Jets Trade Deadline Breakdown: 5 moves that make most sense for late playoff run

Jets introduce Dalvin Cook to media
New York Jets running back Dalvin Cook speaks to reporters at the team’s facility in Florham Park, N.J., on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. The former Minnesota Vikings star signed a one-year contract with the Jets on Aug. 16. (AP Photo/Dennis Waszak Jr.)

For the first time in years, the New York Jets should be buyers at the trade deadline. At 4-3, New York has shaken off key injuries to offensive players and has entrenched themselves in the AFC Playoff picture. 

This means that the bigger weaknesses of the group need to be addressed by the Jets’ front office. Gang Green’s general manager Joe Douglas hasn’t had a ton of experience buying at this time of the year since he took the job back in 2019. 

But times change when the team consistently wins. New York was over .500 last year and the team did not make any major moves. They essentially ran out of gas at the end of the year because of that. Douglas and the Jets cannot allow that to happen again in 2023 – they know they are running with a backup quarterback, and they know exactly what positions need to be addressed.

So as the countdown to the 2023 Trade Deadline draws under 12 hours, there’s plenty of work to be done at 1 Jets Drive. This morning we’ll break down the team’s biggest needs, and some potential trades for them to consider. 

Team Needs


2024 Draft Picks: 5

2025 Draft Picks: 8

Potential Trades

DE, Carl Lawson for WR, Hunter Renfrow (Las Vegas)

This is the deal that just makes the most sense for the Jets and the Raiders. While many Jets fans want to see their team add Davante Adams, they just don’t have the type of capital that can make this deal happen unless Adams forcibly moves himself out of Vegas. Renfrow is a solid slot receiver who, yes, is an upgrade over Randall Cobb. 

New York cannot afford to throw out Cobb as the team’s third receiver anymore – a move needs to be made. While most of the top guys will certainly be off the market for most teams, Renfrow is an experienced slot corner that the Jets would be able to plug in immediately. 

The only issue here for him is the contract. He carries a cap hit of $13 million and a dead cap of $18 million. The good news is, as we’ve seen for many teams already, the organizations trading away big contract players will eat cap space for player swaps like this to better facilitate the trade. That could easily happen here.

RB, Dalvin Cook to Miami for late-round pick swaps

The Dalvin Cook experiment has failed miserably this year for the Jets. He hasn’t gotten his legs out from under him, hasn’t had any bursts, and he’s hurting the overall offense. His playtime is decreasing considerably with each game and it makes sense for the organization to cut ties immediately. 

Sending him to Miami – where he wanted to go in the first place – makes the most sense here. 

DE, Carl Lawson, and 2025 fifth-rounder for  OL Ezra Cleveland (Minnesota)

New York’s offensive line problem is significant. So much so that the team needs to find any way possible to address the interior that has already lost four (!!) of its players. While head coach Robert Saleh acknowledged that “teams aren’t trading offensive linemen” the Jets should be doing everything possible to find a way to get more bodies on the roster. 

Ezra Cleveland is another player battling injury in Minnesota, but with the addition of Dalton Risner, may want a change of scenery now that Kirk Cousins is out for the year. Of all the trades, this one might be the least likely based on the position, but with Cleveland expected back soon, could provide tremendous relief to this offensive line. 

2024 fourth-rounder and 2025 seventh-round pick for WR, Darius Slayton (Giants)

New York needs wide receiver help, so why not call their cross-town rivals that have players that can only play from the slot? Darius Slayton is a very dependable option and has plenty of experience in different offensive systems. It makes a lot of sense for the Giants to ship him out too following the trade of Leonard Williams. 

Instead of trying to grab a big fish, the Jets can quietly add to their core with a dependable player whom they can trust game in and game out. This would be a smart move. 

DE, Carl Lawson, RB Dalvin Cook, 2025 first-round pick, 2024 third-round pick for WR, Davante Adams (Raiders)

Fire up the Madden Simulation, we’re going deep-sea fishing! ove tradeable pieces. Do the Jets have the capital to trade for an All-Pro like Adams? Definitely Not. Should that stop them from trying? Heck no!

Pairing Adams with Garrett Wilson, and inevitably Aaron Rodgers would make this Jets offense about as talented as they’ve ever been in franchise history. The results may not show right away, but this would be a move for the prospects of the organization. I think teams that want Adams will need to give up two first-round picks but maybe Josh McDaniels just wants this guy off his team now? 

If so, a single first-round pick should do it and luckily, the Jets have their own in 2025. Big things could be coming with this potential deal. 

Davante Adams and the Raiders take on the Chiefs
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) keeps his feet inbounds to score on a four-yard touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

BONUS: Sell Carl Lawson and Dalvin Cook for late-round picks, sign Jarvis Landry and Ben Jones to FA contracts

There doesn’t always have to be a trade. While Carl Lawson and Dalvin Cook are the most likely to be moved due to their contracts and lack of playing time, that might be all that the Jets have in mind. That being said, they don’t have to necessarily be done either at improving the roster. 

Signing free agents like Ben Jones (center) and Jarvis Landry (receiver) could be immediate help right away that solve some of their depth problems right now. Jones is a Pro Bowl center still on the market with experience alongside Jets offensive line coach Keith Carter. Landry is a proven commodity in the slot who is an upgrade over Cobb. Simple. 

Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. If Gang Green decides against adding this deadline, addressing their needs in free agency is also a way to go. 

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