This is a hypothetical situation in which you are the new GM of the Jets with the power to wheel and deal. Knowing the Jets are a rebuilding team you really need Draft capital for the coming year so who would you sacrifice? The list could be a long one, but let’s just stick to the player who could bring back the most valuable picks.
You can’t trade Foley Fatukasi for a 2nd round pick. That is unreasonable, and you could trade numerous other players for 6th and 7th round picks. That is not what we want. We want premium picks 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks. No trading core players who are part of the future; so no three 1st round picks for Sam Darnold. Here is a few players who could bring back some bounty if moved.
Now I am not suggesting we trade Bell, but he is an asset. Coach Gase also didn’t want him in the first place. Bell is a mercurial person to begin with so is he now going to hold a grudge against Coach Gase the whole year? I don’t know. He could, or maybe he wouldn’t care. Neither would surprise me. Nevertheless, he is a valuable player and worthy of a high pick. Some of the teams that make sense would be:
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers turns 36 in December so the window for a championship run is slowly dwindling away. Rodgers is a little mercurial himself, and there is no telling whether he would decide to retire soon if he doesn’t see the type of team that can contend for a championship. Bell would provide Rodgers with a dynamic back. Aaron Jones has an injury history so he might be best as a relief RB. It is sure to make Rodgers happy. Is a 2nd round pick in 2020 too steep of a price to pay to bring a smile to your franchise QB’s face?
Los Angeles Rams
Nobody knows the state of Todd Gurley’s knee, but he was more of a spectator than a player late in the regular season and the Playoffs. Malcolm Brown is a distant second to Bell in talent, and 3rd round pick Darrell Henderson is unproven. Coach McVay said they are going to use a lot more variety of sets this year so 21 personnel could be a possibility.
“21” would mean 2 backs (Gurley or Henderson & Bell), 1 tight end (Higbee or Everett), and 2 wide receivers (Cooks & Woods). That is a strong lineup for a defense to match up with, and it might make sense with Cooper Kupp a question mark after a knee injury.
The Rams were all in last year and almost won the prize. Could Coach McVay refuse adding another weapon for his disposal? The Rams are short one pick next year so the offer of Bell for a 2021 1st round pick could be enticing.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs also knocked on the door of championship land last year, and if not for two missed easy TD throws by Patrick Mahomes they might have kicked the door in. Kareem Hunt is no longer on the team, and Damien Williams is nowhere near the talent of Bell. They are also short a dynamic playmaker in Tyreek Hill so they need an infusion of energy.
What would Le’Veon Bell do for an offense that has Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson as it’s starting receivers? KC is no adverse to trading high picks. They traded their own 2nd round pick for Frank Clark so would you take a 2021 1st round pick or the 49ers’ 2020 2nd round pick for Bell?
The Texans have a strong lineup with Deshaun Watson at QB, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Keke Coutee at WR, Jordan Thomas and Kahale Warring at TE, and Lamar Miller at RB. It is obvious which of those players is the least dynamic. Bell would add to the running game, help out of the backfield, and help get the receivers more room because of the attention he commands.
This also would help Watson with a more productive running game and an outlet receiver who can make things happen. Would you take the Texans’ 2020 2nd round pick in return?
Leonard Williams has never lived up to the mantle of the 6th overall pick in the draft. That doesn’t mean he is a bad player. He is still far above average and entering his prime years. I have no idea how the new regime looks at Williams. Is he a building block or replaceable? The Jets do have a plethora of d-line players. So how valuable is Williams, and who might want him?
The Raiders were one of the worst teams in the league last year, especially on defense. They need an infusion of talent, and John Gruden is on record as saying he likes Leonard Williams. Gruden is unpredictable, but he is also unafraid to make a move when he feels it is right. Do you think Gruden would rather have Leonard Williams at RDT instead of Johnathan Hankins?
Williams is also from USC so he might like the trip back to play in California. The Raiders have two 1st, two 2nd, and two 3rd round picks next year. Would Gruden parlay one or more of those picks to acquire Williams? I think he might. Would the lowest 2nd and 3rd picks in 2020 do, or do you want the lowest 2020 1st? What do you think?
Coach Nagy was a kicker away from a Playoff win, but Chicago still experienced a turnaround year and has an ascending team. The Bears are bereft of picks due to the Khalil Mack trade, but they are looking to take the next step. Chicago needs to be stout up front in a tough division. Currently the team has Roy Robertson-Harris penciled in at RDE. They can erase that and write Leonard Williams in in ink if the price is right.
So do you think the 2021 1st round pick would be enough to pry him from the Jets this year? The Jets could allow the Bears to rework his contract so they can extend him and lower his salary cap number at the same time.
The Vikings disappointed last year after their huge signing of Kirk Cousins, and talk of Mike Zimmers job security could start to come up with another disappointing season. The offense will look better with Dalvin Cook back to full health, a new center in Garrett Bradbury, and Cousins more familiar in the offense.
Zimmer built his team on defense, and he currently has Shamar Stephen (a former 6th round pick) as his RDT. Leonard Williams would give a huge boost to that unit, especially playing alongside Linval Joseph. The Vikings are usually frugal with their picks but may give up a 2020 2nd round pick to enhance their defense this year. Again the Jets would have to allow them to rework and extend Williams contract before the trade.
Johnson has been a lightning rod ever since he signed with the Jets and gave a less than stellar effort in 2018. He is signed through 2022 (thanks Macc), but he is still tradable. His cap hit for this year would be around only $8 million for the new team after a trade. Even with the dead money, it may be better for the Jets to trade him than have his dead play.
Maybe his problem was not physical but mental. He played on some good Rams defenses in the past, and the shock of getting torched every week in Todd Bowles defense may have been too much for him. I am not making excuses but simply expressing a hypothesis. In any event, finding a quality CB for $8 million is not to bad a price to pay.
The Eagles game up more yards through the air in 2018 than all but two teams. They have Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills both coming off severe injuries and starting on defense. Howie Roseman is not afraid to deal and if he can add a piece to the puzzle.
After a Super Bowl season the team disappointed so a reboot may be in order, especially on defense. The Eagles usually pick low in the draft so they might not be afraid to send a 2020 3rd round pick the Jets way.
The Cardinals made a big move in the offseason, hiring a new coach, trading it’s starting QB, and changing the offense to the Kliff Kingsbury system. The Cardinals were horrid last year, and a single Draft will not alter that completely. It’s a good thing coach Kliff has some honeymoon time as he changes the culture in the Southwest.
The same can not be said about the GM Steve Keim whose team was the worst last year while he was suspended from the team for 5 weeks due to a DUI arrest. Now comes word that Patrick Peterson (their stud CB) will miss 6 weeks due to a PED suspension. Keim cannot afford another bad season, or he will be away from the team forever next year.
If you think the Cardinals will struggle next year you could take a 4th round pick (it would be a high one) or a 3rd if you suspected they could do well. In any event Keim is going to need a decent season to survive, and teams don’t usually throw away starting CB’s.
The Bengals are also under a new regime in Zac Taylor who does not come in with a ton of experience. The starting and backup LCB spot has an older Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard coming off injuries.
You can never have too much depth at the CB spot, and the team that gave up the most yardage through the air last year and made no significant upgrades to the secondary should have an interest. Again if you think the Bengals will struggle you could take a 4th round pick, but you could also push for a 3rd round pick as well.
These are just some of the trades possible to enhance the Draft outlook for the team in 2020. I am not advocating any of these players to be traded; just giving examples. I’m sure you can do as well or better. So what would you do and who would you trade? To whom and for what price?