The NFL trade deadline is less than a week away.
There’s already speculation that at least a couple of Jets players could be on the move before Oct. 31 at 4 p.m.
Gang Green comes into this week with a 3-3 record. That includes a 20-14 upset victory over the Eagles in Week 6.
After Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles four offensive plays into the Jets season opener against the Bills, many pundits thought the team wouldn’t contend in a loaded AFC. However, the Jets are just a half-game behind the Bills for the final Wild Card spot with 11 games to play.
Also, the AFC East division crown isn’t out of the question either as the Dolphins lost to the Eagles last weekend and the team is 5-2 with many challenging games remaining.
Not only could the Jets add a player or two to their roster, but they also could part ways with a few veterans. Last week during their bye, the Jets said goodbye to Mecole Hardman and their 2025 seventh-round pick. The team sent Hardman and the pick to the Kansas City Chiefs, the team who drafted the receiver, in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round draft pick.
Here are some other moves the Jets could before the Oct. 31 deadline:
TRADE RB DALVIN COOK, DE CARL LAWSON
Both Dalvin Cook and Carl Lawson entered the season with high expectations. However, neither player has precisely lived up to expectations, with both becoming reserves in recent weeks.
Cook was signed by the Jets on August 16. He was thought to provide an excellent one-two-punch with Breece Hall, who was coming off a season-ending ACL injury. However, Hall has rushed for 426 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 6.5 yards per carry in six games.
Meanwhile, Cook, 28, has looked like a shell of his former self with the Vikings. He has 109 yards on 38 carries while averaging 2.8 yards per rushing attempt. Prior to his time with the Jets, Cook posted four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with the Vikings from 2019-22.
The Jets have depth behind Hall with Michael Carter and Israel Abanikanda, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2023 draft. That’s why the Jets are rumored to at least be flirting with the idea of trading Cook after just six games into this season.
“What you like about Dalvin is his mindset and his selflessness to prepare the right way and to encourage guys and to coach guys up,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said on Wednesday. “I will say this with Dalvin. I do think the Philadelphia game, he looked the best running the ball.
“He didn’t have OTAs, he didn’t have training camp, and if you really look at it and you say, ‘Okay, the guy needs about four weeks of acclimation,’ that puts you around Week 5, which is Philadelphia, where you start seeing him hit his top speeds and his GPS numbers are improving. Week 6 for Philadelphia, I thought he did a really nice job in Week 5 too.
“I do think he’s getting better, I do think he’s getting his legs underneath him, I do think he’s running better with more violence, and looking more like him, so hopefully we can continue to springboard that, but it could be a good one-two punch obviously with Dalvin and Breece.”
In 2021, the Jets signed Lawson to a three-year, $45 million contract. He was once considered a significant player on the Jets defense. Now, Lawson is having trouble finding playing time on a stacked defensive line.
A back injury slowed Lawson down during the beginning of training camp. He also missed the Jets season-opening win against the Bills on September 11.
Lawson has three tackles in four games while 2022 first-round pick Jermaine Johnson has taken over his starting spot. He was also a healthy scratch in the Jets Week 5 win against the Broncos.
Gang Green has a ton of depth at defensive end, mainly after it chose Will McDonald in the first round last April. After posting seven sacks a year after his season-ending Achilles injury in 2021, Lawson, 28, accepted a cut of $6 million from his base salary to have a chance to play with Rodgers and possibly win a Super Bowl. Lawson was scheduled to make $15 million in 2023, but that was trimmed to $9 million, with $8 million guaranteed.
Now, because of his reduced role and the fact that he’s a free agent after the 2023 season, Lawson’s time with the Jets could soon be coming to an end.
HUNTER RENFROW HEADING TO FLORHAM PARK?
Maybe the Jets and the Raiders could do a Lawson for Hunter Renfrow swap?
Renfrow has been an afterthought on the Raiders depth chart after the team signed Jakobi Meyers to a three-year contract during last offseason. In seven games, Renfrow has just eight receptions for 73 yards.
In 2021, Renfrow was one of the best slot receivers in the NFL. He registered 103 receptions for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns. Las Vegas then rewarded him with a two-year, $32 million contract extension the following offseason.
However, since then, Renfrow has just 42 catches for 389 yards and two touchdowns in the 17 games. He hasn’t fit in with Raiders coach Josh McDaniels’ system.
Despite his recent numbers, Renfrow would provide the Jets with more receiver depth after they moved on from Hardman. Randall Cobb, who the Jets signed last offseason, has three catches for 20 yards. Garrett Wilson is the only Jets wide receiver with more than 20 catches this season.
JETS COULD USE MORE OL DEPTH
Last season, 11 different players started on the Jets offensive line. The number might not be as high this year, but Gang Green has already suffered several injuries in the trenches.
Left tackle Duane Brown is still on injured reserve due to a hip injury he suffered in Week 2 against the Cowboys. Alijah Vera-Tucker is also out for the season after tearing his Achilles against the Broncos on Oct. 8. And Joe Tippmann, who moved to right guard after Vera-Tucker became the Jets starting right tackle, now has a quad injury.
Bears offensive lineman Cody Whitehair has been a solid player who has the flexibility to play at guard and center. He has allowed two sacks this year in 423 snaps. However, Pro Football Focus has given Whitehair a 43.1 grade.
Even if it isn’t Whitehair, the Jets owe it to themselves to call around and see if they can add an offensive lineman. With 11 weeks left in the season, another injury or two will almost certainly occur.