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Two Surreal: Where Will Jets' Trade for Aaron Rodgers Rate Among Deals Involving a No. 2 Pick?

3 Swaps in Which They Sent Away at Least 2nd-Rounder but Got Great Value in the Return Package


Now that the Jets' trade with the Packers to acquire one of the NFL's great quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers is in the books, many will be massaging the deal's details this way and that to determine who got the better bargain.

The Jets are swapping their 13th overall pick for Green Bay's 15th overall selection, giving up their second-rounder (No. 42) this year, getting a fifth-rounder from and sending a sixth-rounder to the Packers this year, then giving up a two that could escalate to a one next year. One way is how this deal may stand up to other trades over the years in which the Green & White gave up at least a Round 2 selection in exchange for a veteran player.

B.R. (Before Rodgers), the Jets had made 198 trades since the 1967 start of the AFL-NFL common draft that included at least one of their draft choices. Sixty of those swaps involved at least one Jets draft choice for at least one player.

And nine of those deals involved the Jets sending a Round 1 or 2 pick away to acquire a veteran player whom they hoped would make a first- or second-round difference on the field. In some of those nine trades, other picks were included that also turned into green gold for a while.

See images of the four-time MVP arriving at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.

Which of those trades worked out best for the Jets? Here are three candidates:

1993 — Jets' 1st-round pick (No. 3 overall) in '93 to Phoenix for RB Johnny Johnson and Cardinals' 1st-rounder (No. 4) in '93
The greater value in this trade wasn't Johnson, who did OK (1,752 rushing yards and six TDs, 109 receptions for 944 yards and 3 TDs) in his two seasons as the Jets' featured back, then retired from football. It was in the fourth overall pick, which the Jets converted into Marvin Jones, who played 10 seasons, nine as the middle LB starter, and recorded over 1,000 tackles despite missing all of 1998 due to a knee injury.

2007 — Jets' 2nd-round pick (No. 37) in '07 to Chicago for RB Thomas Jones, Bears' 2nd-rounder (No. 63) and 7th-rounder (No. 235) in '07
This was an even better version of the 1993 RB/LB deal. The RB the Jets acquired was the formidable Jones, who played three seasons in green and white, compiled three 1,100-yard rushing campaigns, rushed for 28 touchdowns, and added 74 catches for 482 yards and three more TDs.

Then the Bears' second-rounder, plus two lower picks, were traded to Green Bay, don't you know, for the Packers' Round 2 choice (No. 47) in 2007. That pick became LB David Harris, who, like Marvin Jones from 14 years earlier, became an underrated 10-year Jets tackling machine and defensive leader. (The seventh-round choice was spent on WR Chansi Stuckey.)

2010 — Jets' 2nd-round pick (No 61) in '11 to San Diego for CB Antonio Cromartie
The straight-up No. 2 pick for a No. 2 corner returned outstanding value in Cromartie, who would be considered a No. 1 corner on most teams but came to a team that already had future Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis. Still, the Reeve and Cro Show wreaked havoc on opposing offenses in 2010, the Jets' second AFC Championship Game season under Rex Ryan, plus 2011 and '12. Cromartie stuck around for 2013, then the duo reunited for the 2015 season. Cromartie in his first four Jets seasons had 13 interceptions and made two Pro Bowls

Honorable Mention

1998 — Jets' 1st- (No. 18) and 3rd-round (No. 81) picks in '98 to New England for RFA RB Curtis Martin
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Bill Parcells' and Mike Tannenbaum's restricted free agent offer sheet that resulted in the acquisition of Patriots RB Curtis Martin in 1998. This wasn't a trade, yet it had some of the trappings of a trade that turned into a great deal for the Jets. They sent their Rounds 1 and 3 choices in compensation for Martin after he signed the offer sheet that the Patriots didn't wish to match. Martin went on to set numerous team and NFL rushing records in his eight Jets seasons and was subsequently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Jets Ring of Honor.

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