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It seems like a solid match, but will the Jets make the call?

New York is reportedly exploring trade options to fill the void left behind by Carl Lawson, the star defensive end who will miss the entire season after tearing his Achilles in practice last week.

As the Jets assess the market, surely they'll check in with the Cardinals about Chandler Jones, right? 

The veteran pass rusher is unhappy in Arizona, so much so that he reportedly requested a trade this offseason.

Jones, 31, has been wreaking havoc in the backfield at this level for almost a decade, producing six different seasons with 10-plus sacks over his nine-year career. He's a three-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion, winning a ring back in 2014 with the Patriots.

That in mind, Jones has the potential to be a great fit for New York. He can pass down his knowledge to the younger members of the defensive line, filling in seamlessly under head coach Robert Saleh while serving as a premier pass rusher (exactly what the Jets are missing now that Lawson is out for the year).

Depending on how you look at it, there's even an argument that Jones would be an upgrade from Lawson (at least in the short term). He was due for a massive season before the injury, but Lawson has never had more than 8.5 sacks in a single season. Jones is only one full season removed from setting a career-high with 19 sacks in 2019. 

The question is, will general manager Joe Douglas, Saleh and the Jets pull the trigger on a trade for Jones—assuming Arizona is willing to part ways with the veteran outside linebacker—when Gang Green is still a year or two away from contention.

How the New York Jets Can Try to Replace Carl Lawson

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It's not like the Jets don't have the draft capital or cap space to make the trade happen. Jones is in the final year of his contract with the Cardinals and is coming off a season where he only played in five games due to injury, so the price can't be too too high. Will they justify the sacrifice of a top draft pick for a year of Jones when using that pick to add more young talent will be more beneficial in the long run?

Plus, perhaps the Jets would be better served steering clear from a disgruntled and aging star, even if he could produce this season. Would that be worth it when this team isn't a contender?

The Jets have the bodies to fill Lawson's shoes internally. They could give a bigger opportunity to veterans who signed in free agency and some of the young players eager to take advantage of an expanded role. There are even some options still available in free agency as well, those that can provide a boost in a rotational role if need be.

When it comes to a player of Lawson's caliber, however, it would take a premier edge rusher to fill his irreplaceable shoes. If the price is right, Jones is certainly worth consideration. 

If the Jets do decide to make a trade, it would probably make more sense to seek out a younger alternative, a player that's a better fit in Saleh's scheme that can grow into an even better player with a full dosage of in-game reps, though. Then, depending on Lawson's health down the road, the organization can make a move for a top-tier pass rusher when a playoff spot is further within reach if they need to.

After all, Saleh did say on Saturday that the Jets are concentrating on the defensive linemen that are already on this roster, even after losing Lawson.

"We’re going to focus on the guys that we have," he said. "Obviously, Joe and his staff are always collecting data and trying to figure out the next move, and we’ll talk about it. But right now as a coaching staff, our focus is on the men who are in the room.”


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