We have known for some time that the Jets are looking to trade Muhammad Wilkerson, who is an immensely talented but also highly expensive and potentially movable asset. Wilkerson, who has not yet signed his franchise tender, is not expected to show up tomorrow for the start of New York’s voluntary offseason program, as we learned last night, and Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com does not expect him to sign the tender anytime soon.
But Cimini believes that the only way a Wilkerson trade makes sense is if the team is able to use him to land one of the top two quarterbacks in this year’s draft, Carson Wentz or Jared Goff. And now that the Rams have grabbed the No. 1 overall selection from the Titans, the only way that the Jets can assure of themselves of Wentz or Goff is if they swing a deal with the Browns, who hold the No. 2 overall pick. The Browns, who of course have a number of roster holes to fill and a good deal of cap space, may be willing to swap first-round picks with the Jets, while netting Wilkerson and a few more draft picks in the process, and then select a quarterback from the second-tier of this year’s class of signal-callers. The question, though, is whether Wilkerson would want to sign a long-term deal with the Browns, which is probably not the case, even though the Browns could meet his contractual demands.
This is just my speculation, but unless the Browns select a player other than Wentz or Goff with the No. 2 overall pick–assuming of course, that the Rams take one of the two with the No. 1 selection–then it’s hard to imagine the Jets moving Wilkerson. As Cimini writes, it does not make much sense for Gang Green to use Wilkerson as a trade chip to move up to select a player like Memphis QB Paxton Lynch, who may fall to the Jets anyway and who is not a considerably more promising prospect than, say, Michigan State’s Connor Cook.
Let’s take a look at a few more notes from the league’s east divisions:
- As Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has developed a “blind spot” for former Florida and current Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and his program, and Reiss believes Belichick needs to reevaluate his reliance on Meyer. Reiss observes that Chad Jackson, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez, and now Dominique Easley have all produced poor results considering their draft position, and all were products of Meyer’s program.
- Paul Schwartz of The New York Post examines what the Giants might do to address their back seven in this month’s draft, and he writes that the team would “definitely” select a corner with the No. 10 overall selection, particularly if Vernon Hargreaves III is still available–which become a little more likely after the Rams-Titans blockbuster trade–but that the No. 10 pick is a little too high for Eli Apple or Mackensie Alexander. Schwartz believes it is also too high for the only inside linebacker that could reasonably be considered at that spot, Alabama’s Reggie Ragland. The team seems content to go into 2016 with a youngster at free safety to pair with Landon Collins, and while Jalen Ramsey will be long gone by the time the Giants are on the board, there are a number of worthwhile Day 2 and Day 3 targets that could step in and compete with New York’s current crop of safeties. Schwartz names Karl Joseph, Justin Simmons, and Keanu Neal as a few possibilities.
- Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com reports that Washington is likely to release Andre Roberts and perhaps Adam Hayward at some point in the near future, which would give the club enough cap room to sign its draft picks and still have about $5MM to roll over into next year (unless Jordan Reed gets a contract extension).
- In the same piece, Tandler also observes that Noah Spence, who visited Washington last week, may be a perfect fit for the team’s No. 21 overall selection. Spence has some off-field red flags, but he is arguably the best pure pass rusher in this year’s draft, and given Junior Galette‘s potential departure at the end of the 2016 season, Spence could make a great deal of sense.