With voluntary workouts starting tomorrow and the NFL Draft just a mere two and a half weeks away, the rumors have started to swirl.
And while the Los Angeles Rams made the first move by trading up for the number one spot last week, it appears the New York Jets could also be on the move with reports suggesting they’re looking to deal defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson to do it.
As reported by ESPN‘s Rich Cimini, the Jets are indeed dangling their most desirable asset in Wilkerson in an attempt to move up in the NFL Draft.
“Wilkerson is their entree into the top 10, the bargaining chip that could allow them to improve their current position, 20th. Because of their surplus at defensive end, the Jets see Wilkerson as a movable asset. They see a trade as a cap-clearing, need-filling measure, and that’s why they’re exploring potential trade-up scenarios.”
Earlier in the week, as detailed by Titans Online, the Los Angeles Rams packaged multiple draft picks from this year and next year’s NFL Draft and sent them to the Titans in exchange for the number one pick.
The feeling, of course, is that the Rams are going to grab one of the top two quarterback prospects after their trade for Nick Foles didn’t go as planned last year. Those names are Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, though no one even inside the organization is sure which of the two arms the Rams have set their sights on, as reported by MMQB.
Jared Goff has always been the top QB in this class. No brainer pick at #1.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 14, 2016
Rams have traded with Tennessee for the top pick in the draft — Carson Wentz is the presumed target.
— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) April 14, 2016
“I can tell you a final decision has not been made as to which quarterback that will be. But they obviously felt that either Carson Wentz of North Dakota State or Jared Goff of Cal was capable of being the franchise quarterback the Rams have lacked during the Jeff Fisher era.”
Meanwhile, as reported by NJ, ESPN Insider Adam Schefter told 97.5 FM’s The Fanatic that he doesn’t believe the Cleveland Browns are going to pick whichever quarterback is on the board, especially not after signing RG III during the off season.
That means it’s possible the Jets could try to jump into the top 10 and the team everyone thinks could get them there is the San Francisco 49ers who may or may not have Colin Kaepernick under center when the season starts. As of right now, Denver, Kaepernick and the 49ers have yet to reach a deal that would send the disgruntled star over to the Broncos. If Colin is on the roster by the time the NFL Draft comes around – his 2016 salary is already guaranteed – Chip Kelly and company could be looking to deal the pick to help shore up their porous defense.
If that’s the case, Rich Cimini argues they’ve got Wilkerson in their sights and have the capability to sign him to a long-term deal. Meanwhile, the Jets get a franchise quarterback and alleviate their cap woes.
“Let’s say the Jets make a trade with the San Francisco 49ers, moving up to No. 7 to grab Goff or Wentz. The first-year cap charge in that slot is $3.2 million — hardly outrageous. The total contract would be about $17 million guaranteed. Again, not outrageous. They could dump Geno Smith, saving $1.1 million on the cap, and go with a Fitzpatrick-rookie tandem for $11 million or so on the cap. There would be enough cap room because they’d recoup $15.7 million by dealing Mo Wilkerson and his franchise tag.”
What do you think? Should the Jets deal Muhammad Wilkerson to grab a QB in the 2016 NFL Draft?
[Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images]