The New York Jets need some help for their depleted receiving corps. Giving up a key piece of their future puzzle wasn’t the answer.
FLORHAM PARK, NEW JERSEY—The New York Jets are indirectly responsible for unleashing the wrath of Tom Brady upon the National Football League. A fateful September 2001 game in Foxboro featured a brutal Mo Lewis hit on Drew Bledsoe with the latter’s departure giving way to the backup quarterback from Michigan.
The Jets won the game. The Patriots won five (and potentially counting) Super Bowls.
At this point, it’s fair to draw similar comparisons to a hit Trent Cole, then of the Indianapolis Colts, laid down on Derek Carr on Christmas Eve 2016.
That hit, mere weeks before the Raiders were to begin their first playoff visit since 2003, broke Carr’s fibula, sidelining the Raiders’ franchise quarterback and his MVP-caliber season, one that finally signaled an end to the tailspin the team had been trapped in since their Super Bowl trip over a decade earlier.
Carr might not have been the only player the Raiders lost that day.
Less than two years after completing the 2016 season, the Raiders are in full rebuild mode.
Some cases, like Carr’s injury, were just cruel twists of fate. Other factors have been self-inflicted silliness, such as the poorly-handled Khalil Mack saga, culminating in his trade to Chicago, or the decision to hand former franchise hero Jon Gruden $100 million to come out of ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth to return to coaching after a decade.
Their current situation, wallowing at the depths of the AFC at 1-5, serves as a hearty “So long, suckers!” to the Oakland area, as they prepare to put on a show for Las Vegas when they arrive in 2020.
Fan favorites and key components from that 2016 squad have departed. Mack, Marquette King, David Amerson, Michael Crabtree, and Latavius Murray are all gone. More trades could follow, as Carr himself could a topic of discussion amongst general managers, but Monday’s transaction, the trading of receiver Amari Cooper, might be the biggest the biggest move yet.