By Brad Carroll
The New York Jets might not get a lot of wins on the field this season, if any at all, but they’ve already scored a gigantic victory off the field. The Jets traded defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to the Seattle Seahawks Friday for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and a second-round draft pick. The two teams will also swap seventh-rounders.
The haul general manager Mike Maccagnan got for Richardson couldn’t have been better, as he connected on a Hail Mary, trading a player that was on his way out and added a No. 1 wide receiver and, more importantly, a valuable pick in next year’s all-important draft for the Jets.
Sure, Richardson is the best player in the deal, and he’ll likely be better than any second-rounder the Jets add next season, but this was more about getting something in return for a player who was going to leave via free agency after this season. The Jets struck first and did so impressively.
Kearse automatically is the No. 1 receiver on the Jets, as he allows Robby Anderson to move into the No. 2 slot, which will be the best thing for his blossoming career. It also takes some pressure off rookies ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen, who now can gradually grow into the players the Jets want them to be. Not to mention the fact quarterback Josh McCown has another weapon, a real weapon, to throw the ball to.
Kearse caught 41 passes for 511 yards and a touchdown last season with Seattle, so he should like being a top target with the Jets. Kearse is still just 27 years old.
Adding Kearse was great, but the part of the deal that moves this trade to a complete win for Maccagnan and company was the second-round pick. Granted, the Jets haven’t had much success recently in that round, but having an extra pick in a prime position is worth a great deal, not only for drafting someone at that spot, but to be used as a potential bargaining chip as well.
Remember, if the Jets find themselves outside of the top three in the upcoming NFL Draft, and they want to add a potential franchise quarterback, they would have that second-round pick to use as bait to move up. It’s a win-win situation for the Jets.
The Jets lost a tremendous, young talent in Richardson, and the defense is already worse than it was just a few hours ago. But the Jets are finally moving in the right direction, and finally make a move where they come out looking like a winner. It doesn’t happen very often, so the Jets fan base should celebrate this trade and admire a huge positive heading into what could be a long and depressing season.