With deadline five days away, NFL sources weigh in on the Jets' few tradeable assets

Ralph Vacchiano
SNY

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- People around the NFL are circling the Jets like vultures, believing their roster is ripe for the picking. They see talent there, even though it's collectively not working. And they see a GM in charge of a roster he didn't choose or build.

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That's a formula that usually leads to a firesale, and that's what many around the NFL are expecting from the Jets between now and the NFL trading deadline on Tuesday afternoon. They have some very interesting pieces that may not have a long-term future in New York. The big prize is Leonard Williams, but someone could get a consolation prize like receiver Robby Anderson, too.

Who else could be traded? And will it really be a case of "Everything (almost) must go!"? Here's all the latest information on the Jets' trade possibilities, including sourced material, rumors and reports on the tradeable assets they have:

 

Defensive lineman Leonard Williams

The best indication that he might be on the block is this: The Jets' words don't match what everyone else sees with their eyes. They keep praising Williams, insisting he grades high every week, even though there's no sign of his impact or production. And it's a startling lack of production: No sacks in six games this year. In the last calendar year, plus 10 days, Williams has played 17 games and has two sacks.

Two. And he's being paid $14.2 million this year.

So why would anyone want him?

"Because he's a young, talented player and some coach is going to see that and think they can get more out of him," one AFC scout said. "Or team him with another pass-rusher, someone to draw double teams, and maybe he'll start to break free."

Sure, the Jets could just get him some help. But, at this point, it's too late. They owe him $8.3 million and he's going to want huge money as a free agent next year -- money they'd be crazy to spend. Better to trade him now. One source speculated a contender would give the Jets "maybe a third-round pick." Even if they can get a fourth, it's time.

Receiver Robby Anderson

Before the Philadelphia Eagles traded a third-round pick to Detroit for Golden Tate last year, they inquired about Robby Anderson, but were rebuffed by the Jets. Would they have offered the same third-rounder? That's unclear. What is clear, though, is Anderson has value and receivers don't come cheap -- especially receivers with his breakaway speed.

And there are no shortage of contenders who need receiving help, starting with Douglas' old team, the Eagles. He was there when they made their offer last year, and he knows that with Desean Jackson hurt, they still need receiving help. One scout said the Green Bay Packers are looking for receivers too, especially with Davante Adams hurt.

Adam Gase kept saying he likes Anderson's skill set and thinks he can be a complete receiver. Other than his 92-yard touchdown catch against the Cowboys two weeks ago, though, his role has really been limited. He's a free agent after the season, so he's probably more valuable to someone other than the Jets as a rental, especially if they can get a third in return.

Cornerback Trumaine Johnson

It would take "a miracle" for the Jets to unload this headache, as one league executive said. He's been mostly a problem for the Jets since they signed him to a five-year, $72.5 million deal, and he still has $50 million left on his contract -- including $11 million guaranteed next season if he's on someone's roster on March 21. Everyone needs cornerback help in a pass-happy league, and he could be cut at the end of the season if a team wanted to do that. He's just not playing well enough to have much value beyond a late-round pick.

Running back Le'Veon Bell

Don't bet on this happening since this was the centerpiece of their offseason spending spree, and he has been their best offensive player this season -- for whatever that's worth. But if they were willing to listen, "they'd have a line at the door," one scout said.

He's only 27, signed a below-market deal (for a running back), and has no guaranteed money due beyond the 2020 season. Those, of course, are all the reasons the Jets wouldn't and shouldn't trade him.

So why bring it up? Well, Douglas didn't sign him. Former Jets GM Mike Maccagnan did. And at the time, Gase wasn't so thrilled with giving a four-year, $52.5 million contract to a running back. Who knows if Douglas shares that view or not, but if he does, then he might want to see what he can get so he can use that salary cap room elsewhere.

Of course, right now Bell might be the Jets' most marketable player beyond Sam Darnold, and if they traded him, they might actually be playing in an empty stadium the rest of the season. So this almost certainly isn't happening, but it's a good bet some other team will at least place a call.

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