The New York Jets somehow convinced the Seattle Seahawks to give up exactly what they were looking for. Boy Green breaks it all down.
While the 2017 New York Jets just got worse, the future is very bright. I was starting to think it would be impossible to move Sheldon Richardson for the right price.
Although my feelings started to change at the beginning of the week when NFL teams were trading and giving away fourth and fifth-round picks like candy on Halloween.
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With the NFL regular season kicking off, it seemed like the Jets would have to try and build around Richardson. Or hope he plays well and then sell him off to the highest bidder at the trade deadline. Except the Jets didn’t have to do that after all and were able to consummate a deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
Quick side note: I may have the worst timing in The Jets Zone podcast history. Last year, I spent an hour explaining why the Jets should just tell Ryan Fitzpatrick to stick it and roll with Geno Smith. Literally 20 minutes after the podcast went live, Fitzpatrick re-signed with the Jets, thus making the podcast useless.
Fast forward a year and apparently, this old dog hasn’t learned any tricks. Although there’s a sense of pride in the latest podcast that you can listen to below.
I nailed the trade before it even happened. Behind the scene, I connected the dots that Seattle made the most sense. Earlier in the week, they opened up cap space, which originally was the reason the Jets and Seahawks couldn’t finalize a deal.
So you can listen back to my amazing hurrah moment and how my co-host Ty Butler simply threw that idea in the garbage can. Feel free to throw shade back at him—he’s @TyDButler on Twitter. While this article isn’t about me breaking my wrist patting myself on the back, it is about patting general manager Mike Maccagnan on his.
Initiate slow golf clap
The Jets have had Richardson on the block for nearly two years. Not because of a lack of talent, but because of a lack of well… everything else.
Richardson was a problem child off the field. He was an issue in the locker room, whether it be maturity problems with poorly timed snap chat videos or scuffles with teammates. To top it all off he was in the last year of his rookie contract and he’s hinted several times about wanting to be paid and be paid BIG.
So the Jets set their asking price high and understandably so. Despite his warts, this guy is one of the most talented players in the NFL, make no bones about it. Last year, they reportedly turned down the Dallas Cowboys offer of a second-round pick.
Many analysts and pundits thought the Jets asking for a first-round pick in a Richardson deal was the mistake of the century and that the Jets would be “lucky to get a third [rounder].”
IMO Romo doesn't make sense for a team rebuilding and Jets would be lucky to get a 3rd for Sheldon. Won't get cooks straight up.
— David Wyatt (@DavidWyattNFL) March 8, 2017
David Wyatt is a friend of mine and I don’t mean to put him on blast, but he was one of many people saying this. So then the Jets lowered their asking price and no one was budging for a variety of reasons: Richardson’s salary, his prowess for getting into trouble, and the potential of him being nothing more than a one-year rental.
Despite all those obstacles, Mac traded an expiring contract for a premium pick (presumably a late 2018 second-round draft choice, but still a second-round pick). That would’ve been good enough for most Jets fans.
But wait—there’s more! They also acquired a veteran wide receiver who, at the very least, can add a voice who has been there and done that in Jermaine Kearse.
But, but, Manish Mehta said…
While I wasn’t trying to blast my buddy Wyatt, I will put Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News on full blast. Here are a string of tweets he put out after the Richardson trade was announced.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) September 1, 2017
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) September 2, 2017
Now let’s talk about this ‘dumb trade’ and the ‘sources’ that Mehta spoke with.
“You don’t let the most talented guys leave… especially at that position,” a team insider told Mehta of Richardson. “You try and find a way to make it work.”
Four years seems like a long enough time to try and make it work, don’t you think, Manish? After winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2013, Richardson has been hot and cold. The poster boy for inconsistency.We all know the talent is there, but it didn’t always translate to the field.
With three Pro Bowlers at the position—something that, to be honest, only worked in Madden—the Jets couldn’t maximize all that talent on the same field at the same time, it just didn’t work.
So Mehta goes on to say that Richardson had a ton of issues, but passion wasn’t one of them. Okay, so the Jets should keep Sheldon because he wants to play? There’s one thing that we all know is more important to him than playing and that’s money.
He made that painfully clear, way before he was ever going to be due a new contract. Look at his comments when J.J. Watt got paid. Or when Miami backed a dump truck full of money up to Ndamukong Suh‘s front door. Mehta should know—Richardson made those remarks to him.
“He’s worth that penny,” Richardson told Mehta about teammate Muhammad Wilkerson. “And you know what penny I’m talking about. . . . We don’t just want J.J. Watt money. We want it all. We want (Ndamukong) Suh money. Hopefully, everybody wants that type of bread in this league.”
Mehta then danced around the notion that the Jets would be just fine with the talent they have. Well, they will be, especially when you consider the return. While the Jets have a horrible history with second-round picks, you’ve got to keep trying. The more tickets you have to the lottery, the better chance you have of winning.
And it’s not like Kearse isn’t a key addition. He’s not an All Pro, but he’s solid. He was a starting receiver on a Super Bowl team, which is more than anyone else the Jets had in the receiver room could say.
Jets will regret trading Richardson. That is obvious. https://t.co/nRjr64yTj2
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) September 2, 2017
Will they regret getting the best draft pick they could for a player who was going to leave anyway? I doubt it. Not when they probably would have been satisfied with getting just the pick for Richardson. That they got a pick and Kearse? Gravy.
Is Richardson ultra-talented? Was he (arguably) the most talented player on the Jets’ roster? Absolutely. But it doesn’t matter.
The Jets are rebuilding. Who knows when they’ll compete again? So the Jets could either pay Richardson ridiculous money and cross their fingers that he didn’t get in trouble and would still be productive when they’re contenders a few years from now, or move on.
They chose the latter. They made the right choice. Most Jets fans are happy with that decision. So when you see Mac walking around, pat him on the back. He did a great job.