1. Intriguing option, but ...: The best way for the Jets to address their cornerback problem -- aside from, you know, getting a good cornerback -- is to strengthen the pass rush. As everybody knows, a great pass rush can make pedestrian corners look competent. This brings us to Houston Texans star Jadeveon Clowney, who could wind up on the trading block because of a messy contract situation. He's sitting out of training camp because he hasn't signed his franchise tender.
There's a lot of chatter on social media about whether the Jets should be interested in a trade. My initial thought: There are more cons than pros.
By rule, Clowney can't sign a long-term contract until after the season; the deadline was July 15. In essence, he'd be a one-year rental ($15.967 million) with the option of tagging him after the season. Because of that, the Texans' return will be less than what it would have been if they had traded him before July 15. That alone makes a trade unlikely.
Let's say the Texans get desperate and decide to move him. The Jets have only $14.7 million in salary-cap space, per overthecap.com, so they'd have to cut players and/or rework contracts. A trade also could set the stage for a Clowney-or-Leonard Williams decision next offseason, as both would be candidates for the franchise tag.
No doubt, Clowney, 26, would represent as an upgrade at defensive end or outside linebacker. He would give them a much-needed presence on the edge, but let's be clear: He's not an elite pass rusher, à la Khalil Mack. Clowney recorded nine sacks last season, but only 5.5 came from the edge, per NFL Next Gen Stats. He generated 31 quarterback pressures as an edge player, barely ahead of current Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland (29) -- and Clowney had 156 more chances than Copeland. He also had serious knee issues early in 2014 and has played 16 games only once in his career.
The most intriguing aspect of a potential Clowney trade is the Jets could use him for a year, then flip him with a tag-and-trade next March, perhaps recouping what they surrendered in the original trade. This would make a trade worth considering if it doesn't include their 2020 first-round pick (and if they're willing to gamble with Williams and free agency), but the whole thing seems unrealistic unless Houston holds a fire sale.