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How the NY Jets can avoid living to regret the failed Tyreek Hill trade

Joe Douglas, Tyreek Hill, New York Jets, Trade, Offer
Joe Douglas, Tyreek Hill, New York Jets, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

Failing to get Tyreek Hill could end up becoming a blessing for the New York Jets

On Wednesday, March 22, the news came out of nowhere that the Kansas City Chiefs were shopping Tyreek Hill. Immediately, New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas got to work. He needed a number one receiver, and he had the draft capital to get his guy.

A few hours later, Jets fans were mourning the double whammy; not only had Douglas failed to acquire Hill, but the winners of the sweepstakes were the division-rival Miami Dolphins. Instead of having that top gun for the Jets’ young quarterback, Zach Wilson, Miami got the guy for Tua Tagovailoa.

Jets fans had been placed on an emotional roller coaster.

After the dust settled and the bitterness faded a bit, cooler heads started to prevail.

What would the Jets have done without those two second-round picks?

The Jets were not one player away. That trade would have set back their depth for years.

Rich Eisen said it well on The Rich Eisen Show. Ultimately, Douglas & Co. are better off.

Instead, Douglas retained his draft capital. He took Garrett Wilson, a younger and cheaper but unproven alternative. With those second-round picks, he traded up to get Jermaine Johnson and traded up again for Breece Hall. These three players have the potential to fill out the Jets’ core for years to come.

Still, Hill is now in the Jets’ division for the foreseeable future. He has the potential to be a real game-wrecker when the Dolphins play the Jets twice each season.

What has to happen for Jets fans to feel satisfied with the outcome and not feel cheated out of what could have been?

1. Garrett Wilson must become a good outside receiver in the next two seasons

I believe that “good” is enough for Garrett Wilson. The Jets have the depth at receiver in Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Braxton Berrios to take the pressure off Wilson to become elite immediately. Fans need to see enough from him to know that he is helping the other Wilson, Zach, reach his potential.

2. In the matchups against Miami, the Jets must contain Tyreek Hill and not allow major TD passes

If Hill becomes the Jets’ arch-nemesis and destroys the secondary in the divisional matchups, that will make fans’ worst nightmares come true. The Jets drafted Sauce Gardner and signed D.J. Reed precisely because of the quarterback-to-receiver connections in the division. It better work.

3. Tua Tagovailoa does not develop into a better quarterback than Zach Wilson

Tua is entering his critical third year. If he can’t make it happen with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and all his other weapons, then it isn’t going to happen for him. The Jets built a slightly-less-impressive core around Zach Wilson, but they still aimed for the same ability to evaluate him in Year 2.

If Tua takes off with Tyreek in tow while Zach Wilson struggles, fans will always lament the trade that wasn’t.

4. Wilson, Johnson, and Hall develop into the Jets’ young core

If those picks work out to the level of their draft positions, no one will care about Tyreek Hill. Ultimately, Hill is one 28-year-old player who cost way too much in draft capital and salary cap space. Wilson, Johnson, and Hall are young, under team control, and can lead the Jets out of the hell of the 2010s and early 2020s.

5. The Dolphins don’t become a force to be reckoned with in the AFC

If Hill leads the Dolphins to the playoffs a few times and is the reason for playoff wins, Jets fans will think twice. If, while that happens, the Jets still languish in purgatory, the fan base will be in an uproar.

Ultimately, Joe Douglas did everything he could to get Tyreek Hill. The blame for losing out to Miami does not fall on his shoulders. But in the absence of anyone else to blame, the pressure is on Joe for his alternative moves to work out.

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2 years ago

The Tyreek Hill trade was NOT failed! You sound like you are writing for the Dolphins, Bills, or Patriots rather than the Jets. Hill was given the ability to choose where he would go. He lives and works in Miami. That is the natural place he’d want to go anyway, but especially since the Dolphins had a better team already than the Jets, it made it a no-brainer. One cannot fail at something if one really never had a shot. It didn’t matter what the Jets would have offered once the Dolphins made an offer. Do some research and learn the facts, or you want last long writing for jetsxfactor or anywhere else, nor should you.

This is a terrible article, the worst I’ve ever read at this site, and one of the worst I’ve ever read anywhere.

Jonathan Richter
2 years ago
Reply to  ncjetsfan

You are correct that Hill spurned us, and I was going to say that I wasn’t sure “regret” was the right word to use. But I think the article did great job of laying out the potential future outcomes.

As for me, I’m confident that most of those things will turn out to be true, and that Garrett will be catching passes in green and white long after Tyreke Hill has retired in 3-4 years.

2 years ago

I disagree regarding her laying out of the potential future outcomes. Since the very premise of her article is flawed, those outcomes are irrelevant. Since the trade didn’t fail, there is no pressure for those things to happen so it won’t be a disaster that the trade didn’t happen.

2 years ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

Thanks for your response. I’m sorry if my initial response to you was overly harsh, but I am so tired of some members of the media, fans of other teams, and worse, ignorant Jets fans bashing JD and the team. I am more in agreement with your above response.

I just don’t think “regrets” is something that we can have. If JD had failed to offer enough, then we could regret that, but with Hill having control over where he went, and he didn’t want to come here, then there’s nothing to regret. We don’t want players who don’t want to be here. He didn’t really fit the new culture we’re trying to establish anyway. Focusing on regrets is living in the past. “What ifs” are like “coulda, shoulda, woulda.” They are pointless. They didn’t happen. It’s time to move on and focus on the moves the Jets did make. IMO saying that it failed, no matter how one thinks of the word “failed” makes it look like JD didn’t do enough or screwed up somehow. That’s what fans of other teams have said, ignorant Jets fans have said, and what those in the media who hate the Jets and trash them at every opportunity have said.

I never wanted Hill, just as I never wanted any of the veteran WRs the Jets were interested in except for Deebo Samuel briefly. Since Hill is a reliable vet, I would have been OK with the trade in terms of helping Zach develop, but not his character, age, or contract. I think in adding Uzomah and Conklin, JD added the reliable receivers that Zach needed. We didn’t really need to add a veteran WR. I think we needed a rookie WR to grow with Zach and Moore who could be here a long time, and I’m delighted in how it turned out. Garrett Wilson wasn’t my favorite WR in this draft, but he was the most NFL ready, I love his character, and I was delighted that we got him. Hopefully, will prove to be a great addition. At the least, I think he will be a solid, dependable WR that will help Zach and the offense.

Tyson Madding
2 years ago

I’m so sick of people saying it was a failed attempt …Tyreek hill was always going to Miami it’s where his house is …he was never going to be a jet …the dbag said it in his presser as a dolphin when they asked about the jets and the dbag said who……stop making it something …not a failure if it was never going to happen

Jonathan Richter
2 years ago
Reply to  Tyson Madding

We certainly made an attempt, and it certainly failed, so I can’t quibble with using those words. Rumor was that KC was ready to accept Joe D’s offer until Miami upped the offer. Even if it was never going to happen, failed attempt it the correct description.

2 years ago

It was NOT a failed attempt. KC ACCEPTED our offer, but had given Hill the option to choose where he wanted to go. If he had a choice, he was never coming to the Jets. The trade would have been a failure if KC had rejected our offer as not being enough, and Miami offered more. That’s not what happened.

2 years ago

I would rather have Wilson, Johnson and Hall than Tyreek and all the money due him. When you factor in the money it comes out to 5-7 players vs Hill. What if Hill tears his ACL in camp? We have to fill holes.