The NFL trade deadline falls on Tuesday, November 1 this year. That puts it just after the results from the Week 8 games are in. The NFL trade deadline is mostly an anticlimax every year. Unlike the other major sports, trades are relatively rare in the NFL. Even when they do happen, they rarely include top players. And even when they include top players, they rarely occur in season. The majority of the limited number of trades that do occur take place during or immediately prior to the NFL draft. Most other trades take place as preseason winds down and final cuts loom. In season trades are difficult, primarily because it is so difficult to effectively incorporate a new player into your system without the benefit of a training camp or preseason. As a result, most years the trade deadline comes and goes with very little happening. Nonetheless, this Jets front office has proven to be proactive in the trade market, so maybe there's a chance something gets done this year.
If the Jets win this week and up their record to 3-5, with two winnable games against Miami and Los Angeles to follow, the prospect of getting to .500 and clawing their way back into playoff contention probably will preclude the Jets from trading away any of their assets before the deadline. However, if the Jets lose in Cleveland perhaps the front office will be willing to throw in the towel at 2-6 and explore trading a player or two for draft picks in order to jump start the inevitable rebuilding process.
The Jets don't have a lot of assets with trade value. Sure, you could trade some of the team's young players like Quincy Enunwa or Leonard Williams, and they would bring back a decent return. But teams just don't trade young, cheap, good talent. So what about the veterans? Ryan Fitzpatrick probably has no value, and even if he did his 2017 $5 million cap hit would be accelerated into 2016 if traded, immediately putting the Jets over the cap. So Fitzpatrick is probably not an option. Eric Decker would have been an option if he was healthy, but now he has no trade value. David Harris might bring back something like a 7th round pick, but that's probably not worth doing. Buster Skrine and Marcus Gilchrist have played so poorly they probably have no trade value. Nick Mangold might bring back something, but he is injured, which might make him untradeable. Muhammad Wilkerson's contract has too much dead money on it to be traded. Ryan Clady might have some value, but that would leave a giant gaping hole at left tackle and nobody to fill it with. Darrelle Revis might have little value because his contract is now too rich for his level of performance. That leaves just two players who might bring back something of value: Brandon Marshall and Sheldon Richardson.
I have seen suggestions from media sources that Marshall might bring back something as high as a 2nd round pick, but I find that highly unlikely. If the Jets could get a 2nd round pick for him I think I'd do that deal in a heartbeat. Marshall is getting old, and has talked about retiring soon, perhaps as early as the end of the 2017 season. He is currently suffering through a mediocre season for him. His contract is not hyper expensive, but at $7.5 million in 2017 it is not cheap either. The Jets got Marshall for a 5th round pick a couple of years ago; it is difficult to imagine they would get a lot more back for him now.
Sheldon Richardson might bring back a much larger haul. I have seen media sources suggesting the Jets could get a 1st round pick for Sheldon. With a year and a half of inexpensive team control left on his contract Sheldon might actually be worth a 1st round pick if another team thinks he could put them over the top. Sheldon's off field problems might limit the market for him, but if the Jets could get a 1st round pick for Sheldon I think I would strongly consider doing it. As good as Sheldon is he has never quite lived up to his potential in New York, and the current regime seems unsure how to maximize his considerable talent. Sheldon has been the odd man out among the Jets three first round defensive linemen, consistently getting the least snaps while at times being shifted out of position to outside linebacker and inside linebacker. The Jets defensive line has so far played best when only two of the three stud linemen have been on the field, in the season opener against the Bengals and last week against the Ravens. It might be time to move on from having three 300 pound defensive linemen all of whom play more or less the same position.
In all likelihood nothing will get done before the trade deadline, just like almost every other year. But let's indulge in hypotheticals for just a moment. What about you? Which players would you like to see traded? Which players do you think have trade value? If you want to trade players, what is the minimum you would accept back in a trade for them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.