Jets Seek Star WR Trade for QB Aaron Rodgers

Trade winds swirl around Bengals' Higgins, 49ers' Aiyuk.

by Nouman Rasool
Jets Seek Star WR Trade for QB Aaron Rodgers
© Nick Cammett/Getty Images

In the high-stakes world of the NFL, the New York Jets find themselves at a strategic crossroads, aiming to bolster their offense by venturing into the trade market for a top-tier wide receiver. This maneuver comes in the wake of the team's inability to secure a reliable wideout during the initial phase of free agency, signaling a pivot towards more aggressive acquisition tactics.

ESPN's Rich Cimini has reported that Joe Douglas, the Jets' General Manager, had previously shown interest in notable talents such as Jerry Jeudy of the Cleveland Browns and Keenan Allen of the Chicago Bears, both of whom have since found new homes.

With those options off the table, the Jets' attention may now shift towards Tee Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals and Brandon Aiyuk of the San Francisco 49ers as potential targets.

Higgins and Aiyuk's Futures

Higgins, aged 25, has openly sought a new team following the Bengals' decision to place a franchise tag on him, signaling a desire for a fresh start.

On the other hand, Aiyuk, 26, is approaching the culmination of his initial four-year contract valued at $12.53 million. Despite this, Cimini cautions that it remains unclear whether either player is genuinely on the trading block.

Should the Jets succeed in acquiring either Higgins or Aiyuk, they would likely face the financial challenge of negotiating a multi-year contract extension. With approximately $22.13 million in available cap space, securing such deals—estimated at around $24 million annually for Aiyuk and $18.6 million for Higgins—might prove difficult.

An alternative strategy could involve the Jets targeting more affordable free agents, including the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., a former Pro Bowler, or Mike Williams, a previous first-round selection. Nonetheless, the imperative for the Jets remains clear: to significantly enhance their receiving corps.

This endeavor is particularly critical considering the team's struggle in the passing game last season, finishing 30th in the league with an average of only 171.4 passing yards per game. With 2022 Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson as the lone standout, achieving a more dynamic and potent offense is crucial, especially in support of quarterback Aaron Rodgers as he recovers from an Achilles injury.

Rodgers, a four-time MVP, faces the daunting task of leading the team without the requisite offensive support, making the pursuit of a high-caliber wide receiver all the more urgent for the Jets.

Jets Aaron Rodgers Bengals