Frustrated Jets Draft Pick Could Garner Trade Interest, Says Insider

Michael Carter

Getty New York Jets running back Michael Carter in 2023.

Frustration appeared to boil over for several New York Jets players in Week 3 as the offense struggled to move the football once again.

One of those public shouting matches on the sidelines featured running back Michael Carter, a 2021 draft pick that has been buried on the depth chart behind Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook in 2023. Carter argued with his running backs coach Taylor Embree — summing up the heated discussion as “two competitors [who] both want to win” while speaking with the media. Jets head coach Robert Saleh chose not to comment on the disagreement after the game.

Although Carter did acknowledge that “I gotta control myself better, 100%,” he wouldn’t be the first NYJ prospect to get traded after mouthing off at the staff. In fact, 2021 draftmate Elijah Moore was believed to have been dealt for the same reasons this spring.

Following the Week 3 loss, FanBuzz NFL insider Matt Lombardo named Carter as one of seven players that could “potentially” join the trade block ahead of the 2023 deadline — and the reasons went deeper than his recent lack of composure against the New England Patriots.

NFL Insider Believes Jets RB Michael Carter Could Be an ‘Attractive’ Trade Candidate for a Playoff Contender

“It wasn’t long ago that Michael Carter was viewed as one of the core players the Jets planned on building their offense around, that is, until Breece Hall’s arrival last spring,” Lombardo began while explaining why the 24-year-old ball carrier could be on the block this season.

“Carter’s 21 games give him real in-game experience,” he went on, “and his 4.0 yards per carry average with seven touchdowns through his two-plus seasons make him an attractive option for teams looking for a capable complementary back, especially teams with legitimate postseason aspirations.”

The sheer number of injuries around the league at the running back position help Lombardo’s case. Just look at an AFC contender like the Baltimore Ravens or Los Angeles Chargers who have been dealing with availability issues at RB early in the year.

“Given that Carter has one more season on his rookie contract, he’s an affordable depth player at an affordable price,” Lombardo concluded. “Hall and Dalvin Cook are entrenched at the top of the Jets’ depth chart, and Carter is a player general manager Joe Douglas could flip to add a draft pick to keep adding to one of the most exciting young cores in the league.”

Don’t forget, trading Carter could also free up some snaps for explosive 2023 rookie Israel Abanikanda, who is currently the fourth RB on the depth chart heading into October.

Jets RB Michael Carter Says He Has ‘Utmost Respect’ for Coach Embree

While speaking with reporters on September 24, Carter did make it clear that there was no bad blood between him and Embree.

“Please don’t try to flip my words because it’s a very important topic to me,” Carter began. “I have the utmost respect for coach Embree. Honestly, [he was] probably beating on the table for me in the draft. He’s a big part of the reason I’m even a Jet today. Me and him have a great relationship that goes way past football.”

The athlete added that “to my guys and anybody who saw, people know that’s not me. That’s not how I act. This is my dream job. I love the game, and Embree knows that. He loves the game, too. We’re both alphas, and we butt heads sometimes. That’s the first time I’ve ever spazzed out on anybody during the game.”

When asked if the argument was about Carter’s minimized role in 2023, the young man replied: “It’s not as big a deal as it looked. When you really love what you do, it means everything. It had nothing to do with anything selfish.”

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