Joe Douglas, New York Jets should explore a trade deadline deal
The NFL trade deadline is less than three weeks away, set for 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
They also have some gaping needs that could use filling – not necessarily for the sake of competing for a playoff spot in 2021, but for the sake of supplementing the development of quarterback Zach Wilson.
These three trade targets could help the Jets provide Wilson with better support throughout the remainder of his rookie season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard
Now in his fifth season after being drafted by Tampa Bay with the 19th overall pick in the 2017 draft, tight end O.J. Howard continues to be a background character in the Buccaneers’ offense. He has only 13 targets in six games.
For his career, Howard has 172 targets in 48 games, an average of just 3.6 per game.
Howard has shown flashes of high-end potential as a receiver when given opportunities. His career average of 9.9 yards per target is tops among active tight ends with at least 100 career targets.
As a blocker, Howard has struggled to find his footing in the NFL. His composite career run-blocking grade of 53.7 at PFF is well below the 2020 positional average of 61.4. He is okay as a pass-blocker, allowing pressure on 6.6% of his career pass-protection snaps, which is a tad better than the 2020 positional average of 6.9%.
Kroft and Griffin are hurting the offense with their lack of receiving ability. They are running a boatload of routes per game and consistently getting locked down, minimizing the number of available options for Wilson. To boot, they are both struggling mightily as blockers (which is expected of Griffin, but disappointing for Kroft).
Howard would not solve the blocking issues, but he would provide the Jets with at least somewhat of a pass-catching threat, which would be a welcomed boon.
Considering that Tampa Bay has Cameron Brate – their most-used tight end in terms of snaps – under contract through the 2023 season and Howard is an impending free agent, the Buccaneers could look to get some compensation back for Howard before he likely walks in free agency. Perhaps the Jets can snatch him for a fourth or fifth-rounder?
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Philadelphia Eagles TEs: Either Zach Ertz or Dallas Goedert
Prior to the Eagles’ Thursday night loss to the Buccaneers, Jay Glazer of FOX reported that the Eagles may move one of their top two tight ends – Zach Ertz or Dallas Goedert – sometime in the next week.
“Several teams around the NFL have been calling the Eagles this week about trading for one of their tight ends, Zach Ertz or Dallas Goedert. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them got traded sometime this week,” Glazer reported.
Philadelphia has used both Ertz and Goedert frequently this season. In the five games where they were both active (Goedert missed Thursday’s game after being placed on the COVID-19 list), Ertz had an average snap portion of 57% while Goedert had an average snap portion of 68%.
Ertz has caught 18 of 31 targets for 189 yards, two touchdowns, and eight first downs. Goedert has not been targeted often, but he has been far more efficient, grabbing 15 of 19 targets for 216 yards, two first downs, and 10 first downs.
- Ertz: 5.2 targets per game, 31.5 yards per game, 6.1 yards per target, 58.1% catch rate, TD or 1stD on 32.3% of targets
- Goedert: 3.8 targets per game, 43.2 yards per game, 11.4 yards per target, 78.9% catch rate, TD or 1stD on 63.2% of targets
Ertz currently owns a below-average PFF run-blocking grade for the sixth consecutive season. Philadelphia has had no trust in him to pass-block, as he has only done so on one play.
Goedert has a career-low 56.1 run-blocking grade but that is likely an early-season outlier. He has been an excellent run-blocker throughout his career, owning a composite PFF run-blocking grade of 78.5 over his first three seasons. Goedert has been trusted to pass-protect often in his career, doing so 4.1 times per game, but his allowed pressure rate of 7.3% is a bit below-average.
Both Ertz and Goedert will see their contracts expire after the season. Ertz will turn 31 in November while Goedert will turn 27 in January.
Joe Douglas is familiar with both players thanks to his time in Philadelphia as the Eagles’ vice president of player personnel. Goedert was drafted 49th overall in the second round of the 2018 draft.
These players will likely have two different price points. Ertz should be inexpensive due to his age, declining play, and lack of blocking ability. Goedert, on the other hand, might come at a more premium cost. He is in his prime and offers intriguing two-way potential.
It all depends on how aggressive the Jets want to get.
If they are not willing to spend too much, they could probably snag Ertz for a sixth or seventh-round pick, although he would merely be a minor upgrade.
If they are willing to spend a bit more, Goedert might be acquirable for a third or fourth-rounder – it probably would not make sense for the Jets to offer much more than that considering Goedert’s expiring contract. A desperate win-now team may swoop in and be willing to beat out the competitors to secure Goedert for one season, though.
Regardless, Douglas should certainly give Philly a call about Goedert and be ready to toss up a fairly valuable pick to get him. Goedert would solve a lot of the problems that are plaguing the Jets’ offense. His dual-threat ability as a blocker and receiver would allow him to comfortably slide in as the TE1 in New York’s 12-personnel offense while allowing Kroft to slide down into the TE2 role that he is used to.
Update: Zach Ertz traded to the Arizona Cardinals (Report)
The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to trade tight end Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals for cornerback Tay Gowan and 2022 fifth-round pick, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Trade: Eagles are sending three-time Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for CB Tay Gowan and a 2022 5th-round pick, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/lUlic7y0Oa
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 15, 2021
Kansas City Chiefs OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
October is spooky season, and one of the scariest sights you will see on an NFL field this month is Jets right guard Greg Van Roten getting devoured by opposing defensive linemen. It’s frightening to watch – and Zach Wilson has a front-row seat.
Van Roten has been endangering Wilson throughout the young season. He has given up 21 pressures, ranking as the second-most among all guards in the NFL. Notably, there have even been two plays in which Van Roten’s allowed pressure eliminated a chance for Wilson to find a wide-open receiver for a long touchdown.
Veteran guard Laurent Duvernary-Tardif has been hanging out on the Kansas City Chiefs’ bench after the Chiefs deployed a complete overhaul of their offensive line in the 2021 offseason. Duvernay-Tardif started 57 regular-season games and six playoff games for the Chiefs from 2015-19, all coming at right guard. He was the team’s primary starting right guard in its 2019 Super Bowl season.
The 30-year-old has a solid track record of performance. Including the playoffs, Duvernay-Tardif has a composite overall PFF grade of 66.5 in his career. He has allowed pressure on 3.7% of his career snaps in pass protection, which beats out the 2020 league average for guards of 4.5%. Comparatively, Van Roten has allowed pressure on 10.1% of his pass-blocking snaps this year.
Kansas City is loaded with offensive line depth. Guard/center Austin Blythe, guard/tackle Andrew Wylie, guard Nick Allegretti, and guard/tackle Mike Remmers were all starters in 2020. They can afford to lose Duvernay-Tardif to restock their draft ammunition.
Duvernay-Tardif will become a free agent after the season. Perhaps a fifth or sixth-rounder could convince the Chiefs to part ways with him.