After discussing a possible trade-up scenario throughout the offseason, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan pulled off an aggressive move on March 17. While Maccagnan values draft capital, he felt confident in the pool of players who will be available to him at No. 3 overall and was able to put a package together in order to acquire the Colts' first-round pick.
A Good Spot"We really felt good about the third spot in terms of the compensation for it," he said of the package that included the No. 6 overall pick, a pair of second-rounders this year and an additional second-round pick in 2019. "And I think you just do your due diligence when you try to go up higher. You spend a lot of time looking at previous draft compensations or movements or stuff like that. Again, for us going forward, the idea of keeping our one was an important thing for us. The twos this year and the two next year, it's a price, but we felt good about the one going forward."
Not Totally LockedAcknowledging that he had discussions with Cleveland about the top overall selection prior to the swap with Indianapolis, Maccagnan left the door open for further movement. But it's clear the Jets like where they stand heading into April's draft.
"Even at three, it's not as if we're totally locked in there too," he said. "You never know how the draft unfolds. Not to read into the Jets are looking to move again, but three is a very good position to be in, we felt."
Quick TransitionEchoing CEO Christopher Johnson's sentiments, the Jets were initially disappointed when it became clear Kirk Cousins intended to sign with the Minnesota Vikings.
"We did quite a bit of work on Kirk, we liked him quite a bit," Maccagnan said. "Obviously like anybody, you're a little disappointed when you don't land a player that you put much effort into trying to acquire. But honestly, it was all handled very well, we thought, from dealing with the agent and the player."
The Jets quickly moved on from Cousins, re-signing Josh McCown, adding Teddy Bridgewater and landing the third pick in the draft that could ultimately be used on a quarterback.
"In pro free agency, you almost don't have time to be upset because you have to pivot, shift and go work on other players," he said.
A Good ProblemBridgewater, a former first-round pick who has been limited to a handful of snaps the past two seasons after suffering a devastating knee injury, is looking for a fresh start. The Jets were intrigued about the possibility of him getting back to the ascending player he was in 2015.
"From a character and work-ethic standpoint, he's a guy we'd like to take a bet on and see what he can do," Maccagnan said. "If he can regain his previous form, it will be a very good problem to have — having a lot of young, talented quarterbacks on the roster."
On Deck: Josh AllenAfter watching Sam Darnold's pro day and conducting private workouts with both Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield, the Jets will get some up close and personal time with Wyoming's Josh Allen next week.
"We still have homework to do on these guys in terms of our exposure to them. We have a private workout with Josh Allen still coming up, so if you guys want to grab your phones — it's going to be probably in the next week," the Jets GM told reporters. "We're going to bring these guys in for visits like everybody does in the NFL. No big shocker. I feel pretty good about the guys I have in place, the people we have in place to be a part of this evaluation process. I feel really good about who we can potentially get."
Cap CushionAlthough the Green & White have been busy in free agency with a lot of signings, that won't prevent them from heading into the 2019 offseason with a lot of financial flexibility as well.
"Right now, assuming we were going to spend our full allotment, I think we're at like 90-plus million in cap space for next year, assuming the cap is flat," Maccagnan said. "If I remember correctly, I was talking with Jackie [Davidson] the other day, we're close to 100 million, which puts us to No. 1 in the NFL."
Suh SummationWith a timetable in place, the Jets made an offer to five-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh. When the clock struck midnight, the offer disappeared.
"We extended an offer," Maccagnan said. "We had a deadline on that offer and when that deadline passed, myself and Christopher, and Todd was always informed about this the whole time, we made the determination if we wanted to stay in the race for him or if we wanted to pull out. And we decided to pull out."