For a moment on Wednesday, the Jets were a finalist to acquire one of the best wide receivers in the National Football League.
Fans were salivating over the prospect of adding Tyreek Hill to New York's offense, a playmaker with elite speed that would've taken this unit even closer to postseason contention.
And yet, as has been an ever-constant result between the lines for this franchise in recent history, the Jets fell short.
Hill was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday in exchange for five draft picks, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Miami sent the No. 29 selection in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft to Kansas City in the deal.
In addition to the trade, Hill signed a record-breaking contract with his new team. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Hill is now the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history, receiving a four-year, $120 million extension including $72.2 million guaranteed from the Dolphins.
Instead of imagining how Hill fits in New York's offense and how he can bring the best out of Zach Wilson, Gang Green now must figure out how they're going to defend Miami's new star wideout two times a year going forward.
Beyond the initial disappointment for those that got their hopes up, this isn't the end of the world for the Jets. New York held onto all their picks (four in the first 38 selections next month) while preserving their financial flexibility.
If general manager Joe Douglas and his team crush it in the 2022 NFL draft, New York might look back on this trade and laugh. There's a good chance the Jets will draft a top wideout in the first or second round next month, like Drake London or Garrett Wilson. Those options are far more affordable, giving Douglas the ability to stockpile more free agents that can fill holes on both sides of the ball going forward.
This trade is also another hint that the Jets will add a defensive back early in this year's draft. From cornerback Ahmad Gardner to safety Kyle Hamilton, New York needs all the help they can get to bolster this secondary and put a lid on all the explosive offensive units in their conference.
But they could've added Tyreek Hill. That's six-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion Tyreek Hill.
An opportunity to acquire a player of Hill's caliber doesn't come around too often in this league and the Jets were willing and able to part ways with a significant chunk of their draft capital to make this happen.
In other words, there's no question this trade stings for New York considering what they were reportedly ready to say goodbye to on Wednesday.
Plus, as details emerged regarding New York's actual offer, it certainly seems like the Jets could've done more to get their guy. Schefter reports that New York offered the No. 35, No. 38 and No. 69 picks to the Chiefs for Hill.
Gang Green has improved this offseason. They've been active in free agency and again, have a boatload of picks in April's draft. Did this four-win team improve enough to contend in the AFC, though? Other teams that they'll play in 2022 have added superstars this offseason. New York has been lurking, but hasn't made any big splashes.
The offseason is far from over and if the planets align, this Jets team can take a massive leap forward this coming season. Zach Wilson has more weapons and the defense is better while head coach Robert Saleh enters his second season at the helm.
Time will tell just how big of a missed opportunity this is for the Jets. For now, the pressure is on for Douglas to make the most of the picks this franchise ended up holding onto, rather than acquiring a proven commodity.
- 2022 NFL Draft: ESPN's Mel Kiper Makes Bold Prediction For Jets in Latest Mock Draft
- Grading the Jets Free Agency Moves
- Ex-Jets Scout Advises New York to Draft Ohio State’s Nicholas Petit-Frere