It remains to be seen if the New York Jets have their quarterback of the future. But if you’re to believe the latest reports, they’re interested in adding a potential cornerstone of their defense.
According to a new story by the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta, the Jets have reached out to the Raiders about possibly making a trade for Mack. The talented-but-disgruntled edge rusher has been holding out of practices with the hopes of striking a lucrative long-term deal.
League sources tell Mehta that over a dozen teams have called the Jets about Mack, including several who have inquired on multiple occasions.
The Jets’ talent in the front-seven doesn’t measure up to their secondary. Despite the presence of promising young players like Leonard Williams on the defensive line, Mack would immediately become perhaps the best player on the whole team. The 26-year-old was named a first team All-Pro in 2015 and 2016, and last season notched 10.5 sacks. He’s one of the elite defenders in the league.
But despite the massive improvement the Jets defense would make with a Mack acquisition, their success still hinges on 2018 No. 3 pick Sam Darnold at quarterback. Great defenses have been known to beat Tom Brady and the Patriots in big games. But the Jets would still need at least a complementary offense with a competent signal-caller to become a real, consistent threat in the AFC East.
If Darnold turns out to be a stud, the Jets would have the potential to form one of the league’s best offensive-defensive pairings if they added Mack to the mix. But again, they’re still just one of over a dozen teams who have checked in on the player. And it’s unclear how interested the Raiders would be in a Mack trade, anyway.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.