According to multiple reports, the New York Jets have agreed to trade linebacker Avery Williamson and a 2022 7th round draft pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a 2022 5th round draft pick. The move continues the Jets’ efforts to trade off veteran players who will not be part of the rebuild in exchange for future draft capital.
Avery Williamson was originally signed by the Jets as an unrestricted free agent in March 2018 by then general manager Mike Maccagnan. Williamson had a good first year with the Jets, arguably the best year of his career. In 2018 Williamson had 120 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and six tackles for loss. He missed the entire 2019 season with a torn ACL. When he came back in 2020, Williamson never quite regained his form. He still made a lot of tackles, with 59 in just seven games. However, Williamson was a liability in coverage. He allowed a terrible 93% completion percentage in coverage in 2020 and 8.7 yards per target. In addition, the impact plays were completely missing, as Williamson had zero sacks, zero quarterback pressures and zero tackles for loss in 2020.
The return of a 5th round pick in exchange for a 7th round pick and a soon to be 29 year old linebacker who is a liability in coverage and who makes few impact plays seems like a good deal for a rebuilding Jets team. Williamson had no place on the future Jets and the Jets are in need of as much draft capital as possible if they are going to turn this team around. Williamson also makes out well in this deal, as he goes from a winless Jets team to the only undefeated team in the NFL.