Jets Reporter Could See 21-Game Starter ‘Getting Flipped’

Michael Carter

Getty An NYJ reporter believes New York Jets running back Michael Carter could be upgraded on via trade in 2023.

The New York Jets opened up Organized Team Activities on May 22, otherwise known as OTAs to most around the NFL community.

It’s the first step toward training camp and preseason, and it’s the first feeling that football is in the air again here in New York. May 22 also happens to be a Monday, and that means another NYJ mailbag courtesy of our Heavy on Jets reporters Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden Jr. and Michael Obermuller.

Today’s edition will touch on potential summer trades that could occur both to and from the franchise, Mekhi Becton and starting predictions, Ty Johnson’s emotional reveal and what’s next for the Jets front office.

Previous mailbag discussions:

Jets Trade Rumors: Who’s Coming, Who’s Going?

1. Bryce Huff and Denzel Mims have already been named as players who could be traded toward the end of training camp. Besides these two, give me a Jets player that could be traded at a crowded position.

Boy Green:

I could see 2021 fourth rounder and starter Michael Carter or 2022 UDFA Zonovan Knight getting flipped. The Jets could easily replace them with a proven veteran at the position and there are still plenty of interesting available names as unrestricted free agents.

A potential trade likely wouldn’t return a massive haul — maybe a later day-three selection — but it might be worth it. Breece Hall and Israel Abanikanda are roster locks, but they need another proven body just in case Hall doesn’t recover from the ACL as fast as some people think.

Carter is coming off a tough year and Knight really struggled at the end of the season. Is that because of poor offensive line play or are these backs not as talented as we think? It’s an interesting question that may not have a clear answer.


I could absolutely see defensive back Bryce Hall getting traded away for a sixth- or seventh-round pick. The Jets are stacked at cornerback and Hall has proven he can start at the NFL level.

Good depth is hard to find at CB, but Gang Green has it in spades. Other NFL franchises don’t have the same luxury and because of that, Hall should garner some bites on the trade block — plus, he’s a free agent in 2024.

The latest rookies to join the CB room — Jarrick Bernard-Converse and Derrick Langford — also profile as direct replacements for Hall on the outside.

2. The Jets have been linked to various upgrades via trade now that they profile as an “all-in” contender. If you could upgrade one position via trade, which would it be and why?


I know the position, but I’m not sure who the perfect name is for the problem. I’d love to see the Jets go and aggressively pursue a huge name at defensive tackle.

Maybe DeForest Buckner of the Indianapolis Colts, who has ties to Jets head coach Robert Saleh from their time in San Francisco. The former No. 7 overall pick would be an awesome fit next to Quinnen Williams and would give them one of the best defensive lines in football.


I got to admit, I didn’t expect my partner to go that direction after recent defensive tackles signings like Al Woods and Quinton Jefferson.

To me, there are three clear areas that the Jets can “upgrade” fairly easily. Corey Davis’ $10.5 million in cap savings would allow you to take on a wide receiver contract via trade, if Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas felt the player that they were getting back was better than Davis.

Starting safety Jordan Whitehead is in a similar boat with $7.25 million in potential savings if he’s replaced. Boy Green touched on the final option during his answer to question one: running back.

The Jets have been connected to trade assets like Derrick Henry and Austin Ekeler at running back in recent weeks, for example. Having said all that, if I could only choose one, I’d target a new free safety that can replace Whitehead with Chuck Clark moving to strong safety.

What’s Next for the Jets Front Office & Mekhi Becton?

3. Which happens next for the Jets and why? A reworked contract for Aaron Rodgers, a Quinnen Williams extension or the next veteran signing in free agency (Kwon Alexander, Yodny Cajuste, Marcedes Lewis, etc.)?


Easily a reworked contract for Aaron Rodgers. The Jets need that to set up the other pieces of the puzzle.

Gang Green has a lot of flexibility to be able to eat some of Rodgers’ cap hit this year and then they can push some of that 2024 hit down the line. It’s time to properly go all-in and kick that can down the road!

Do you think the Los Angeles Rams are feeling bad about going all-in? Heck no, they won a Super Bowl and are now paying the price. If you win the championship, you’ll do whatever it takes.


Paul’s right, Rodgers is the first priority over Williams when it comes to long-term moves. The Jets need to know what the quarterback’s deal will look like long-term before they figure out how to structure “Big Q’s” extension.

My answer will be option three, however. The Jets just brought in Cajuste for a visit on May 22 and Douglas is always looking to improve the roster.

It may not be the former New England Patriots offensive tackle, but I’ll bet the Green & White sign someone new before they figure out Rodgers’ new contract.

4. Considering Mekhi Becton’s bold comments this spring, predict the starting Week 1 offensive line here in May. Who wins the left tackle job? Does Joe Tippmann start at center?


I’ll mix it up and say: Mekhi Becton (left tackle), Laken Tomlinson (left guard), Joe Tippmann (center), Alijah Vera-Tucker (right guard), Billy Turner (right tackle).

I think Duane Brown is one of the Jets’ best five offensive linemen, but he can only play left tackle which complicates the picture. If Becton is as ready as he appears, he could be the blindside protector for Rodgers.

That would make Duane Brown the ultimate break-the-glass emergency backup at left tackle.


The Jets are in a tough spot this offseason. It almost feels like Becton is laying the early groundwork of a refusal to play right tackle if he’s healthy.

At the same time, Brown has never done it before, and would he really be willing to switch positions in the final year of his career? Another question, would Saleh really trust Becton over Brown?

Oddly enough, the organization feels more committed to the soon-to-be 38-year-old than Becton, a 24-year-old former first-round selection. Call me crazy, but I’m going to say Brown (LT), Tomlinson (LG), Connor McGovern (C), AVT (RT) and Turner (RT).

I hope Becton proves me wrong but at the same time, maybe the Jets signed Turner for a reason. If this becomes a problem, Saleh won’t hesitate to bench him in favor of his more proven veterans. P.S. McGovern gets the early nod over Tippmann, but the rookie should take over at or before the bye week.

Jets Writers React to Ty Johnson Surgery News

5. Ex-Jets RB Ty Johnson posted an emotional surgery/injury reveal over the weekend that provided more information on his release. Then D.J. Reed Jr. and several ex-teammates spoke out publicly for him. What do you make of situations like this around the NFL?


People that are pointing at the Jets and calling them monsters don’t understand the NFL. This isn’t a Jets-unique issue — as DJ Reed said on Twitter — it’s a league issue.

The NFL is often labeled the “not for long” league and it’s true. It’s the cold-blooded nature of the business that happens every single day but doesn’t always make it to the light of day or the front-page headlines.

If you get injured off campus, that’s on you. It has always been the rule, but if the NFLPA wants to change that they’ll have to attempt to negotiate it during the next CBA talks.


Johnson’s video definitely makes you cringe a bit, but my partner is correct. This type of stuff happens all the time around the NFL and the Jets aren’t at fault here in any way.

That’s not to say Reed or Johnson are wrong. Non-football injuries could be handled better by the league and the owners — considering their wealth. Perhaps, this is an area the NFLPA should target in future negotiations.

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