The Giants and Jets organizations don’t like each other very much, which happens when teams share a stadium and a city. The Jets have long had an inferiority complex from feeling like New York’s little brother. The Giants have never hid their feelings of superiority when it comes to the Jets.
So neither franchise has ever been inclined to do anything that might even appear to help out the other, which is a huge part of the reason why the two have never made a trade.
It might be time they get over those issues and their egos, though. Because a trade of draft picks between the Giants and Jets this year makes a whole lot of sense.
This is all predicated, of course, on the Giants deciding to use their first-round pick on a quarterback, which is definitely in play at the moment and, some think, is likely to happen. In that case, the Giants are almost certainly going to have to trade up from the sixth pick in the draft to get the quarterback they want. Because if they don’t, it’s a good bet the Jaguars (at 7), Broncos (at 10), Dolphins (at 13) or Redskins (at 15) will.
And they’re all going to want to get ahead of the Giants, which puts the Jets in a sweet spot in the draft. The Jets desperately need help for their pass rush, but the first round is deep with those players and the two best (Ohio State’s Nick Bosa and Kentucky’s Josh Allen) are likely going in the top two. So they could drop down a handful of spots and still get the pass rusher they need, plus a handful of draft picks to replenish their dwindling supply.
In other words, it’s a win-win. The Giants could get their quarterback of the future. The Jets could still get their pass rusher and add picks to improve their depth.
If the two teams weren’t reluctant co-tenants in East Rutherford, New Jersey, it’s probably a deal that almost everyone would project.
From the Giants’ perspective, it would fix a problem they created a year ago when they passed on potential franchise quarterbacks and took Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley, a decision they don’t regret, but one that left them without a replacement for Eli Manning. There’s an increased urgency to find one now that Manning is 38 and entering the last year of his contract, especially with the Giants poised to pick high in the draft for the second straight year.
It’s too early to tell if they love any of the quarterbacks. The early consensus seems to be that Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins is the best of the bunch, with Duke’s Daniel Jones and Missouri’s Drew Lock are a few steps behind him. If the Giants think any of them could be their Quarterback of the Future … well, they know better than anyone that when it comes to franchise quarterbacks, no price is too high.
What would that price be? Well, the Jets actually set it pretty well last season when they made this exact trade — moving up from 6 to 3 — by sending three second-round picks (two last year, one this year) to the Indianapolis Colts so they could be in position to draft Sam Darnold. The Giants don’t have an extra second-round pick to spend — or even a third-round pick, after using it on cornerback Sam Beal in last year’s supplemental draft — so they’d have to be creative. Truth is, if multiple teams are in the bidding, they might have to be willing to part with a future first-round pick.
Would next year’s first-rounder and this year’s second-rounder do the trick? The Jets would be crazy to pass on that. Or what about a version of the deal the Jets’ made last season — sending them second-rounders in each of the next two drafts, plus a fourth-rounder this year and a third next year too?
From the Jets’ perspective, they need picks. They only have six in this draft and no second-rounder, and they’re not expected to get any compensatory picks. (Overthecap.com projects the Giants to land two, including a fourth-rounder.) They have so many needs, they need to load up on as many picks as possible — both to add players to their roster and to possibly use in future trades.
So if they can recoup the second-rounder they lost in the Darnold deal and add a handful of other picks, all while not dropping significantly in a first round that is deep at a position they need? It would be the ultimate no-brainer move, no matter who is on the other end of the trade.
Of course, it’s going to be hard for Giants GM Dave Gettleman and Jets GM Mike Maccagnan to ignore who is on the other end of the phone since they share a media market. There are some in the Giants’ organization who are already over-sensitive to the idea that they somehow “let” the Jets finally find their franchise quarterback last year. And yes, there are some in the Jets who take delight in the idea that their supposed franchise savior slipped right past the Giants.
If the Jets have other similar offers, you can bet they’d rather make a deal with someone else and leave the Giants in a version of Gettleman’s “Quarterback Hell”.
Could they both get over the pettiness of their rivalry though? The Jets actually tried in the 2016 draft when they called the Giants in the hopes of moving up from No. 20 to No. 11 as offensive linemen Laremy Tunsil was on his gas-mask-bong-induced slide down the NFL draft. They talked, but the call didn’t last long, according to a source. The Giants decided the Jets’ offer was inadequate for a deal they really didn’t want to make anyway.
Would they try again? The Jets didn’t even call the Giants last year to see if they’d part with the No. 2 pick before they traded up to No. 3. So no, they probably wouldn’t try again. But they definitely should consider it. Both GMs should do whatever they can to make a deal that is clearly in their own interests, even if it helps the team in the locker room down the hall.