Simmons has had an interesting start to his NFL career. The Cardinals have moved him all over, from slot, to safety, to linebacker. Due to this, his play has been pretty inconsistent, with more negative than positive. In hindsight, Kliff Kingsbury was probably the worst head coach Simmons could have had to develop him. Simmons turns 25 in July, so he is still a very young player. One of the most intriguing aspect of Simmons game is his speed. He ran a 4.39 40 yard dash at the combine, and is one of the fastest linebackers i've ever seen. He should be able to keep up with any tight end or running back in coverage. Which is an area the Jets have struggled to cover for a long time. Having a LB that isn't a complete liability in coverage is a real luxury. Kwon Alexander and Quincy Williams are both free agents, and CJ Mosley is getting older and not the same player. Adding a credible LB to the Jets defense, which is already a top 5 defense, could elevate them even more. Adding elite speed to the defense at LB is appealing. Simmons has a 6.5M cap hit for 2023, but I imagine the Cardinals would pick up the guaranteed portion of it, leading to a relatively team friendly cap hit for any team that would trade for him. There is the option to pick up Simmons 5th year option, but due to his erratic play it's hard to imagine it getting picked up. That would make 2023 the last year of Simmons contract. The Cardinals are a team in complete disarray right now, so getting draft capital for a player who may not be in their future is plausible. I'm not saying Simmons is Fred Warner or anything close, but it could be a low risk, high reward acquisition at a position of need. My guess is he could be had for a 3-4th round pick.
Like the Cardinals, the Broncos are a mess due to the Russell Wilson trade. a 29 year old safety on a bad team that is depleted of draft capital is like owning a Lamborghini at a trailer park. They could look to trade him to recoup some of the draft capital they lost in the Russ trade. Simmons is still playing at a very high level. He has a cap hit of 18M in 2023 and 18M in 2024. It's a lot of money for a safety for sure, but I assume the Broncos would be responsible for covering the guaranteed portion left on his contract, lowering those cap figures. FS is a huge need for the Jets. Joyner was a liability and is a free agent. The Jets defense was very good in 2022, but they need to add a playmaker who can cause turnovers. Enter: Justin Simmons. A secondary of MCII, Sauce, DJ Reed, Jordan Whitehead, Justin Simmons, Bryce Hall, and Brandin Echols would be the best secondary in the NFL by a wide margin. And potentially the best defense in the league. My guess is Simmons could be had for a 2nd round pick.
Similarly to the Cardinals and Broncos, the Colts are another rebuilding team. Which makes trading Buckner plausible. Buckner is a great player, but turns 29 in March and only has 2 years left on his contract, so by the time the Colts are ready to compete again, Bucker would be 31 and a free agent. He has no guaranteed money left on his contract, making a trade more possible. DT is an underrated need for the Jets with Rankins, Shepherd, Thomas all heading to free agency. It's fun to imagine Buckner and Q lined up next to each other. Buckner has a cap hit of 19M in 2023 and 20M in 2024. That Jets pass rush would be crazy and would elevate an already very good defense, and should help cause more turnovers. My guess is Buckner could be had for a 2nd and 4th round pick.