New York Jets: The full evaluation of a blockbuster trade

New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /

Breaking down the New York Jets blockbuster trade with the Colts, a trade that absolutely had to be made.

New York Jets fans have every reason to be thrilled at this hour. Everyone knows why by now. The Jets have finally made an aggressive move, trading with the Colts to move up to the third pick in the draft. Look here for the specific trade details, but the long and the short of it is that the Jets gave up three second round picks, two this year and one next, along with the sixth overall choice to move up to number three.

The reaction to the trade has been mostly one of jubilance and excitement. The Jets are finally in position to do what has evaded them for what feels like centuries. There has been some negativity around it due to the size of the package that was sent back to Indianapolis. However, this was the trade that had to be made at this time. It was aggressive, perhaps bold, but had to be done.

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First of all we have to talk about the timing of the move. The timing was absolutely perfect because this would have gotten even worse if they had waited until draft week or even draft day.

We have seen both the Dolphins and Bills making moves this offseason. Either or both could have wanted to move ahead and take a quarterback. That would have created a bidding war on draft day. If a bidding war had gone down for that third pick, the Jets would have definitely needed to give up next year’s first rounder to make the trade happen. They avoided that fate by the timing here.

Yes, it’s still hard to be confident that Mike Maccagnan makes the right pick. He hasn’t exactly handled the position with flying colors so far in his tenure with the Jets. But, the trade puts them in position where either Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or Baker Mayfield are guaranteed to be available when they go on the clock. It’s just math, there are three players of interest and the Jets have the third choice. It’s a certainty, the quarterback will be there for the taking.

Maybe Mike has finally figured out this is the year he must get it done. There is some evidence there. According to the Colts GM, this discussion began on the same day the Jets made their offer to Kirk Cousins. They had plan B in the works when plan A hadn’t closed up yet. That says to me that Maccagnan said he had to be prepared to pivot fast because he understands this is the year to get a quarterback.

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Let’s address the issue of value traded away. In a vacuum the Jets gave up a lot. Three second round picks is a huge price tag. A lot of players that can fill out a roster can come from the second round. But the team isn’t built in a vacuum. The Jets need a quarterback. All of that second round work that could have been done would have meant nothing without a quarterback. The move was good value for the Jets.

Besides anything else, the last Jet to be selected in the second round to make a Pro Bowl was Mark Gastineau. He was selected in 1979. It’s not as if the Jets are that good at selecting second round players. Here’s looking at you Geno Smith, Devin Smith and Stephen Hill among others.