There are three fairly big names drawing interest from NFL teams. Under what circumstances should the Jets have interest in these guys? Let's take a look.
Coming off a year long suspension, the Cleveland Browns' receiver seems to be drawing interest on the trade market.
Multiple teams have reached out to the Browns to inquire about the availability of WR Josh Gordon, per league... https://t.co/84cGMp42j8— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 23, 2016
Why it would make sense: Gordon is only 25 years old and was arguably the best receiver in the NFL in 2013. It is one thing to have 4.3 speed and stand 6'3" at 225 pounds. It is another to know how to use those tools as a receiver. Adding Gordon to create a three man receiver set with Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall would be terrifying for defenses. You would have three huge, immensely talented receivers. I also think the Jets might be a team that could offer Gordon a unique situation to get his career back on track.
The scenario that keeps coming into my mind is the Minnesota Vikings in the late 1990's. That team drafted Randy Moss, a tremendously talented receiver but one viewed as a big character risk. At that point, the team's star receiver was Cris Carter, a future Hall of Famer, but also a guy who had run into off the field problems early in his career that almost derailed his career.
The Jets have a guy in Marshall whose career does draw some parallels. He had some off the field issues, albeit different from those of Carter, but has grown into a positive voice on his team and with his off the field work. While it is easy to caricature a guy like Gordon, you can see through this article that there might be more than meets the eye. Could Marshall be the type of guy who could take Gordon under his wing, show him the ropes, and help him turn things around?
Why it wouldn't make sense: Gordon does come with a large degree of risk. He has been suspended three times in four years. In the past two seasons, he has played in 5 games and been suspended for 26. He is suspended another 4 to start this season. This is a player who has to do a lot to earn a trust in a team.
What circumstances would it make sense for the Jets to acquire him? I think it would take a lot. First of all, the Browns would have to practically be willing to give him away. I'm not sure I could see giving away more than a sixth round pick. If it was to go any higher, it would need to be a conditional pick. There is just too much risk involved to give up anything of value for a player who has struggled to avoid being suspended. I think a commitment from Marshall to embrace this role would be necessary along with a commitment from Gordon to buy in.
Williams looked dynamic last year as a rookie, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and recording 9 touchdowns. The Bills abruptly let the 23 year old go over the weekend.
Why it would make sense: Sometimes numbers lie. Williams' 2015 stats do not. He looked like a future star last season as a rookie. A division rival losing a player like this helps the Jets. Adding him could bring a double whammy effect.
Why it wouldn't make sense: It is tough to know exactly what is going on with Williams, but there has to be a story as to why the Bills would give up on a 23 year old with such talent making practically nothing. Furthermore, not a team in the league placed a claim on his cheap contract. That is a sign something is up. His weight was a topic of discussion, and he is suspended 4 games for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy.
What circumstances would it make sense for the Jets to acquire him? First of all, the Jets would need to have a handle on exactly what is going on. We probably do not have a full grasp. The Jets would also have to have confidence their locker room could help Williams grow and overcome whatever problems exist right now. It isn't that dissimilar to the Gordon situation.
The greatest returner in NFL history was recently cut loose by the Falcons. There is interest in his services.
Why it would make sense: It is no secret that Jets special teams were a struggle last season. Hester has the best resume of any return man in league history, and he is not likely to command much money.
Why it wouldn't make sense: Injuries and age are an issue with Hester. He only played 5 games last season, and he only has 2 return touchdowns since 2012. He is not the dynamic difference-maker he used to be. It isn't clear what he has left in the tank at 33 years old, and the Jets have a competition in the return game with guys who seem promising.
What circumstances would it make sense for the Jets to acquire him? If Jeremy Ross was to suffer an injury, I could see why the team would place a call to Hester. He might be veteran insurance in case Jalin Marshall showed he was not up to the task. For the time being, I think the Jets should hold off. They have an intriguing prospect in Marshall, and Ross is an adequate insurance policy.