Landing the veteran blocker would situate the New York Jets’ offense in an enviable spot. How can they pull it off?
The New York Jets have gotten a lot done this NFL offseason. But their work isn’t over yet.
Floating rumors continue to propose that the Jets may seek a trade with the Washington Redskins to acquire offensive tackle Trent Williams. Improvements have been made on the offensive line to the tune of adding Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, and George Fant. But adding someone like Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowler, could be a move that truly revolutionizes a Jets offense seeking traction for backfield saviors Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell.
How can they bring Williams in? ESM explores three possibilities…
Proposal 1: 3rd round pick (79th overall) for OT Trent Williams
Washington is in need of a second day two draft pick, having traded their second-round choice in a pick swap with Indianapolis last year. The Jets are blessed with a miniature surplus, earning extra draft capital from the New York Giants at the 2019 trade deadline (from the Leonard Williams deal). There’s still plenty to work on when it comes to the Jets’ roster, but the solidification of the offensive line ensures that they don’t technically need as many draft picks as first envisioned. Essentially “drafting” Trent Williams in the third round with a pick obtained from the Redskins’ NFC East rival would a surprise to be sure, but one the Jets would hardly argue about.
Proposal 2: LB Avery Williamson, 6th round pick (211th overall) for OT Trent Williams
The Jets still have several names that could be let go in the name of cap savings. Brian Winters’ ousting would save them just over $7.2 million, but his starting experience and potential for depth might sway the team to let him stick around. More tenuous is the situation of linebacker Avery Williamson, who would add $6.5 million to the cap if bid farewell by June 1.
Matching savings would come to the Jets if they deal Williamson (entering the final year of a three-year, $22.5 million contract) in a trade. The Jets have done a decent job in bolstering their linebacker depth this offseason. They convinced Jordan Jenkins (career-high 8 sacks) to come back on a one-year deal (worth an astonishingly affordable $5 million), brought in C.J. Mosley’s Baltimore teammate Patrick Onwuasor, and welcomed back solid depth men Neville Hewitt and James Burgess. Thus, Williamson is a bit more expendable than he was a week or two ago. If that caveat helps the Jets give up a less valuable draft pick for Williams (the 191st was acquired from Kansas City for Darron Lee), that could play into their favor.
Proposal 3: 3rd round pick (79th overall), and/or 6th round pick (179th overall)/a player for OT Trent Williams and WR Trey Quinn
With the offensive line relatively bolstered, or at least in a far better position than it ever was in the Mike Maccagnan era, the Jets have other areas of their offensive to worry about. They’re in desperate need of receivers now that Robby Anderson has left for Charlotte. Le’Veon Bell may need depth behind him with both Bilal Powell and Ty Montgomery up for free agency. The Jets can perhaps use a trade with the Redskins, provided they’re willing to give up a little more, to bolster these spots.
Quinn would be an intriguing developmental prospect that could flourish in an expanded role. 2018’s Mr. Irrelevant has dealt with injuries, but has shown potential in his brief time (35 receptions, 273 yards, 2 touchdowns). The Jets previously took on Washington system receivers Josh Doctson and Jehu Chesson. Further veteran secondary help on the Redskins’ depth chart includes cornerback Fabian Moreau.
As for who the Jets would give up in such a trade, it’s possible they could part ways with a veteran blocker (i.e. Jonotthan Harrison) or defender (John Franklin-Myers?). If it saves them valuable draft capital, that might be the way to go.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags