Robert Woods, NY Jets, Trade, Rams
Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets need to trade for Robert Woods

The NFL’s legal tampering window opened four days ago, and the frenetic fire of offseason drama is still burning.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Los Angeles Rams are receiving trade offers for wide receiver Robert Woods after they agreed to sign free-agent wide receiver Allen Robinson to a three-year, $45 million deal.

The New York Jets need to be all over this. Let’s dive into it.

Why should the Jets trade for a wide receiver?

Before looking at Woods specifically, I want to discuss why I think it’s important for the Jets to add another wide receiver.

New York has two starting wideouts in place: Elijah Moore and Corey Davis. A third weapon is needed.

The newly re-signed Braxton Berrios is not that player. Berrios is a tremendous returner, electric weapon on gadget plays, and reliable backup slot receiver, but if he is a starting wide receiver for the Jets in quarterback Zach Wilson‘s all-important second year, then the team did not do enough to maximize Wilson’s chances of success. They can do a lot better than Berrios.

Many fans have turned their attention to the draft as the source of that third weapon, where exciting wide receiver prospects like USC’s Drake London and Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson await.

The problem with the draft is this: while young prospects provide limitless ceilings, they also come with limitless floors. There’s no telling how good or bad a draft pick is going to be, regardless of how highly you think of the specific prospect or where in the draft he was selected.

You could get Ja’Marr Chase or Justin Jefferson. Or, you could get Kevin White, Laquon Treadwell, Josh Doctson, John Ross, or Jalen Reagor. There is zero way of knowing with certainty until the future arrives.

With a proven veteran player, however, the floor is much higher.

Yes, a proven veteran player’s ceiling is lower than a draft pick’s ceiling due to his age and potential upcoming downturn. He also is much more expensive than a rookie, requiring a large chunk of cap space in addition to trade compensation. Conversely, rookies come on cheap, long-term, team-friendly deals.

But there’s a reason you give up so much for a veteran player. It’s because he gives you certainty.

We know these guys can play at a high level in the NFL. It’s a fact. We’ve seen it before. That doesn’t make it a guarantee that he will continue to play well (or stay healthy) in the future, but at least we know what the player is capable of at the professional level. The same can’t be said about a drafted player.

A veteran has a much higher chance of playing well in Year 1 than a rookie – and Year 1 help is what the Jets need.

New York cannot afford to risk having one of Wilson’s top targets being a rookie who lands on the John Ross side of the scale instead of the Ja’Marr Chase side. It just can’t happen to Wilson in this crucial stage of his development. Wilson needs as much reliability from his receivers as he can get.

Only a veteran can provide him with that.

Underdog Jets Podcast, Wayne Chrebet Meet & Greet

Why is Robert Woods the right guy for the New York Jets?

1. Woods gives the Jets a top-tier WR talent who fits the scheme and is consistent

The wide receiver market has been drained. With guys like Chris Godwin, Amari Cooper, Davante Adams, and Allen Robinson all off the board, the Jets are running out of options who would be surefire talent upgrades for their wide receiver unit.

It was looking like the Jets would be left with free-agency scraps such as Sammy Watkins and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. But with the emergence of Woods on the trade market, the Jets have another shot to grab a receiver who has top-tier talent.

Woods has long been a reliable weapon for the Rams, providing extremely consistent and stable production. He ranks 17th among wide receivers with 68.0 receiving yards per game since 2017, collecting 4,626 yards in 68 games. That number puts him on pace for 1,156 yards per 17 games.

Over that same span, Woods has dropped only 15 passes while catching 382 passes. That gives him a superb drop rate of 3.9%. His elite hands would be an enormous boon for Wilson.

Woods would also give the Jets a strong scheme fit. He emerged in the offense of Rams head coach Sean McVay, who comes from the same coaching tree as Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.

Woods’ precise route-running on short and intermediate routes would allow him to fit right into New York’s scheme. He’s also a fantastic run-blocker, another key trait for wide receivers in the Jets’ offense.

An added bonus in Woods’ game is his ability to contribute as a rusher – yet another skill that is featured in LaFleur’s scheme.

Over the past four seasons, Woods rushed 68 times for 473 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 7.0 yards per carry.

If you combine Woods’ contributions as a receiver and a rusher, he is averaging 75.2 scrimmage yards per game since 2017, which puts him on pace for 1,278 yards per 17 games.

The best aspect of Woods’ production is his consistency. Woods has performed well on a game-to-game and year-to-year basis without many severe spikes or valleys in his output.

From 2018-19, Woods recorded back-to-back seasons with over 85 receptions and 1,200 scrimmage yards. He had 90 receptions and 1,091 scrimmage yards in 2020. This past season, Woods was on pace for 85 receptions and 1,137 yards through nine games before his season came to an end due to an ACL injury during practice in Week 10.

2. Woods has legitimate question marks but those are canceled out by the low risk of his contract

Obviously, Woods’ ACL injury is a major concern – especially when you consider he will turn 30 years old in April. It is expected that Woods will return to the field in time for training camp, so there is little concern regarding his capability of being ready for the regular season, but you have to wonder how much he has left in the tank.

That brings me to the most important factor in why Woods is such a great trade target for the Jets: He comes with a very low amount of risk thanks to his contract.

Woods signed a four-year contract extension in September 2020 that begins in the 2022 season. On paper, it appears to be a hefty four years and $65 million, but it’s actually an extremely friendly deal to trade for.

If Woods were traded, the Rams would pay him the $8.6 million of his prorated signing bonus that is owed to him over the next four years. That is the only guaranteed money left on his deal, leaving Woods’ new team in the clear.

Woods’ new team will take on Woods for four years and $60.5 million ($53 million in base salary and a maximum of $7.5 million in roster bonuses), but they will not owe him any guaranteed money. This means that if things do not work out in 2022, they could cut him after the year and clear him off the books with no dead money. The same applies for each of the next three years on his deal.

In 2022, Woods’ cap hit would be $13.5 million with a new team, which is affordable for a player of his caliber. It’s less than Corey Davis’ 2022 cap number ($13.7 million) and would rank outside of the top-20 among wide receivers.

Woods would probably be a player to avoid if not for his friendly contract, as the concerns regarding his age and injury recovery are very real. But since he can be acquired on an affordable year-to-year trial with no commitment beyond the current season, it’s a no-brainer for the Jets to take a shot on him.

Jets need to move fast for Robert Woods

Things are likely to move very quickly here. Woods is due a $3.5 million roster bonus this Sunday, March 20. If the Rams don’t trade him before then, it’s another $3.5 million they’ll owe to a player that will already require them to eat $8.6 million if traded. So, there’s a strong chance Woods is dealt before then.

This is a golden opportunity for general manager Joe Douglas, who hinted at an aggressive mentality on the trade market earlier this year.

In his season-ending press conference, Douglas said, “I think we’re always going to be aggressive if the right opportunity presents itself. The good thing is that I think moving forward, we can be in just about any discussion when it comes to player trades.”

Woods is the perfect player to be aggressive for. The risk is low, and if it works out, the ceiling is tantalizingly high. Woods would give Zach Wilson a supremely reliable veteran pass-catcher that fits the scheme, forming a strong trio with Elijah Moore and Corey Davis.

Acquiring Woods would raise the quality of Wilson’s supporting cast to an incredible level. With the additions New York has already made to its offensive line and tight end unit, picking up a quality receiver would be the cherry on top, cementing a wonderful environment to foster Wilson’s development.

The Jets could still draft and develop a wide receiver after acquiring Woods. New York would have the luxury to be patient with the youngster’s development thanks to Woods’ presence, allowing him to develop at his own pace instead of rushing him into the lineup and expecting him to move mountains on day one.

Going after Woods makes so much sense for New York. If they can grab him for a mid-round draft selection, they’ve got to pounce. The market for eight-figure wide receivers has significantly thinned now that so many of them have already been taken, so the Jets should conceivably have light competition for Woods. He’s theirs if they want him.

It’s time for Douglas to make the big trade he’s been hinting at.

Audio Version available to members only: Learn more here

Download Jet X Mobile on the App Store and Google Play.

Want More NY Jets News & Jets X-Factor Content?

Download the free Jet X Mobile App to get customizable notifications directly to your iOS (App Store) or Google/Android (Google Play) device.

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed to stay up to date with the New York Jets.

Follow us on Twitter @jetsxfactor for all the latest New York Jets news, Facebook for even more, Instagram for some of the top NY Jets images, and YouTube for original Jets X-Factor videos.

Join the official Jets Discord community to connect with likeminded fans.

Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
30 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
EagleFangFootball
EagleFangFootball
6 months ago

Jets- No Nania

Jimjets
Jimjets
6 months ago

So he went elsewhere. At this point it’s the scrap heap left overs like Sammy Watkins et al. I think – hope – we get two WR in the draft. A lot of us think edge at 4 and WR at ten but idk. I think JD may be looking at defense only in the first round. If we went say Jermaine Johnson at 4 and Jordan Davis at 10 the DL would be loaded and Saleh needs that. Any combination of Johann Datson Christian Watson George Pickens Sky Moore and others will still be available in round 2 and beyond. Bo Melton from Rutgers in the later rounds. Anyway long way of saying still a long way to go with n the receiver front.

PTS1010
PTS1010
6 months ago
Reply to  Jimjets

I agree, grabbing any of those players in 2/3 round would be great. I like Metchie too if he drops, prognosticators seems to have forgotten about him.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
6 months ago

With 2 first rounders, 2 second rounders, 2 fourth rounders this year and a total of 9 picks in the first 5 rounds, I don’t screw around. I offer our 3rd rounder.
Our 3rd rounder is the 5th pick so most teams would need to offer a 2nd rounder to better out offer.
I had us taking Garrett Wilson, Trey Burks or Olave at 10
Trading forms Wood’s who I beleive can give us a string 3-4 years and lead a group of mostly young and talented receivers.
Instead we can go OL and edge or EDGE and cb round 1and still upgrading the wr room.
A wr room of Woods, Moore, Davis, Berrios and still some hope for Mims would be an entire new world.
Add on the additions of Usomah and Conklin at TE, there will be a boatload of options for Zack and I beleive that allows him to have a breakout sophomore season

Jets71
Jets71
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buell

I would rather than take Wilson at 10 and then another guy in the 3rd. The WR group already has Davis, E. Mooer and Berrios all of them considered “pros.” I know Moore is young but the way they raved about his “approach” this seems like the perfect year to add two young guys to the mix and let them grow. Davis is sort of in a “prove-it” situation since they can get out from under his contract easily if he has another off year so he’ll be motivated. I like Woods but I just think they have enough talent to see if they can get a break out season from a draft pick like Wilson. I too have a slight glimmer of hope for Mims. I don’t know why, I just do. A WR room with Davis, Moore, Berrios, Garrett Wilson and another potential rookie isn’t terrible. You also mentioned adding the veteran TE’s which is another reason I see this as time to grab a young WR. Zach will have plenty of savvy players on the field.

Jets71
Jets71
6 months ago

They need to bring in a WR, so it’s either a real pro aka. Metcalf or someone with risk, aka. a draft pick. If they are going to take risk it should be on developing their own guy, not a guy some other team felt they needed to replace. I like Garrett Wilson. He’s fast, great after catch, as you pointed out did very well vs. man coverage, and has played in some big games. Yes, he will take some time to develop but this rebuild isn’t done yet. Zach needs another young WR to grow with, not someone who will be gone in a year or two. I’m not in on Woods even though he might provide some immediate help, he’s not a long term answer.

Matt Galemmo
Matt Galemmo
6 months ago

Woods is not a #1 WR. What he is though is an all around player. He’s a very good receiver, and honestly that’s probably the weakest part of his game. He’s a terrific blocker–the Rams would routinely ask him to set the edge, and he can deliver. He’s a terrific gadget RB, and I love the ball in his hands on screens. I don’t know about his route running or football IQ, but he does so many things so well I have to believe he’s really smart.

You can easily put him or Davis in the slot with 11 personnel and not miss the extra TE. Or run 4 wide and not miss have any TE. Imagine running out of a 4 WR formation!

I’d even have Woods on the field ahead of Davis when they go 12. He’s a great fit!

BigJetsFan1
BigJetsFan1
6 months ago

If Nania says it, book it! I love the production numbers. However, why would the Rams who are in a go for it now window, give up such a team friendly deal for such a productive weapon? I’m for it though. It was great football when we had Decker and Marshall. I look forward to when we have great receivers and a good QB again.

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago

I don’t see it, Jets should trade for Metcalf before woods

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

What do you think Metcalf would cost? And is he on the market?

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
6 months ago

If they can get Wood’s for a 4th rounder it’s a no brainer…3rd rounder still a good deal.
As the article said, vet who can help Wilson develop and also allow us to use the two 1st rounders on other needs such as safety edge cb1 ol
Depending on which mock draft you look at, two of S Kyle Hamilton, DE Thibaduex, cb Suace Gardner or T Charles Cross, I would be happy with any 2.
Pittsburgh seems to want to trade up. for a 2nd this year and 1st next it might be worth it.
If a Pitt deal going to #20 I would want Hamilton then with the next 4 picks thru round 2 I would want four (Pitt pick) of of C Tyler Lindenbaum Edge George Karlafalitis EDGE David Ojabo cb Andrew Booth S Jalen Pitre, LB Christian Harris
Woods not only gives us a very good receiver he gives us flexibility in the draft after #4.

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago

Why would the Jets trade for that reciever? If I were the Jets and I’m going to trade assets for a reciever it wouldn’t be robert woods! He’s not a WR1 and has been hurt. No this is a terrible article and you should be slapped for even suggesting it!

Robert725
Robert725
6 months ago

Totally agree! This would give the young man a weapon he needs to be successful!!!

Peter Mazzucco
Peter Mazzucco
6 months ago

Wait…y are we forgetting about Jamison Crowder? He was neglected last season and a very under rated WR.

ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Mazzucco

I doubt that Crowder would want to come back after he had to take a pay cut last season. I like Crowder a lot, but I’d rather get someone better.

Freedom1789
Freedom1789
6 months ago

Ok, definitely got my interest. Now, what do you think it will cost and\or what is the maximum give up? Is this one of our second rounders? Alternately, is there a player(s) on our roster that LA would covet?

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  Freedom1789

Is Robert Woods the WR1 the Jets habe been looking for? Ask yourself would you trade valuable assets for Woods or go deeper and try to trade for another WR like metcalf?

ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

No, he’s not a #1, but he’s reliable and a perfect scheme fit. While a #1 is desirable, trading for one will be VERY costly in terms of draft capital. What Zach needs most are WRs who can get open and who will catch the ball. That’s Woods. They can still draft a topnotch WR prospect. They need depth anyway. IMO burning a 4th or even their 3rd to get Woods will be worth it if it helps ensure that Zach develops into a FQB.

PTS1010
PTS1010
6 months ago
Reply to  ncjetsfan

Hit the nail on the head. The contract he ended up getting would have been great for us.

Freedom1789
Freedom1789
6 months ago
Reply to  Michael Nania

Thanks. I think you have laid out clearly the risk involved in drafting WR. Something we have seen clearly with the NY Draft history on the position. I would definitely do it for the 4th rounder (or as below, another different move for a suitable WR).

hh11212
hh11212
6 months ago
Reply to  Freedom1789

I think a 4th this year and 5th next year to sweeten the pot. There will probably be some competition for his services. He is due 3.5 million roster bonus on Sunday.

dudizt
dudizt
6 months ago
Reply to  Freedom1789

I don’t think you have to go nearly that high. I’ll bet you a conditional 6th with potential to a 5th will get it done.

hh11212
hh11212
6 months ago

I would love the Woods trade. He is a better player than Amari Cooper and would be cheaper. Good things come to those who wait. However, I think we will get a lot of competition from the Green Bay Packers for his services.

Azuma76
Azuma76
6 months ago
Reply to  hh11212

Robert woods is better than amari cooper? What are you smoking?

hh11212
hh11212
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

Me lie, Women lie, but numbers don’t. Check his numbers and you tell me. WR Production since 2017:

Amari Cooper (27): 76 Games 368 Rec 4853 Yrds 35 TDs
3 Years 60 Million
Allen Robinson (28): 55 Games 294 Rec 3578 Yds 18 TDs
3 Years 45 Million
Robert Woods(29): 68 Games 367 Rec 5111 Total Yards 28 Total TDs
4 Years 65 Million (32 Guaranteed)

Plus he is more versatile with the ability to run the ball and he is a great blocker.

Matt Galemmo
Matt Galemmo
6 months ago
Reply to  hh11212

Is that to supposed to say “Men lie,” or are you in fact Cookie Monster?

hh11212
hh11212
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

I erased the “n” by accident. Glad you have good reading comprehension and were still able to understand.

PTS1010
PTS1010
6 months ago
Reply to  hh11212

Agree 100%. Woods is a great player given the contract he got. Perfect fit for Jets… Too bad Allen Robinson doesn’t like the color green (literally said he hates green in an interview), he would have been good signing too.

ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
6 months ago
Reply to  Azuma76

Woods is better! Cooper is the most overrated WR in the NFL, especially by Jets fans. I didn’t want him at all. I wouldn’t have traded a future 7th round pick for him. He disappears for long stretches in games and over a number of games during the NFL season. He’s a diva. His skills are declining.