George Fant, D.J. Moore
George Fant, D.J. Moore, New York Jets, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

Building a dream New York Jets offseason around a blockbuster trade

The 2022 offseason is shaping up to be the New York Jets‘ most pivotal one in the last handful of years.

New York is stockpiled with ammunition to make big moves. An estimated $60 million in cap space and five draft picks in the top 70 provide unbound flexibility for general manager Joe Douglas.

Following a four-win season, the Jets are in desperate need of more talent – potentially desperate enough even for Douglas to abandon his usually cautious, calculated approach, and instead swing for the fences.

In particular, an unexpected trade might just be the home run the Jets are looking for: tackle George Fant for Panthers’ receiver D.J. Moore.

Fant is likely to request a new contract after filling in admirably for Mekhi Becton at left tackle. Originally the starting right tackle, Fant switched sides after Becton went down in Week 1 and proceeded to have the best year of his pro career.

With Becton expected back in 2022, Fant may be unwilling to go back to the right side. On top of his unwillingness to switch sides, Fant may request a raise after his excellent year, and could hold out to get it. If that happens, trading Fant while his value is the highest might be the best option for the Jets.

New York Jets, Mock Draft Simulator, Offseason Tool, Jets X-Factor, Deebo Samuel

If Gang Green looks to move Fant, the Carolina Panthers would immediately become an excellent suitor.

The Panthers’ offensive line was just that in 2021: offensive. Carolina allowed 52 sacks, the fifth-highest total in the league. Starting left tackle Cameron Erving only played in nine games, and rookie Brady Christensen struggled in Erving’s relief.

Sitting in the eighth spot of the draft’s first round, the Panthers may be out of range for one of the top tackle prospects, and the team also has other needs to address. Carolina could look to improve the line by subtracting from a talented receiver group. D.J. Moore is the alpha of the group and surely would net the best return in a trade.

In this scenario, the Panthers use Moore to acquire Fant and likely look to add a new wide receiver with the aforementioned eighth pick. Likewise, the Jets hand the left tackle spot back to Becton and address right tackle by re-signing Morgan Moses or using the fourth overall pick on Moses’s replacement, while giving Zach Wilson a new WR1.

The Oklahoma Drill Podcast crew is back to kick off 2022 with their dream off-seasons. The crew combs through free agency, the draft, and even some possible trades, assuming best-case scenario for all, to craft their ideal wish lists for Gang Green.

Listen to the full episode to hear the entire plans – player-by-player and pick-by-pick.

If the Jets want 2022 to be the year their decade-long postseason drought comes to an end, they need to aggressively attack the offseason in as many ways as possible. Making splashy moves may not be Joe Douglas’ style, but making a play for the Carolina star could be everything the Jets needed and “Moore”.

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Andrew Golden is a film analyst for Jets X-Factor with a focus on the NFL Draft, prospect evaluations and breaking down scheme fits. He also co-hosts the Oklahoma Drill Podcast with Vitor Paiva and Matt Mauro. Email: agoldenjets[at]gmail.com
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Famny
Famny
10 months ago

One cleanup – Panthers pick 6th not 8th.

Kai VF
Kai VF
10 months ago

I really like Fant, and I don’t think DJ Moore is strong enough compensation for Fant

Jets71
Jets71
10 months ago
Reply to  Kai VF

I like Fant too. Good player, GREAT team guy, provides stability and is versatile. I think they should work on an extension not be looking to trade him.

Jets71
Jets71
10 months ago

If Neal is on the board at 4 I’d rather trade them the 4th pick in the draft. It would take more than DJ Moore but he could be included with a pick as a sweetener next year. I like DJ Moore and he would bring a lot to the team but is he the dynamic talent they need at WR? I’m not sure. I am just very very cautious of moving pieces from this OL. It’s been years to just get them respectable, I don’t think this is the time to get rid of good players. Becton is a question mark, so is drafting a guy, I’d rather just take a WR at 10 and keep this OL intact.