Could Jets use Sam Darnold to entice Bears to trade them Allen Robinson?

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Scott Thompson
·3 min read
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Sam Darnold/Allen Robinson Treated
Sam Darnold/Allen Robinson Treated

As teams placed franchise tags on players on Tuesday, the Jets saw a potential top free agent target come off the market.

The Chicago Bears tagged their star WR Allen Robinson, even though his Twitter likes suggest he wasn't happy about it. Jets fans may also have seen Robinson liking a bunch of tweets about the Jets this offseason, but it's all for naught as he's locked up in Chicago at least for another year.

Or is he?

There's always the possibility that Jets GM Joe Douglas could swing something if Robinson truly is the top wideout he wants wearing green and white next season. The Bears are also in the quarterback market, as inconsistency at the position between Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles last season hurt their chances for a playoff run despite having a solid team otherwise. Trubisky's fifth-year option was declined, making him an unrestricted free agent, too.

While Douglas and the Jets haven't made a decision on who will be quarterbacking their team next season, Sam Darnold could be an intriguing trade option for the Bears because of his age and untapped potential. Maybe a change of scenery with a better supporting cast will benefit Darnold and the Bears.

But that obviously wouldn't be enough to land Robinson. The Bears would want more in return for a man who put up more than 1,100 yards each of the past two seasons despite the quarterback play.

That's where things would get tricky. Robinson is a No. 1 option. The Bears would likely ask for that No. 2 overall pick on top of Darnold to either take a wide receiver of their choice, or trade down to acquire more assets. The No. 23 overall pick doesn't do much because the top wideouts of the draft will be gone by then.

So, while Darnold could be used as a trade chip here, it is hard to see a deal coming together where the Bears get rid of their best offensive option. They franchise-tagged Robinson for a reason, and there are other ways to figure out their quarterback problems.

For the Jets, too, there's other receiver options they could work with.

Kenny Golladay was not tagged by the Detroit Lions, making him an intriguing option at the top of the free agent market. JuJu Smith-Schuster is also testing the waters and has No. 1 receiver potential.

Also worth noting: Deshaun Watson is still disgruntled with the Houston Texans and could be made available. If that's the quarterback avenue the Jets want to take, the No. 2 overall pick is better spent there.

But this is the NFL and legitimately anything can happen in a wild offseason the Jets are looking to navigate. For some teams, there aren't options, but the Jets have the luxury of many options with about $69 million in cap room at the moment.

Spending that luxury on a trade for Robinson might not be the best choice.