As the NFL trade deadline approaches, teams will decide whether they are buyers or sellers.
On the surface, the New York Jets are obvious sellers, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look to acquire talent at certain positions. Zach Wilson needs a tight end for example, and an affordable Greg Van Roten replacement might help the offense succeed.
That could put Joe Douglas and the Jets in a sort of gray area, where they are willing to buy on a player that can become a long-term piece. Remember when the Buffalo Bills traded a haul of picks for Stefon Diggs? A move like that could make sense for Gang Green, being that they have so much draft capital to work with.
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Jets Could Find Perfect Trade Partner in Eagles
One franchise that has been selling hard since its recent championship is the Philadelphia Eagles. Being that Douglas previously worked hand-in-hand with Philly general manager Howie Roseman, there’s a natural link between the two teams.
There’s also a match in terms of situation and objective. The Jets are looking to acquire talent that can either grow with the team or at least remain with them the next few seasons as they attempt to develop into a contender.
The Eagles are looking to rid themselves of expensive contracts as they strip down and reconstruct their core. Basically, Roseman is looking for buyers with deep pockets and Douglas has the money and the draft capital to be his Huckleberry.
Heavy on Eagles reporter Mike Greger listed six Philadelphia veterans that could be on the move before November 2 and at least three of them might make sense for New York.
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3 Eagles Options for Jets to Consider
3. Miles Sanders, running back.
I’m not necessarily of the belief that the Jets need better running backs but more playmakers never hurt anyone — just ask the Kansas City Chiefs. Sanders is a former second-round pick that had over 1,300 all-purpose scrimmage yards his rookie season. For whatever reason though, new head coach Nick Sirianni doesn’t appear to be a fan.
“One of the most exciting young running backs in football can’t get out of Nick Sirianni’s doghouse,” explained Greger, “he’s been chained in the yard all year. No one knows why, but the organization hasn’t been high on him since the offseason when they drafted Kenny Gainwell and tried out Kerryon Johnson.”
If you acquired Sanders, you could send Tevin Coleman or La’Mical Perine packing in a corresponding move. That would form a true three-headed dragon of Sanders, Michael Carter and Ty Johnson at running back — which would have a play-caller like Mike LaFleur licking his chops.
2. Darius Slay, cornerback.
Now, I’m perfectly aware that I’ve argued the Jets should trust in the youth at cornerback in the past and for the most part, that plan has worked well in 2021. Having said that, I do believe that if a shutdown CB is ever available, it’s generally smart to pick up the phone and check the asking price.
“Finding someone to take on the salary of the fifth-highest paid cornerback in football (via Over The Cap) will be a challenge,” wrote Greger, adding that a contender might still take the plunge. I wouldn’t completely count out a team like the Jets either. Yes, Slay is 30 and yes, he’s expensive.
At the same time, he’s still performing at a high level (12th best corner on Pro Football Focus) and he’s under contract until 2025 (with no guaranteed money after 2022). Slay is a playmaker and a former All-Pro. His “leadership and personality are [also] off the charts,” according to Greger. The veteran could mentor the younger CBs, while also helping this Jets defense take the next step to an elite level right now.
1. Dallas Goedert, tight end.
Everyone, including myself, assumed that a Zach Ertz trade meant Goedert was staying in Philly but apparently, that’s not 100% accurate. Greger noted: “How can the Eagles think about trading him after losing Ertz, right? Goedert is the new starter who ranks third on the Eagles in receiving yards. Sure, but the fourth-year player is angling for a huge extension – $70 million, per reports – while showing a penchant for staying off the field (injuries, bar fights, COVID-19). I’m told the organization isn’t as high on him as people think.”
There is some risk trading for (and extending) the former second-round pick as Greger outlines between his injury history and off-the-field drama, but there are few tight ends in the NFL that can stand toe to toe in terms of talent. Goedert can block and catch at an imposing 6-foot-5 and 256 pounds. He has also accomplished a 600-yard campaign while playing second fiddle to Ertz and he’s still in his prime at age 26.
It might cost a pretty penny but Douglas could immediately solve his TE predicament with a deal like this, helping Wilson both in the short-term and the future.
P.S. Gardner Minshew, quarterback?
Greger never lists any quarterbacks in this piece but Minshew has been rumored as a player that could be available. The Jets are still in the market for an experienced backup — or at least they should be — and the former Jacksonville Jaguar has always been praised by teammates for his fun-loving personality and locker room presence.