Mike Evans to the Jets?
No, it’s not happening right now (at least we don’t think). But, a hypothetical Jets trade for the star Bucs wide receiver was one of five preseason moves ESPN proposed earlier this week. In exchange, the Jets would be sending 2024 fourth-round and 2025 second-round picks to Tampa.
From The Worldwide Leader:
A pretty good rule of thumb is that it’s hard to win the Super Bowl without two good-to-great receivers … unless your quarterback is Patrick Mahomes. Garrett Wilson checks one box for the Jets, but neither Allen Lazard nor Corey Davis is a suitable No. 2 option.
Yes, the Jets have what looks like a great defense on paper, but offense is crucial to winning championships, and if you’re all-in with [Aaron] Rodgers, you might as well be all the way in. Presumably, this is the kind of move that Rodgers had in mind when he took a $35 million pay cut over the next two years.
Rodgers restructured his deal with the Jets late last month to create financial leeway for the team, and there have already been talks (and a visit) regarding the acquisition of free-agent running back Dalvin Cook. But what the Jets need more is a big-bodied pass-catching threat to complement Wilson. Even if it’s going to cost them some of that cap space they freed up. Evans’ 2023 cap hit is $23.7 million.
Is Lazard going to ascend into a premier No. 2 threat even though he’s only caught more than 40 balls once in his career? Will Corey Davis step up after a lackluster first two years with the team? Can Randall Cobb stay consistent after he turns 33 later this month?
Regarding the Jets’ receiving corps, there seem to be more questions than one would initially believe. And the team has too small — and too valuable — of a championship window with Rodgers not to address these questions.
A trade for Evans, if it’s for the aforementioned return, would work for general manager Joe Douglas and the Jets. It’s tough to give up multiple draft picks, especially a second-rounder. But the team is in “win now” mode, not rebuilding mode. It’s not really the time to be worrying about draft capital.