While finding a long-term answer at quarterback remains a priority, the New York Jets can’t overlook upgrading other positions, including cornerback. Enter Arizona Cardinals standout CB Patrick Peterson.
This offseason could get crazy for the New York Jets, who are sporting a war chest of at least $90 million. General manager Mike Maccagnan has the opportunity to turn the franchise around by spending big and drafting smart.
Alternatively, there is another route, albeit one that is less utilized in the NFL than in other sports—the trade market. While a rare occurrence, they have happened before—and it’s why the Jets should at least call Arizona to inquire about cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Think it’s too big of a move to happen? Think again. After all, we’ve seen plenty of big impact trades in the last few years.
Jimmy Garoppolo, considered at one point the New England Patriots’ quarterback in a post-Tom Brady world, was traded to San Francisco at last year’s trade deadline for a second-round pick. Los Angeles Rams defensive end Robert Quinn was moved to the Miami Dolphins for merely a mid-round draft pick.
The Kansas City Chiefs said goodbye to quarterback Alex Smith, shipping him to Washington to open the door so that the Patrick Mahomes era can begin. The ripple effect will allow embattled Washington Redskin QB Kirk Cousins to become the hottest free agent on the market.
The legal free agency tampering period begins on Monday, March 14. The Jets’ brass will be burning the midnight oil with plenty of cash and plenty of holes on the roster.
The Arizona Cardinals are a team in transition. While the face of the franchise, Larry Fitzgerald, plays out what is sure to be a Hall of Fame career, Cardinals’ general manager Steve Keim is in a place where tough decisions will need to be made to rebuild his team.
A team, mind you, that has no quarterbacks under contract and only about $20 million in cap space. Some more space could be created by the team releasing the “honey badger” Tyrann Mathieu.
Keim’s toughest decision, however, may come if he receives an offer for 27-year old, All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson.
While it seems far-fetched for the Cardinals to move on from a player who has been to the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven seasons, the nature of the business may force Keim’s hand.
Peterson is signed for three more years with an average annual cap hit around $13.3 million. For a team with only $20 million in cap space, moving him and his contract could help free up cash for the Cardinals to fill multiple positions.
For Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles, they’d get a Darrelle Revis-type player, an absolute shutdown corner, and mentor to young safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. This trade would also allow Bowles to focus on building up the pass rush after the release of Muhammad Wilkerson.
The last cornerback moved for a first-round pick? Revis, back in 2013, when the Jets dealt him to Tampa Bay for a first-round pick (Sheldon Richardson) and a fourth-round pick (Jalen Saunders).
At 27, Peterson would require at the very least, a second-round pick, or two, to acquire. If the Jets land Cousins in free agency, they could trade the number six pick in the draft, allowing Arizona to get up into the top 10 to acquire their franchise quarterback.
It’s a deal that would be a win-win for both teams. It’s a far-fetched idea, but a phone call worth making.