PHOENIX — With the NFL draft four weeks away, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan is still advertising the No. 3 pick to interested teams.
“We’re very open to potentially moving back from three,” Maccagnan said Monday at the NFL’s annual meeting. “I wouldn’t envision us moving up in the draft. I think you can rule that one out. If we end up staying at three and taking a player, we think there are some very good players at three. But we’d definitely be interested if another team came with an offer that we felt was worthy of moving out of the spot. We would definitely consider that. Not to say we’re committed to doing it, but we’d definitely be very intrigued by that.”
Maccagnan said he has had preliminary discussions with teams already about potential trades, but nothing substantial. Typically, teams try to gauge the asking price for high draft picks at this time of year before deciding whether to move up. The Jets traded up to the third pick last year from No. 6, sending three second-round picks to the Colts in the deal.Right now, the Jets do not have a second-round pick because of that Colts deal that ended up netting them Sam Darnold. Maccagnan surely would love to get back in the second round, but will he find any takers? The trade market will be dictated by how many teams get interested in the quarterbacks, particularly Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins with Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray expected to go No. 1 overall to the Cardinals. Will the crosstown Giants want to jump up from No. 6? Will another team want to get ahead of those Giants or the Raiders at No. 4?
All of it will unfold over the next four weeks and be the next chapter in an already interesting offseason for the Jets. Maccagnan met with reporters for the first time since free agency began earlier this month when he signed running back Le’Veon Bell, linebacker C.J. Mosley and traded for guard Kelechi Osemele.
“We had kind of a plan in place of what we sort of targeted. It actually worked out,” Maccagnan said. “We got a lot of the guys we were hoping to get. We feel good about some of the players we added. We felt there were some really good players that got out to free agency for various reasons. A lot of those guys have been very successful in the league whether All-Pro or Pro Bowls. All these guys are still young in their prime. … We feel good about our offseason.”
The big fish was Bell, the star running back the Jets believe can spark their offense and help Darnold in Year 2.
“He’s a very versatile back,” Maccagnan said. “If you go back and look at what he did with Pittsburgh, I think he was very instrumental in some of the things they were able to accomplish. I think really from a running standpoint, from a receiving standpoint, he’s a very versatile player. I think in talking with Adam [Gase] and the coaching staff, there’s a lot of things he brings to the table. He’s a very well-rounded player. From our standpoint, he has the potential to be a very impactful player in how he can be utilized.”As for Mosley, the Jets ended up paying him $17 million per year, a new high for an inside linebacker. Maccagnan said the Jets had to pay a premium to keep him from returning to the Ravens.
“We knew going into it we’d have to be very aggressive,” Maccagnan said. “I think with a lot of situations where he came from, if you’re going to be equal, he may have opted to just stay where he was. I think we were very aggressive in our approach and we feel very good about it. I think with a player of his ability and caliber and then you factor in the intangible stuff, he’s a player we’re very excited about adding to our team and moving forward with.”