With the New York Jets at 3-5, it’s time to reassess this season. Instead of playoff talk, it’s time to look ahead to the future.

Nothing quite encapsulates a conversation about the New York Jets quite like this tweet from ESPN’s Seth Walder:

Which, naturally, prompts this response.

In all seriousness, after three heartbreaking losses for the Jets, the narrative has changed. Not just statistically, as shown above, but the perception as well. The team has fallen out of the playoff picture. The Jets have one of the seven worst records in the AFC.

Gang Green isn’t good enough to overcome many close losses, especially when taking a gander at their schedule. It doesn’t help matters that the Jets are playing, in a short week, a red-hot Buffalo Bills team on Thursday Night Football.

But there’s another upcoming event that should have the Jets attention and that’s the NFL Trade Deadline.

The clock strikes midnight on the Jets’ Cinderella hopes of selling off some of their remaining veterans for some draft capital at 4:00 p.m. ET on Halloween.

The Jets are hoping they can spook a team into a deal. Here are the names that are being bandied about.

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Matt Forte, RB, 31 years old

This is a guy who hasn’t gotten consistent reps, for better or for worse. He complained about just that after the team’s loss to Atlanta on Sunday. “I only had four carries this game, so I don’t really think we ran the ball enough with the weather being the way it was,” Forte said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “I think that kind of hurt us.”

He didn’t stop his criticism of offensive coordinator John Morton there.

“You got a wet ball out there,” Forte said. “It’s rainy. It wasn’t like a light drizzle. It was really really raining. If I was a coordinator… (and) I’m obviously biased because I’m a running back — raining like that, yeah, you would think that we would run it more than we did. But like I said every game is different. He’s calling the plays. He has to call what he sees out there.”

Forte should definitely be traded if an offer arrives that makes sense.

A realistic package would be a late-round flier, but the Jets can shoot for the stars with a request for a conditional fifth. More likely, a sixth or seventh is the best they’ll get for him. Beggars can’t be choosers. For a team who is desperate for playmakers on every side of the football, collecting picks, regardless of the round, will help.

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Jermaine Kearse, WR, 27

The oft-forgotten about piece in the Sheldon Richardson trade was spat on by the fanbase. Even Seattle fans said you could keep him, claiming the team was going to cut him anyway.

Kearse has been captain consistency for the Jets’ offense this season, on pace for a career-high in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Who would’ve thought that was possible back in late August?

Unfortunately, the NFL is a cutthroat business, so while this is a good heartwarming story of redemption, his stock won’t ever be higher than it is right now. Perhaps the best move is to trade the reliable veteran wideout.

Realistically a fifth-round draft selection should be the proper value for a guy who is versatile in terms of scheme and brings some veteran savvy to a team. Although for all those reasons the Jets may decide to hold onto him.

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Josh McCown, QB, 38

Say what?

McCown is actually having a really solid year with the Jets.

While many thought (myself included) that it was only a matter of time before McCown would be back on the bench, he’s still the starter halfway through the season. Go figure. He’s rallied the troops after an inauspicious 0-2 start and has manned this team to respectability.

The Jets have been in every game this year and a lot of credit needs to go to their quarterback. While his fourth-quarter QBR has left much to be desired (18th overall, per ESPN), that’s better than most quarterbacks that have played for the Jets over the last decade.

But who the heck would be interested in an elder statesmen? More than you’d think.

Whether it’s for a quality backup quarterback or a guy who they can plug-and-play, I think there’s a market for McCown.

The Green Bay Packers have Brett Hundley and Mike McCarthy has already said he likes his quarterback room, but to compete they’re likely going to have to make a change there. Why not a stop gap like McCown who can hold down the fort and help you win some games.

Denver has Trevor Siemian, but he’s inconsistent. Denver has a good defense and a running game, sound familiar Jets fans? We know if you have a quarterback who won’t lose you games, that’s a winning formula.

The final two landing spots—Jacksonville and Minnesota—both have elite defenses but nothing under center. While Case Keenum has played admirably for the Vikings, he’s clearly limited in what he can do. Blake Bortles speaks for himself in terms of his ineptitude.

The compensation wouldn’t be great, but again, it’s about building the war chest and then packaging those picks to either move up in the draft or bring new talent in.

Morris Claiborne, CB, 27

Claiborne should be the most attractive piece that the Jets have on their roster. He’s relatively young and has been playing very well at a position of need across the NFL.

Signed to a one-year, $5 million deal, he’s looking for his next multi-year pact. But he’d be a nice rental with the potential to work out an extension before he hits free agency. Although if I’m the Jets, unless the deal really blew your socks off, I would hesitate to ship off a player of this magnitude.

Good cornerbacks are so hard to find and like Rex Ryan has said in the past, you can never have enough of them.

The foot injury that took him out of the Falcons game doesn’t seem serious, so there are no health issues. It’s notable to bring up because prior to joining the Jets, Claiborne had missed 33 out of 80 possible games in his time with the Dallas Cowboys.

Claiborne would bring the best return on investment for the Jets. It’s a tough decision and I’m glad I don’t have to make it. A conditional fourth-round pick wouldn’t be out of the question.

 RELATED: Jets Didn’t Want Morris Claiborne As A Hero, Yet Here He Is 

Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, 28

It really hurts me to see his name on this list, but man, times have changed. I remember I was vacationing at my annual retreat when the news came breaking to my phone that Wilkerson, ahead of the deadline, had reached a massive extension.

I was so happy for a local New Jersey guy, a homegrown talent that earned his money. Two uneven years later, I’m ready to move on.

I hate the narrative that Wilkerson is coasting now that he’s received his money. I hope that’s not true, but it’s hard to argue with history. So many players have dropped off after receiving massive extensions.

Despite his recent play, it’s unlikely that the Jets will be able to move Wilkerson ahead of the trade deadline. We also said this before Buffalo was able to trade Marcell Dareus to Jacksonville over the weekend, so anything is possible.

The Jets would likely take a very similar deal to what Buffalo received: A conditional late- round pick. The bigger prize is the chance to take a portion of his contract off the books. It’s not like the Jets are short on cash, but they’d prefer not to waste money either.

Look for the Jets to do everything in their power to make a deal, not just for Wilkerson, but most anyone on the roster, with a few exceptions. Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye and Leonard Williams are among those the Jets aren’t going to deal away.

But it’s time for the Jets to accept who they are: A fringe .500 team who had more talent than people gave them credit for, but not enough to make a playoff run.

For the Jets truly to reach the next level, they either have to go balls to the wall after a postseason berth or, fold like a used lawn chair and improve your team via premium draft picks.

 NEXT: Give Elijah McGuire The Damn Ball! (Film Room) 


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