Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
While we've looked in detail at potential free agent targets for the Jets, they may also be looking at opportunities within the trade market.
Let's take the Jets at their word and assume that trading Le'Veon Bell or Jamal Adams away isn't in their plans despite earlier rumors. We can also safely rule out them trading up in the draft. However, let's consider some more realistic potential trade targets they could consider making a move for:
OT Trent Williams
It's not every day that a seven-time Pro Bowler hits the market, so it must be tempting for the Jets to look into making a move for Williams. Acquiring the 31-year old would address arguably their biggest need by giving them elite protection for Sam Darnold. Williams has given up just one sack since 2016.
However, the move would not be without risk. Williams ending up missing the entire 2019 season as he fell out with front office and medical staff in Washington. He is also seeking a new contract and rumored to be seeking $20 million a year. He wouldn't come cheap either, as Washington is said to be demanding a second-round pick for the veteran.
CB Darius Slay
Slay has been rumored to be a trade candidate since last month, with several teams reportedly interested. The 29-year old has been to the Pro Bowl in each of the past three years and again would represent a potential upgrade at a key position of need for the Jets. Slay has racked up at least 13 passes defensed in each of the past six seasons. That's six more than any Jet managed in 2019.
Much like Williams, Slay is looking for a big-money deal and would probably cost the team a high pick. However, he has at least been healthy over the past few years.
CB Ahkello Witherspoon
If Slay is too expensive, a move for Witherspoon could give them a younger, cheaper option. Witherspoon played well for most of last season but was banged up and struggled down the stretch, so he didn't play much of a role in the postseason. That suggests he's not in the 49ers' long-term plans and could be surplus to requirements.
For a mid-to-late round pick, the Jets would acquire a 24-year-old who has started 29 games in three seasons and has good length and athleticism. The Jets would hope this trade played out better than the last time they traded for a 49ers cornerback and ended up with the disappointing Rashard Robinson.
WR Albert Wilson
A late-round pick might be enough to acquire the 27-year old Wilson, who showed good playmaking ability under Adam Gase in 2018 and later referred to the coach as a genius. He is in the final year of his contract and Miami would create almost $10 million of cap room by trading him. Even though they already have a large selection of picks in the upcoming draft, the Dolphins are still rebuilding so will be happy to add to that haul.
While it might seem unlikely that the Jets would trade with their divisional rivals, let's not forget that they made trades with both New England and the Giants last season, so Joe Douglas obviously isn't going to rule out such deals where they appear to be of mutual benefit.
EDGE Olivier Vernon
The Jets tried to sign Vernon a few years ago but he ended up joining the Giants and then was traded to Cleveland last season. The Browns may now also be looking to move him and could accept a late round pick in exchange for him. Vernon is scheduled to earn over $15 million in 2020, but the 29-year-old could be open to a restructure.
Although he only had 3.5 sacks last season, Vernon has consistently created pressure at a higher rate than any of the pass rushers currently on the Jets' roster. He's also been a consistently solid run defender.
With eight picks in the 2020 draft and the need to acquire some young talent at multiple positions, the Jets probably won't want to use many of those picks on veteran talent.
However, in exploring the trade market, the Jets will not only be looking to acquire players from other teams. They may also seek to improve their draft capital and add to their options either by trading down or perhaps by considering dealing players like Henry Anderson or Avery Williamson for a pick, or including them in one of the above moves.