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Jets fans buzzing about Sheldon Richardson-for-AJ McCarron rumor

Trade? Did someone say trade? Let's examine this proposal, which involves your beloved New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals:

@RichCimini: I realize this is a hot internet rumor, and I can understand why. The Jets probably are interested in trading Sheldon Richardson and his $8 million salary and they need a quarterback. AJ McCarron is entering the final year of his rookie contract and the Bengals will lose him for nothing when he hits free agency next year.

Yes, I do think this is something the Jets have looked at. Hey, when you're in their position, you have to examine every option -- i.e. Jay Cutler, Robert Griffin III and Brock Osweiler. If the Jets could get it done without giving up any of their draft picks, yeah, I'm sure they'd consider it.

But here's the catch (or catches): The Bengals would have to sweeten the deal because it doesn't work as a straight-up trade. Let's not lose sight of McCarron's pedigree: He's a former fifth-round draft pick who has thrown only 119 passes in the NFL, plus a playoff start for the injured Andy Dalton. He's a quintessential game manager; there's a reason why he lasted so long in the draft after winning two national championships at Alabama. I don't understand the McCarron infatuation among some fans. The Jets would need to get a draft pick, along with the player, to make it a fair swap.

Barring contract extensions, both teams would be taking on risk, as both players could be one-and-done. From the Jets' perspective, they'd have to make him their starter, considering the significance of the trade. Is he ready for that? He has only four career starts, counting the postseason.

So what I'm saying is, yes, this proposed trade has some intriguing elements. Ultimately, it would come down to the Jets' level of conviction on McCarron. If general manager Mike Maccagnan has a higher regard for him than the consensus around the league, he could pull the trigger. But I'd be surprised if he gives up a starting defensive lineman, a former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, for a backup quarterback who may or may not be ready for a starting gig. He'd also be giving up on Christian Hackenberg, and I'm not sure he's willing to do that after one year. I think McCarron is more of a Band-Aid than a long-term cure.