The New York Jets made the biggest trade of the 2023 NFL offseason, acquiring Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers. But that doesn’t mean they’re done wheeling and dealing.
Of course, most trades are not on the same scale as the Rodgers trade. Rodgers has transformed the Jets already, transforming them into a Super Bowl contender and one of the sexiest free-agent desintations in the NFL.
One look at the 2023 NFL schedule shows how the Jets are now viewed in the League. Rodgers and the Jets will be featured in five primetime games this season, as well as in the first-ever Black Friday game against the Miami Dolphins.
Team chemistry starts in the offseason. #NYJ pic.twitter.com/nshozRoXhb
— Woody Johnson (@woodyjohnson4) May 17, 2023
But not every trade is as earth-shaking as the Rodgers deal. The Jets also acquired veteran safety Chuck Clark to boost a position of need this offseason. And they dealt wide receiver Elijah Moore to the Cleveland Browns to add a second-round draft pick and clear space at a crowded position.
Barring injury, the Jets don’t appear in need of swinging another trade to fill holes on the roster. But they very likely could pursue trades to clear roster space at two positions.
Let’s examine two players the Jets could trade away to complete their 2023 roster.
Bryce Huff, defensive end
The Jets really like Bryce Huff. But there are multiple reasons why it makes sense to trade him before the season begins.
First, let’s get this out there. Huff is an absolute stud pass-rusher off the edge. In limited playing time the past three seasons, the 25-year-old has excelled when given opportunity. He played 191 defensive snaps in 2022, for example, and totaled four sacks, eight QB hits and 24 hurries. Pro Football Focus gave him a terrific 88.0 pass-rushing grade.
Bryce Huff has some elite bend and burst man, such a good pass rusher pic.twitter.com/gVROiaU410
— Will Parkinson (@Willpa11) November 7, 2022
Huff is a terror off the edge. He doesn’t play often in run situations after grading 46.6 and 45.5 against the run per PFF in his first two seasons. So, he’s a one-dimensional player. But Huff is excellent in that singular dimension, and there are plenty of teams that need to be better getting after the quarterback.
Huff is a nice trade chip for New York. And after the Jets re-structured Carl Lawson’s contract and selected Will McDonald IV in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, there’s less of an opportunity for Huff in New York.
Right now, Huff is looking up at Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Jermaine Johnson, McDonald and Micheal Clemons on the Jets depth chart at defensive end. Plus, Huff counts $4.3 million on the salary cap.
So, with little chance to play, Huff is a luxury — and somewhat of an expensive one — for the Jets. He also can be a free agent at the end of the season.
Look for New York to deal Huff during training camp, with general manager Joe Douglas adding a draft pick or two in return. If the Jets could land a third-round pick, that would be a coup. More likely is a pick or two on Day 3 of the draft.
Denzel Mims, wide receiver
There’s a talented wide receiver in Denzel Mims. Perhaps, that player is even ready to finally burst out. But it’s not going to happen with the Jets.
A second-round pick in 2020, Mims has been a major disappointment in New York. Trouble with the playbook. Dropped passes. No touchdowns in 30 NFL games. Doesn’t have the faith of the coaching staff. A trade request last season.
Denzel Mims, whom the #Jets did not trade, explains why he’s “frustrated” — comes down to situation not location pic.twitter.com/4Cey4wden7
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) August 31, 2022
Now, Mims is likely even further down the depth chart. He’s behind Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, Corey Davis and Randall Cobb. He doesn’t play special teams.
But he has enough gifts that another team could be willing to give up a Day 3 pick for Mims. Though he’s only caught 42 passes in three seasons, he’s averaged 16.1 yards per reception. His catch percentage is a poor 45.7 percent, but he’s a big target (6-foot-3, 207 pounds) who was a big-play receiver in college at Baylor. Plus, he’s an excellent blocker in the run game.
Had the Jets released or traded Davis this offseason, there’d appear to be a path for Mims to be on New York’s 2023 roster. With Saleh confirming Davis will remain with the Jets, Mims can expect to be traded before Week 1.