This week's New York Jets' mailbag focuses on the team's biggest need, their new "quarterback" on defense and the upcoming supplemental draft:
What are your thoughts on this trade speculation for an outside pass rusher (obvious need)? Do you think Teddy will be trade bait? #jetsmail
@RichCimini: Trader Mike Maccagnan made a huge deal last preseason, sending away Sheldon Richardson for immediate help at a need position (wide receiver Jermaine Kearse) and a future bargaining chip (2018 second-round pick) that helped him land Sam Darnold. It was a brilliant trade. Can he do it again for an edge rusher? I absolutely expect him to try.
As you mention, Ian, it's a huge need. The problem is that it's a lot harder to find a pass-rusher than a wide receiver. Two names have emerged in speculation -- Shane Ray and Dante Fowler. The reason is because they're former first-round picks whose fifth-year options weren't exercised, meaning they will be free agents after the season.
I wouldn't put too much stock in the Ray rumors. He recently underwent a cleanup procedure on his surgically repaired left wrist, which could force him to miss the start of the season for the Denver Broncos. He's way too risky.
Fowler is the name to watch. The Jacksonville Jaguars have a surplus at defensive end and they probably won't be able to afford Fowler at the end of the season because they have so much money invested in defense. Based on that school of thought, yes, he could be available, but it won't be a fire sale. Fowler, drafted third overall in 2015, is coming off an eight-sack season and he'll only be 24 years old this season.
In a way, the Jaguars are in the same situation with Fowler as the Jets were with Richardson. They knew they couldn't keep Richardson, so they got what they could.
Teddy Bridgewater could be trade bait, but I don't see that happening unless Darnold wins the starting job during the preseason. There's also the matter of his surgically repaired knee. He looked fine in OTAs and minicamp, but there's still skepticism around the league about his knee. He'd have to quiet the doubters in the preseason to get teams interested. He probably wouldn't interest the Jaguars unless something happens to Blake Bortles. If there's a quarterback-needy team out there willing to part with a pass rusher ... now you're talking.
Bridgewater and the search for a pass-rusher will be stories we'll follow in August.
Why isn't Jamal Adams calling the plays on defense this year? Do you believe Lee has the football IQ to fill that role? #jetsmail— Nick Madden (@JetsFan006) June 22, 2018
@RichCimini: Ideally, you want a linebacker to be the guy getting the plays from the sideline and calling them in the huddle. Coach Todd Bowles said there have been situations where a safety handles the job, but it's uncommon. Adams is too inexperienced and, quite frankly, he does so much trash talking on the field that he might not be the best guy for it. The play-caller has to be cool, calm and poised.
I think Bowles trusts LB Darron Lee with the responsibility because he's smart and will be on the field for every play, which creates continuity. The question is, can he process the information quickly and make sight adjustments? It's a tough job. I spoke to Lee about it, and he's really fired up and confident in his ability to lead in that fashion.
Never understood the supplemental draft. Know we took Rob Moore way back when. What exactly is it Rich?#jetsmail— Charles (@CHARLESADIMINO) June 22, 2018
@RichCimini: The supplemental draft, which began in 1977, includes players who, for various reasons, weren't eligible for the regular draft. In many cases, it's due to academic deficiencies or disciplinary issues. If a team drafts a player in, say, the third round, they must forfeit a third-round pick in the next regular draft. The Jets used a first-round pick for Moore in 1990, so they didn't have a first-rounder in the 1991 draft. If they had, they probably would've picked Brett Favre. Sorry to pick at an old wound.
Anyway, there are three defensive backs in this year's supplemental draft on July 11 -- CB Sam Beal (Western Michigan), S Brandon Bryant (Mississippi State) and CB Adonis Alexander (Virginia Tech). The Jets dispatched two reps, including college scouting director Jon Carr, to Alexander's pro day on Wednesday. He fits the profile of a Jets corner -- good size and man-to-man cover skills. One scout told me Alexander has second-round ability, but there are some off-the-field concerns. I'd be surprised if they use a draft pick on him. They already have a lot of young corners in the pipeline.