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.
So yeah, BT was all about the Jets going after Tyreek Hill…which, of course, didn't happen. pic.twitter.com/jr0bk3MolA
— WFAN Sports Radio (@WFAN660) March 23, 2022
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.