The New York Jets made one more significant move as they prepare to trim their roster to 53 players for the 2018 season. On Wednesday, New York traded quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and a sixth-round pick to the New Orleans Saints for a reported third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Here are four thoughts about what the Bridgewater deal potentially means for the Jets:
1. Sam Darnold will start the 2018 season
If there was any chance the Jets wouldn’t start the USC product under center against the Detroit Lions in two weeks, it was eliminated once Bridgewater was sent to The Big Easy.
Darnold exceeded expectations after getting a late start to training camp and could’ve ran away with the competition if not for Bridgewater’s impressive play.
The Jets will likely begin the season with Darnold and Josh McCown as the only quarterbacks on the roster. That group should more than suffice, barring injury.
Todd Bowles might not make it official until later in the week. But you can book it: The Sam Darnold era is here.
2. Give Mike Maccagnan credit
A third-round pick might not make you do jumping jacks, but give Mike Maccagnan credit; his flyer on Bridgewater paid off in draft compensation. He signed Bridgewater to a one-year deal that ultimately cost him only $1 million.
Maccagnan has brilliantly managed the position in general since missing out on prized free agent Kirk Cousins. His first order of business was re-signing McCown to essentially serve as a $10 million mentor. Then, he took a small risk on a talented passer in Bridgewater. And now, his trade up from No. 6 to No. 3 looks even smarter after Darnold not only fell to Gang Green at No. 3, but has amazed the organization during his first summer in The Big Apple.
3. The Jets get back an important trade chip
With the reported third-round pick, the Jets are now back to three draft picks in the first three rounds of their 2019 draft class. Remember, they sent their 2019 second-round pick to Indianapolis in the trade that got them Darnold.
The Jets now have two third-round selections to go with picks in the first, fourth, fifth and seventh rounds.
4. More draft capital for a trade?
Let’s read into this a little bit. The Jets certainly don’t have a surplus of draft capital to play with. But they’re back to the equilibrium for the 2019 class. Perhaps, the trade of Bridgewater could spark an even larger move for a pass rusher.
The Jets have been linked to rumors surrounding Oakland Raiders star Khalil Mack. They could also use the extra pick as a trade chip to land Denver Broncos rusher Shane Ray, or Jacksonville Jaguars edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr.
Mack would be the grand prize, but Jets fans shouldn’t scoff at landing either of these guys. Perhaps trading Bridgewater gets them one step closer to a franchise pass rusher.