After flirting with the idea of a wild card playoff spot this season, the New York Jets returned to earth against the Minnesota Vikings in week seven. NFL futures don’t favor the Jets, who have +5000 odds to win the AFC East, as per odds sourced by CanadaSportsBetting.ca. This doesn’t mean that New York needs to be sellers at the 2018 trade deadline.
Plenty of outstanding talent will be available to pick up on the trade market. In some cases, teams like the Bills and Raiders will be motivated sellers because of a complete lack of competitiveness. The Jets could bolster their lineup, providing Sam Darnold with some extra support as he evolves into his potential as franchise QB.
RB – Le’Veon Bell
Every single opinion about Le’Veon Bell and his decision to hold out for cash has been discussed ad nauseum. Nobody questions the impact Bell creates while on field. Le’Veon has been the best three-down back in the NFL over the past few years, averaging 129 rushing and receiving yards per game throughout his career, resulting in three Pro Bowl nods and a first-team nomination in 2017. Last season, he amassed an incredible 406 touches, most in the NFL.
Rolling the dice and investing picks and prospects in a blockbuster trade should only take place if the Jets have a legitimate shot at signing Le’Veon to a massive, long-term contract. Sam Darnold will benefit from lining up alongside an elite dual threat, similar to how Todd Gurley creates space and options for Jared Goff.
RB – LeSean McCoy
Stuck on a waning Buffalo Bills offense, LeSean McCoy has struggled through injury and personal issues over the past year. The current version of the Bills somehow managed to squander the goodwill created by their surprise playoff appearance, facing a fire sale situation as their quarterback quandary deepens. LeSean’s in the midst of his worst season since his rookie campaign, but the Bills ineffective o-line and the overall crumbling of the offense limits McCoy.
There’s no better time to take a flyer on McCoy than now, as he and the Bills struggle to put together resistance against professional football teams. There’s a good chance that he won’t require a king’s ransom to pry from the rebuilding Bills. LeSean was a Pro Bowl running back in 2017, and there’s no reason he can’t regain his game in different surroundings.
CB – Patrick Peterson
As another Cardinals season swirls down the drain, the reality of a complete rebuild can no longer be avoided in Arizona. Patrick Peterson has been an elite cornerback throughout his career, leading to three first-team Pro Bowl appearances and seven Pro Bowl nominations overall. At the age of 28, Peterson can remain a top corner for years to come, cementing impressive depth for the Jets secondary.
Several teams have been interested in Patrick, which will certainly drive the asking price up. Arizona maintains that they’re not interested in trading Peterson, but Arizona will not make the playoffs this year. Barring drastic changes, the Cardinals likely won’t earn a post season spot next season either. Perhaps another blowout loss against the 49ers will create additional motivation for a blockbuster. trade.
WR – Kelvin Benjamin
Another solid offensive contributor stuck on the Bills lifeless attack, Kelvin Benjamin has an incredibly low catch rate of 37.8% this year – a 23.7% drop from last year. Did Kelvin forget how to catch a football since the Bills made the playoffs? Doubtful, considering he caught 62.7% of passes thrown his way when he partnered with Cam Newton for eight games in 2017, before he joined the Bills in week nine.
There’s no playoff miracle waiting to happen in Buffalo, and the Bills need to acquire as much youthful talent as possible to compete when Tom Brady finally retires. Nathan Peterman and Derek Anderson are interception machines, while no one knows when rookie Josh Allen will return. Benjamin might provide Darnold with an experienced wideout who will drop fewer passes than the current group of receivers.
WR – Pierre Garcon
San Francisco 49ers
The development of Sam Darnold is one of the top priorities this season, regardless of wins or losses. Similar to Carson Wentz during his first year with the Eagles, Darnold’s receivers have whiffed on a relatively large number of passes. New York receivers have a drop rate of 4.7%, ranking in the bottom ten. Drops kill drives, reducing the number of downs Darnold plays in his first season.
Garcon doesn’t have the same athleticism as he used to, but he remains on of the steadier, more experienced wideouts in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers are stuck in the middle of a lost season, and they might prefer a pick instead of paying Garcon to toil on a losing squad. If the Jets can pry Garcon away for a good price, his experience will help New York’s passing game on a team-friendly option contract.
S – Karl Joseph
If there’s one thing that’s now clear about the Raiders, Jon Gruden knows who he wants to keep and who will leave the tire fire in Oakland. The destruction started with trading Khalil Mack, who would’ve certainly helped the Raiders to a record better than 1-5 after seven weeks. Rumored to be in Gruden’s crosshairs, safety Karl Joseph will likely be the next first round selection traded for future picks.
Gruden already doesn’t start Joseph, who’s only appeared in three games this season. The Raiders defense gives up the third most points per game in the NFL, so Joseph’s absence could be a minor factor in Oakland’s collapse. He’s still only 25 – for the right price, he could turn into a nice find.
DE – Dante Fowler
Yet another first-round pick rumored to be on his way to a new team, Dante Fowler was drafted third overall in 2015, expected to serve as a wrecking ball against offensive lines. Instead, Fowler watched other players fulfill their potential while Dante finds himself out of a starting spot on the defensive line.
Fowler’s still only 24, capable of contributing and perhaps even progressing into the defensive threat that the Jaguars envisioned. Plenty of contenders need depth on their d-line, but the Jets might want to consider outbidding other suitors for a talented yo