Alas, the Jets finally traded Teddy Bridgewater after the long awaited moment. The Jets received the New Orleans Saints 2019 3rd round pick for Bridgewater and their 2019 6th round pick. Over the course of Maccagnan’s 3.5 year tenure with the Jets, he has not been shy about making trades for players. That is just a bit odd because he has always said from the beginning how he wants to build the roster through the draft, but it shows that that he will do what he thinks is necessary to make the team better. Starting from 2015, let’s go through a quick recap of the trades he has made thus far.
Jets Trade: 2015 5th round pick
Jets Receive: WR Brandon Marshall and 2015 7th round pick from Chicago Bears
Brandon Marshall was a perennial Pro Bowl receiver through the years but was coming off his worst season in 2014, leading the Jets to getting him for practically nothing. In his first season in New York, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. Marshall along with Eric Decker formed a dynamic duo that may have been the best tandem in the entire NFL and all of Jets history. Even if it didn’t lead to a playoff appearance in 2015 and a terrible ending in 2016, there is not a single Jets fan that wouldn’t make that trade again.
Jets Trade: 2016 Conditional 7th round pick (turned to 6th round)
Jets Receive: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick was a journeyman quarterback his whole career who was brought in to be Geno Smith’s backup. Then the IK Enemkpali punch happened. Fitz came onto the scene in 2015 and had a career year putting up great numbers, outside of that week 17 game in Buffalo. 2016 was another story however. After demanding more money than he deserved he came back and struggled in practically every game he played that year, highlighted by a 6 interception game against the Kansas City Chiefs. As bad as 2016 was, 2015 was a tremendous season during this now 7 year playoff drought so it’s tough to say the trade was not worth it at the time.
Jets Trade: 2015 7th round pick
Jets Receive: HB Zac Stacy
Most of the time a 7th round pick has very little to no impact on the team that drafts them, but they still would have had a better chance to do so than Zac Stacy did. He had a good rookie year with the Rams in 2013 but his 31 attempts for 89 yards with the Jets is maybe a little better than what I could have done and believe me that is not good. It didn’t necessarily hurt the team but because of the lack of special teams help this team currently has maybe that pick could have brought in someone to help.
Jets Trade: 2016 5th round pick
Jets Receive: LT Ryan Clady and 2016 7th round pick
Exactly what the Jets traded for Brandon Marshall just a year later. Coming off 2015 they needed to replace D’Brickashaw Ferguson at the tackle position and got a former Pro Bowler coming off a couple down years due to injuries. This one did not have the same story as Marshall though. Clady wasn’t horrible but not great in his lone year and ended the year on the IR. With expectations to be a playoff team at the time of the trade, it made sense. Looking back at it now, that 5th round pick could have given some depth the team so desperately needs.
Jets Trade: S Calvin Pryor
Jets Receive: LB Demario Davis
This one is a no brainer. Calvin Pryor was just not a good player for the Jets after being selected in the first round in 2014. After letting David Harris go they knew there was nobody that could play opposite Darron Lee on the inside, so Maccagnan traded for their own former player who ended up having a career year in 2017. He made a tremendous difference for this defense during the one year before leaving for New Orleans in March. Another great trade by Mac here.
Jets Trade: CB Dexter McDougle
Jets Receive: S Terrence Brooks
Not the biggest of names in this particular swap, but if you had to declare a winner it would have to be the Jets. McDougle never showed anything after being selected in the 3rd round by the last regime. He had a good camp last year leading to the trade but was cut by the Eagles halfway through the season, then released by both the Saints and Jaguars in the following months. Now a member of the Lions, he is fighting everyday for his NFL life. Brooks on the other hand has played some meaningful snaps and even won defensive player of the week once last season. He was often the first safety off the bench and still looks to be safe once final cuts are announced this weekend.
Jets Trade: DL Sheldon Richardson and 2018 7th round pick
Jets Receive: WR Jermaine Kearse, 2018 2nd round pick and 2018 7th round pick
Nobody and I mean nobody expected the Jets to be able to pull off a move like this. Sheldon Richardson was not playing at the level he was at when he initially came into the league and was as good as gone following the 2017 season. But somehow Maccagnan was able to snag a 2nd round pick and a wide receiver that just so happened to be their #2 guy and a very reliable target for Josh McCown last year. That second round pick wound up being traded again and Jermaine Kearse will continue to be a steady pass catcher for the rookie Sam Darnold this season. Meanwhile the Seahawks missed the playoffs and Richardson is now in Minnesota. Maccagnan won this one.
Jets Trade: 2018 5th round pick
Jets Receive: CB Rashard Robinson
The Jets made this deal the night of the trade deadline last year and it shocked quite a few people seeing as the Jets were out of contention. However, Robinson is still young (just turned 23) and has some potential. He really struggled in his limited snaps last year making the trade seem to be a waste but has had some strong showings throughout camp and preseason. Todd Bowles even saying after last night’s preseason game, “Rashard Robinson has done an outstanding job. From attitude standpoint. From playing standpoint. From professional standpoint. I couldn’t be more proud of the strides he’s made.” He is suspended for the first four games this season but when he returns I would not be shocked to see him take one of the 53 spots. If he does, the jury is still out. If not, they wasted a 5th round pick, bottom line.
Jets Trade: 2018 1st round pick (6th Overall), 2 2018 2nd round picks (37th and 49th Overall) and 2019 2nd round pick
Jets Receive: 2018 1st round pick (3rd Overall) AKA QB Sam Darnold
This is by far the biggest trade of the Maccagnan era, whether it is his last year or if he’s here for 10 more years, nothing is bigger than getting your potential quarterback of the future. Darnold was pretty much the consensus top quarterback among NFL circles so to get him at the 3rd pick was a complete shocker for everyone in the Jets War Room. Some people say the Jets gave up too much but if Darnold proves to be the guy that leads the team for the next 10-15 years then nobody will care about the package they gave up.
Jets Trade: 2018 7th round pick
Jets Receive: DL Henry Anderson
Anderson had a great rookie season with Indianapolis but freak injuries the last couple of seasons have hurt his growth. Coming into New York fully healthy and back to the type of defense he had success in earlier, he looks to have a key role on the defensive line splitting time with Leonard Williams, Nathan Sheperd and others. Seeing as a late 7th round pick is almost as worthless of a draft pick as one could be, the Jets get great value in somebody who we know can play at this level.
Since Mike Maccagnan has been in charge you can see he has been pretty busy on the trade market, and quite honestly he’s been pretty good at it. This tells me he is not shy about making the necessary calls to try to upgrade the roster in any way. For instance, this Bridgewater trade may not have made the roster better perse, but it was a great business decision to take the 3rd round pick that could possibly help the team now or in the future.
With that being said, it is entirely possible that Maccagnan took this trade as early as he did for a couple reasons in mind. First, this frees up one extra spot on the roster for someone that would have been cut had he not been traded before the weekend. Second, holding out longer for a better trade (just to get the same thing) could have been the reason they miss out on a Khalil Mack or a Dante Fowler or a Shane Ray or who have you.
I know the drafts under this regime have not been ideal but I do believe that Mike Maccagnan and Brian Heimerdinger are two very smart people that know that this is a weak AFC conference and that a wild card spot is up for grabs. They aren’t too far off from possibly competing for one now, so in having that extra pick, they can add it into a trade offer to upgrade the edge rusher spot that is among the league’s worst right now and maybe put them into legitimate wild card contention. We aren’t sure if Magic Mike can pull it off, but I will not be shocked to see him make yet another trade before the season starts next week. I’ll honestly take any of the names above, but nothing will beat seeing Khalil Mack in green and white on national television on September 10th in Detroit.