win, not later. You have to maximize the rookie window of Zach Wilson and you aren’t doing that by getting picks in the future. But you never say never in this business, especially with the right offer.
I’d be much more open to moving back from No. 10 — especially if all the receivers are still on the board — because you can move down slightly, pick up some additional assets, then still get one of your guys.
To explain the trade package in question: uSTADIUM dealt the Nos. 4 and 163 picks for Nos. 15, 19 and 124. This blockbuster deal would provide Douglas with three first-round selections in 2022, from numbers 10-19, while sacrificing that top-five spot.
With how even this draft seems to be in terms of talent, I feel like you’d have to be crazy not to take this offer. If done properly, you could solve three needs and still have two recond-picks to spare.
Shifting the focus to a similar deal that would offer two firsts in return — except only one in 2022 and the other in 2023 — I would have to side with my partner. This rebuild is reaching its crescendo and Douglas will feel the heat if the upcoming season goes poorly.
One outlier — you don’t move far. Let’s say the Jets moved from No. 4 to No. 6 or 8 (Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons, two quarterback-needy teams) and pocketed another first-round pick in 2023. That’s a trade I might consider because the difference in talent from four to eight is not substantial in my opinion.