The housecleaning probably didn’t end when the Jets cut running back Le’Veon Bell on Tuesday night. There are still pieces left on GM Joe Douglas’ roster who surely won’t be around when the Jets are finally competitive again.
The only question is whether the Jets will just dump them for nothing in the offseason or whether they’ll be able to sell a few off for parts. They couldn’t get anything in return for Bell, despite their best efforts, so a return isn’t always guaranteed.
Here’s a look at the few other player assets they could try to trade before the NFL trade deadline on Nov. 3. Unfortunately for them, it’s not much:
The 27-year-old safety got off to a hot start in a contract year and looked to be a more-than-adequate replacement for Jamal Adams. But he’s slowed down since and hasn’t proven to be much of a playmaker. At this point it’s hard to see the Jets spending big money on him next season and he wouldn’t cost much for a contender that needs to shore up its secondary (like, say, Seattle?). The Jets are probably better off letting him play out the season, but he wasn’t drafted by Douglas so if the GM wants to move on maybe they could get a mid-round pick.
He’s had one terrific game out of five, coming off a shaky rookie season, which doesn’t speak well of a player who once promised to “dominate” the NFL. He’s still 22 and loaded with potential, though. Chances are the Jets wouldn’t deal him away, not with at least two years left on his relatively cheap rookie deal. But again, he wasn’t picked by Douglas, so all bets are off. And he was so highly regarded in the 2019 draft that maybe someone would give up a second-rounder in return to see if they can get the dominant player Williams expected to be.
CB Brian Poole
If you need cornerback help, the Jets are probably the last place you’d look. But the 28-year-old Poole is a highly-regarded slot corner and the best the Jets have. They’re going to completely rebuild that unit in the offseason anyway, so it makes some sense to dump him somewhere for a late-round pick. The only problem is that when he was a free agent nobody wanted him, which is why he returned to the Jets on a one-year, $5 million deal.
An underrated piece of the Adams trade, the soon-to-be-30-year-old has been decent in a bad secondary. Douglas did like him enough to bring him here, but has he done enough to earn even a one-year deal to return? If not, the Jets could try to deal him for a late-round pick and clear the way for rookie Ashtyn Davis to play more. For an 0-5 team, McDougald is really just an excess piece of a broken puzzle.
Honestly, at this point, the Jets would jump for joy if someone offered even a conditional seventh-rounder for the disappointing tight end. After Adam Gase talked him up all summer, the former fourth-rounder has been a complete bust. He’s got one year left on his rookie deal, if he’s even on the roster next season. If someone needs tight end help and has no other options, the Jets will even buy the plane ticket for him.
RB Frank Gore
Right, who wants a 37-year-old running back? But here’s the thing: Gore is still effective in short bursts. He’s also reliable, generally healthy, and a good locker-room presence. He’s worth keeping around just to help rookie La’Mical Perine out the rest of the season. But there are a lot of contenders who need running back help. They could do worse than sending the Jets a Day 3 draft pick for the venerable veteran.
QB Joe Flacco
The 35-year-old veteran wants to be a starter again and he’s got another week (at least) to prove he’s up to the job. He seems generally viewed more as a veteran backup around the league, but that has value, too. Just look at the Cowboys, who were lucky to have Andy Dalton when Dak Prescott went down. Flacco is a luxury for an 0-5 team, even if Darnold’s injury lasts longer than expected. It might take an injury to a QB on a contender in the next few weeks. Or maybe a team like the Raiders will see what happened in Dallas and realize they’d be better off with Flacco behind Derek Carr than Nathan Peterman. Or perhaps the Titans decide to replace their backup, Logan Woodside, with veteran insurance for Ryan Tannehill. It’s unlikely, but not out of the question.