Despite signing Corey Davis and drafting Elijah Moore in 2021, the New York Jets might still be in the market for a true WR1 for Zach Wilson.
Considering most of the free-agent options may never hit the open market due to the franchise tag, GM Joe Douglas may have to get creative if he wants a veteran to fill the void. That’s why many fans have suggested Gang Green trade for one.
Unfortunately, one of the top trade candidates appears to no longer be available — if he ever was.
ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here!
Thomas Agrees to Restructure Contract
On February 26, word came out that the New Orleans Saints and wide receiver Michael Thomas have agreed to a restructuring — along with right tackle Ryan Ramczyk — that freed up over $26 million in cap space.
ESPN NFL insider Field Yates reported on the news: “Source: the Saints’ cap moves are underway, as they’ve converted $14.565M of Michael Thomas’ compensation for 2022 and $18,206,608 of OT Ryan Ramczyk’s compensation for 2022 into signing bonuses, creating $26.217M in cap space.”
According to ESPN writer Mike Triplett, “Thomas’ restructure is especially notable since it further indicates that New Orleans has no plans to trade its star receiver.”
Triplett explained further: “The Saints converted $14.6 million of Thomas’ scheduled salary and roster bonuses into a signing bonus, which means they can spread the cap charges over the next five years. However, that also means they would be on the hook for all of those charges against the cap this year if they traded Thomas.”
In other words, if NOLA wanted to deal Thomas, they would not have offered this restructure. This is a major win for GM Mickey Loomis as the Saints attempt to get themselves back under the cap.
Follow the Heavy On Jets Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest NYJ-related daily content, analysis, features and more!
All Hope Lost via Trade?
With Thomas probably staying put, the trade spotlight shifts to players like Calvin Ridley and Jerry Jeudy among others.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank addressed the ongoing situation with Ridley on February 9 and was somewhat noncommittal on what might end up happening.
“We’d love him to stay in Atlanta. Whether or not he wants to do that — he may decide that he wants a fresh start someplace else… I don’t have information to indicate that, but we’ll see how that plays out,” Blank told reporters.
Jeudy has also been mentioned as a potential trade candidate after a disappointing sophomore campaign in Denver — 10 appearances (five starts), 467 yards.
A more veteran name to add to the group is Dallas Cowboys star Amari Cooper, whose situation is more similar to Thomas. If dealt, it would be so that Dallas can free up some cap space. Even DK Metcalf has been discussed as a fun option that has Elijah Moore ties from their days at Ole Miss.
Of course, the Jets could also try and solve this problem in the NFL draft. A popular mock suggestion for Douglas at No. 10 is a star wide-out like Drake London, Garrett Wilson or Treylon Burks.
At this point, the only bad answer might be no answer after Wilson’s WR on-target drop percentage (minimum 50% of dropbacks) led all quarterbacks in 2021 — per Pro Football Focus.
Follow @obermuller_nyj and @BoyGreen25 on Twitter for all the latest New York Jets breaking news, rumors, fresh takes and more!