General manager Mike Maccagnan was purposely vague about his team’s draft plans during Friday’s sit-down with the media. But he did say the Jets talked to the Titans about moving up in the NFL draft order.
Maccagnan confirmed that before Tennessee traded the No. 1 overall pick to the Rams, the Jets reached out to discuss trade compensation for the top pick. The Jets have the 20th pick in the first round. “The short answer is yes,” he said. “The short answer is we inquired.”
The Rams wound up surrendering multiple selections, including their 2016 first-rounder and two second-rounders, to the Titans for this year’s No. 1 pick. That means the Rams — and not the Jets — now are in position to snag either California’s Jared Goff or North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, the top two quarterbacks in the draft.
Maccagnan wouldn’t divulge whether he used defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson as trade bait in his talks with the Titans.
Wilkerson, who was given the franchise tag last month, has yet to sign his tender, worth roughly $15.7 million. Wilkerson’s camp has been seeking a long-term contract since 2014.
The Jets have been unsuccessful in their attempts to trade him and don’t plan to rescind the franchise tag, which would make Wilkerson an unrestricted free agent.
“I don’t view that as an option,” Maccagnan said when asked about the Panthers rescinding the franchise tag on cornerback Josh Norman. “Everybody does things for whatever reason. But no, at this point in time, that’s not something I’m considering, or I think we as an organization are considering, or would consider going forward.”
Though the Jets were outbid for the top spot in next week’s draft by the Rams, that won’t stop Maccagnan from possibly taking a quarterback in the first round. In fact, the position is in play in “any round,” he said.
So where does Ryan Fitzpatrick fit into the scheme of things?
Maccagnan again stressed that re-signing the Jets’ 2015 starting quarterback still is the team’s focus, but he said it won’t impact their draft board.
“We like Ryan very much,” he said. “We feel like we have a very good situation for Ryan here. He’s a very good fit for us, too. So hopefully at some point in time, we can work out some kind of an agreement on a contract.”
If Maccagnan is concerned that a deal with Fitzpatrick won’t get done, he didn’t show it.
“This is going to be a fluid process,” he said. “We’re trying to do everything within our power to re-sign the players we’d like to re-sign . . . and try to do something that will hopefully facilitate a deal, but it may take some time.”