NEW YORK (WFAN) — Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said Wednesday he is open to the idea of trading up in April’s draft.
After going 5-11, the Jets own the sixth overall pick. They, of course, are still searching for their quarterback of the future, and this year’s draft class is considered a strong one for QBs — with UCLA’s Josh Rosen and USC’s Sam Darnold potentially leading the pack.
“If there’s a player up there that we feel worthy of going up to get, we would have no qualms about going up and getting them,” Maccagnan told WFAN’s “The Afternoon Drive With Carlin, Bart and Maggie” on Wednesday.
Maccagnan noted that the Jets have an extra second-round pick — acquired in the trade that sent Sheldon Richardson to Seattle — that could be used to trade up.
The Jets’ GM said “all options are on the table” for addressing the quarterback situation — free agency and the draft. Maccagnan has indicated Josh McCown, who will be a free agent, could return in 2018, but the 38-year-old is clearly not the Jets’ long-term answer at QB.
As for Christian Hackenberg, who has yet to play a snap in his NFL career, Maccagnan said the 2016 second-round pick is still developing. However, Maccagnan noticeably didn’t speak of Hackenberg as a potential starting option anytime soon, saying instead he’ll have the opportunity to “earn his spot on the team” next season.
“We do have expectations for him,” Maccagnan said. “This is going to be a good offseason for him in terms of continuing his development.
“The one thing I will say with any player — and particularly quarterbacks — there’s a maturation process to them, and he’s a young player in terms of his age, and he’s also still developing. And our focus right now is to help him fulfill or achieve that potential.”
The Jets, who are roughly $80 million under the salary cap, could be busy in free agency. In addition to quarterback, Maccagnan said he’d like to improve the team’s pass rush and secondary.
He also said he would like to retain soon-to-be unrestricted free agents Morris Claiborne, Demario Davis, Wesley Johnson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
“I think we have a vision for what we want to build here,” Maccagnan said. “I think, even with all the cap space we have, we’re going to be very active, but we’re also going to try to build this so that we have the ability to have a young team that’s going to help us have continued success over time. We’re not just of the mindset of just trying to do everything for one season and mortgage the future.”