Jets quarterback Sam Darnold talks after the team’s 24-10 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018.
Andy Vasquez, Staff Writer, @andy_vasquez
The New York Jets have plenty of holes in their roster as they reach the midpoint of the season at 3-5. Anyone who watched Sunday’s game against the Bears can see that.
But they let Tuesday’s trade deadline pass without making a deal. And when you look at the price that other teams paid to make deals at the deadline, it’s easy to see why general manager Mike Maccagnan sat this one out.
The Jets badly need a dynamic pass rusher and an explosive wide receiver. And two good options were traded on Tuesday: receiver Demaryius Thomas and pass rusher Dante Fowler.
But here’s why the Jets made the right move for their franchise to let both go to a higher bidder.
Let’s start with Fowler, who the Jets were obviously interested in. He was traded from the Jaguars to the Rams for a 2019-third round pick and a 2020 fifth-round pick. Fowler only has two sacks this season, but he’s a dynamic player and would have made the Jets’ pass rush much better because opposing teams wouldn’t have been able to focus so much on Leonard Williams.
But that would have been an insane price for the Jets to play, especially considering that Fowler is going to be a free agent after this season, the Jets are not a contender right now and they’re short on draft picks next year.
Remember, the Jets traded their 2019 second-round pick to the Colts to trade up to No. 3 where they landed Sam Darnold. So they only have six picks in next year’s draft.
If the Jets want to pursue Fowler, they can do it in March, when they’re expected to have nearly $100 million in cap space. And they can use the draft picks they didn’t trade away to fill holes and build around Darnold.
But what about Thomas? He was traded to the Texans for a fourth-round pick and a swap of seventh-round picks. He would have been a weapon that could have helped the Jets now and helped Darnold’s development. And the price the Texans paid wasn’t all that steep.
But the Jets would have taken a $14 million cap hit next year to keep a 32-year-old Thomas, whose numbers have been steadily declining since his career-best 2014 season. The Jets can make better use of that $14 million and fourth-round pick elsewhere.
There are many frustrated fans who won’t like that the Jets stood pat at the deadline. But that’s shortsighted. They made the right move for the future of the franchise. And it could start to pay off as soon as 2019.
Pryor signs with Bills
The Jets had expressed interest in bringing receiver Terrelle Pryor back after they released him two weeks ago because of a hip injury. Instead, they’ll be playing against him soon. Pryor signed with the Bills on Tuesday, ending any chance of a reunion with the wide-receiver needy Jets.
The Bills are set to play their first game of the season against the Jets next weekend (Nov. 11) at MetLife Stadium. Pryor wasn’t a factor for most of his time with the Jets, but he did catch a touchdown in each of his final two games before getting injured.
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