Continuing our review of New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan’s first year on the job, today we will look at the 2015 trades completed by the team and what to expect in 2016. Last week we broke down the performance of the team’s rookies, linked right here.
Jets Trade 2015 5th round pick to Chicago Bears for WR Brandon Marshall and 2015 7th round pick: Marshall exceeded even the most optimistic Jets fan expectations in 2015 by putting together arguably the greatest season by a wide receiver in franchise history. He compiled a mind-boggling (if you have been watching this offense for a few decades) stat line of 109 receptions, 1,502 yards and most importantly 14 touchdowns. Marshall was the most critical piece of one of the better Jets offenses in recent memory as his presence opened things up for fellow receiver Eric Decker, the running game and helped Ryan Fitzpatrick to the best season of his career. Marshall also developed into one of the team’s emotional leaders in his debut season. The cost? A little less than a 5th round pick, so basically a Jeremiah George or John Conner. Let’s give Maccagnan a nice W here.
Jets Trade Conditional 2016 7th round pick to Houston Texans for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (turned into 2016 6th round pick): The story above applies to this trade as well. The Jets were hoping for veteran insurance with Fitzpatrick behind Geno Smith and when Jaw-Gate struck, he was elevated to the starting lineup and never looked back. Fitzpatrick thrived in Chan Gailey’s offense, racking up 3,905 yards passing, 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions with a 59.6 completion percentage. He was still prone to droughts of inaccuracy and turnovers but on the whole played better football than he ever had throughout a 10+ year career. For a 6th round pick? It is hard to complain about getting a quarterback who was in the top half of the league in most categories for the 2015 season. Another nice W for the Macc.
Jets Trade 2015 7th round pick (224th overall) to St. Louis Rams for RB Zac Stacy: Stacy saw a decent amount of action in the first half of the season before a broken ankle ended his year. He finished with 155 offensive yards and a touchdown, along with some plodding kick returns. Stacy is the definition of an average, replaceable player but the Jets only gave up a 7th round pick (after acquiring an extra one, just a day earlier) so it is hard to complain too much.Jets Trade 2015 3rd round pick (70th overall) to Houston Texans for WR DeVier Posey, 2015 3rd round pick (82nd overall), 2015 5th round pick (152nd overall) and 2015 7th round pick (229th overall) Basically, the Jets moved back in the 3rd round to take Lorenzo Mauldin, while picking up Posey, and a pair of extra late round picks (giving them flexibility to land Jarvis Harrison, Deon Simon and Zac Stacy). Strong had a relatively quiet rookie year (14 catches, 161 yards, 3 TDs) while Mauldin came on strong for the Jets in the second half and will be a full time starter next year. Posey didn’t make it out of training camp and the jury is still out on Simon and Harrison. Overall, it is probably too early to fully judge this trade but it will probably settle in the range of “OK to good.”
Jets Trade 2015 4th round pick (104th overall) and 2015 7th round pick (229th overall) to Jacksonville Jaguars for 2015 4th round pick (103rd overall) The Jets moved up one spot to grab Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty. It goes without saying the jury is still out on this one. Petty projects to likely being a long term backup quarterback here.
2016 Thoughts: Marshall stayed healthy and got better as the 2015 season went on, so it is hard to expect any type of major drop off next season. Fitzpatrick is more than likely going to be brought back as the short term starter. One of the biggest questions for the team entering next season will be whether he can replicate last year’s success. Stacy probably will not be in the team’s 2016 plans, while Mauldin should become a full time starter and Petty will compete for a backup role.
It will be interesting to see if Maccagnan utilizes trades before and during the NFL Draft again this year. Currently, the Jets have six picks (all but their 6th rounder) and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him work to acquire more selections. Due to what happened with Marshall and Fitzpatrick, it is also worth monitoring the veteran trade market, particularly when it comes to offensive lineman, linebackers and special team contributors.–
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com