Jets GM Mike Maccagnan gave a series of non-answers when asked about the future of linebacker Darron Lee. But, as Brian Costello of the New York Post writes, his positive comments may have actually been a not-so-subtle way to advertise Lee’s availability.
“I think that will work itself out over time,” Maccagnan said when asked about the fate of the former first-round pick. “Right now, we feel very good about our inside-linebacker position between Darron, Avery [Williamson], C.J. [Mosley], we also signed Neville Hewitt. Quite frankly, Darron’s contract is not a big contract. I think it’s only about $1.7 or [1.8] million. It just gives us a lot of pieces there right now and we’ll figure it out as we go forward.”
Maccagnan drafted Lee in the first round of the 2016 draft, but the club is unlikely to exercise his fifth-year option before the May deadline. The GM dismissed the trade speculation, but the club is reportedly set to shop him during the draft.
Here’s more on Gang Green:
- The Jets’ No. 3 overall pick is for sale, but they’re unlikely to move up to No. 2 or No. 1 (via Costello). “We’re very open to potentially moving back from three,” Maccagnan said. “I wouldn’t envision us moving up in the draft. I think you can rule that one out. If we end up staying at three and taking a player, we think there are some very good players at three. But we’d definitely be interested if another team came with an offer that we felt was worthy of moving out of the spot. We would definitely consider that. Not to say we’re committed to doing it, but we’d definitely be very intrigued by that.”
- The draft is still one month away, but Maccagnan indicated that the Jets have already had preliminary trade talks with other clubs about moving down from No. 3 (via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY). “We’ve definitely had conversations,” he said. “People have reached out, put out feelers. Nobody is actively trying to do anything at this point in time. But you have conversations and put out feelers, just like how they’re putting out feelers to us.“
- Maccagnan says the Jets pursued pass rusher Za’Darius Smith in free agency (via Manish Mehta of the Daily News). Ultimately, however, Smith chose the Packers when he flew from the Ravens earlier this month.
- Also from Costello, Maccagnan indicated that he would be comfortable with Jonotthan Harrison starting at center and Darryl Roberts playing first-string at cornerback. Both positions have been presumed areas of need for the Jets. Outside linebacker may also still be a need, even after re-signing Brandon Copeland.